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Showing posts from 2014

Paragliding World Cup Superfinal

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Task One was cancelled due to unsafe conditions for launching. We had a nearly constant tailwind on launch and a few wind dummies, who successfully launched during short breaks in the tailwind, could not climb above launch height.
Stable conditions during the second and last practice day produced light thermal and leeside conditions. The air was textured but still enjoyable.

It was too windy to fly on the first of two practice days. Instead, we explored Pamukkale.

Twenty seven hours later, home feels far away.

The morning sun arrives, lingering fog retreats, and I begin the long journey to Denizli, Turkey.


It is time. At some point, when there is nothing left to prepare, you have to leave. I cling to the relative comfort and certainties of home, wonder why I feel this incessant force pulling me towards the sky, and feel sad at the thought of leaving family and friends. When the time comes, I go anyways.

Not There, Here.

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'Just a short flight to test my harness.', I thought. My Gin Genie Race 3 had arrived and I was eager to fly it. My local site, Grouse Mountain, produced unexpectedly magical evening air that gifted me with an exploration into the deeper valleys, far from roads and landing fields. I had a rare close up view of Crown Mountain and even Mount Perrault at the deepest.

The return to civilization was tense, for a time, when I faced a headwind lower in a valley. With only steep rock faces and a sea of evergreen below me, I skipped my iPod Shuffle to a super chilled ambient downtempo track: High As We Might Be by Kalpataru Tree, from the album All Things Passing.

I breathed deeply, and focused on finding lift. 'You're not there, you're here. Fly this.', I reminded myself. In a challenging situation, I sometimes begin to fantasize about a situation less challenging, that I would prefer, than to give all of my attention to what is happening now. How did this happen? Why am…

Lillooet Glacier

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This is my most remote moment while flying a paraglider: the far end of a 120 km out-and-return flight.

Despite the cloudless sky and haze, turbulent thermals lifted me to 3000 metres. I moved from one peak to the next, into ever increasing remoteness. Without an engine, using only nature's energies, I smiled often during this magic carpet ride with my Boomerang 9.

The electric feeling of adventure, loneliness, exhilaration, peace, anticipation, and vulnerability, is difficult to describe adequately.

I can say that I am grateful for this day.

Zorah Peak

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A 80 km out-and-return paragliding flight from Upper MacKenzie launch near Pemberton, BC, Canada.

During the most remote part of the flight, I met Zorah Peak. Far from roads and landing fields, underneath lay only snow, rock, old forest, and a raging river. I shivered uncontrollably at cloudbase and felt a tingling tension low in the valleys.

But by evening I was back in Pemberton, packing up my wing in the warm grassy landing field, watching students having short practice flights, and smiling to myself about how amazing the flight had been, as the sun set.



Mount Cheam

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The Halkomelem name for the peak, Theeth-uhl-kay, means "the source" or "the place from which the waters spring". For the Sto:lo, the peak is the "mother mountain" or old woman overlooking her children dwelling in the valley. Lady Peak, to the south is the old woman's dog. Cheam, the official name of the peak, is the Halkomelem word for "wild strawberries."

During a 60 km triangle paragliding flight in the Fraser Valley I had the opportunity to climb the north face of this majestic mountain.

Never Come Down

A five-minute day dream into to the green, blue, and white sky para-dise. Filmed during the 2013 Paragliding World Cup Superfinal, in Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brasil.

Despite all the controversy surrounding the event, we got to race paragliders with our friends, through a magnificent sky. Two weeks, 50 hours, and 1000 km of celebrating this amazing sport!