Thanks Crysti for sharing this photo from our flight together!
a visual journey
Follow along with us as adventurers take to the skies for the first time on a tandem, learn valuable paragliding skills or even catch a glimpse of pilots just goofing around!
Who wants to come paragliding? This past weekend, Crysti and her dog Jane were the latest to try flying for the first time. It was a first for me too - first time taking 2 passengers at once, and first time taking a dog! Little Janie loved sitting up front in her "harness" (Crysti had her clipped in snug inside the front mount backpack) - the next day when Crysti said "do you want to go flying?" Jane's ears perked up and she looked as if to say "Oh, please can we go again?". Of course Crysti loved it to and will be coming for another flight soon.
Thanks Crysti for sharing this photo from our flight together!
Fall is in the air...we can feel it in the cooler temperatures and the random rain days. As the season winds down we are still able to fly most days over the weekend, with bright sunny days mixed in with the days that clouds obscure our mountains. Diane managed to snag one of those beautiful days when she came to soar Mount Woodside and even got to take control of our aircraft!
A couple of weeks ago I got to hang out with a super fun group and take two very excited bloggers for tandems. Lucky for me, they brought along a professional photographer (www.yingerdesign.com) who happily shared his pictures of that day that looked like THIS! Wow! The cherry on top was this article written by that tiny and giggling lady running her heart out behind me in this photo. I will definitely be sharing more pictures from their weekend of adventures!
Yikes! It's been too long since I've posted...must mean we've been having too much fun!
I got to take my old co-worker Kathryn tandem this last weekend on her birthday, we lucked out as the weather got squirrely afterwards and we postponed the next mystery passenger's flight. Here's a little video showing how easy it is to take the controls and how soft landing can be:
With a block of 3 days off in a row, Damian was ready for his first flight on his shiny new Skywalk Tequila 4. With a sporadic training schedule due to being an airline captain, finding time to train has been a bit challenging. Only being able to come out once a week (or even less!) to kite, it can be hard to build up that muscle memory. But Damian was committed to becoming a paraglider pilot, and today he got his first flight off Mount Woodside, and even 2 more after that! The only reason we stopped at three flights was the horrible smoke we have hanging around in the valley due to nearby forest fires.
Despite the fact that I was holding my iPhone without looking at it, I managed to get him in most of the video!
Thanks Andrei for coming out to help guide him in to land. Back at it tomorrow!
Celebrated last year up in the skies at Bridal Falls...will we get to do the same this year? Winds look iffy but there's always a chance!
You know it's been great paragliding weather when your house is a mess and your website hasn't been updated in forever (oops)! Coming up over the next few posts...pix from some tandems this past weekend and maybe even glimpses from some solo flights.
First up - my neighbor finally had enough of just watching me walk back & forth to my FJ lugging my gear around. He gathered up an entourage (we had 3 carloads drive up to launch!) had a great flight and even supplied champagne at the landing field. Glad to help check this one off Andrew's bucket list!
Almost 10 years ago, HPAC (Hang gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada) Board members began the process of working with Parks Canada to allow us to legally fly in our national parks. After endless meetings and environmental studies, a two-year test plan was devised with Jasper National Park in Alberta and the inaugural flights scheduled for last weekend. The HPAC board contacted me a few days beforehand when everything fell into place and asked if I would like to join them as a representative from BC and as an HPAC Instructor. Of course I said YES! immediately, and so found myself on a snow covered mountain on Saturday morning.
Pilots wishing to fly or land in Jasper are asked to review the procedures on the HPAC website (link is here). Right now Jasper is the only national park we are permitted to fly/land in, but if we can show we can adhere to the rules and guidelines, then more parks will follow suit.
There was plenty of media on launch that morning, but while we wait for the pictures to be published I'll share this screengrab from my GoPro as I inflated my beloved Skywalk Cayenne 4 into the crisp morning air beside the Jasper Skytram. Happy Flying!
Fitting that today is Throwback Thursday, as I'm finally getting around to writing about last Thursday's fly day! As part of this awesome week/month/year I was approached by a girl who works for Red Bull about taking some photos for a special project she was working on. She asked me because Skywalk is a sponsor of the Red Bull X-Alps this year and I just happen to be a local Skywalk Team Pilot. She wanted some sunset shots if possible, which is perfect since the Bridal Falls flying site works best in late afternoon until the sun goes down.
She hasn't shared her shots yet, but I did get a screen grab from my trusty GoPro "shadow-bombing" her with my paraglider. You can't really see but she was laying on the rock right where my glider's shadow is. I flew for an entire hour back and forth in front of that rock at different altitudes trying to get her the perfect shot. It was a whole new style of flying - trying to stay at the same height for an hour was a cool challenge! That's one of my favourite things in this sport that keeps it exciting...you will never, ever know it all.
Last week was stellar...so stellar in fact that I'm just downloading pictures and writing about it now! Starting Monday after the workday was done, I met with Damian who is on his way to getting his HPAC P2 rating. He's the proud owner of a shiny new kit including a Skywalk Tequila 4 and Skywalk Cult harness, and within an hour he had gone from cautious to confident with his wing handling. I get so proud watching my students progress, and by the looks of Damian seeming determined to run right into the sunset, I think he's having a blast too.