Monday, February 21, 2011

Snowboarding at Lake Tahoe

Its about 8 hours drive from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe, but with chains installation and slow traffic just before the pass on highway 50 it took us 10 hours. I was at Tahoe before, but never ski or snowboard, so this was my first winter trip there. There are 10+ ski resorts around lake and my choice was Heavenly because of close proximity to Motel 6 in South Lake Tahoe where we stayed. Well, that was a bad choice. Conditions was perfect with a lot of fresh snow, but resort does not designed very well, it takes forever to move from one side of the mounting to another. You have to unhook board because trails is not steep enough. There are couple good, steep trails on Nevada side, but there is no lift in the bottom. You have to walk along park boarder to lift for 15-20 minutes. So, I had a mixed feelings: on one side we enjoined by fresh snow and some good trails as well as gorgeous lake view, but on the other side I was disappointed, Mammoth Lakes so much better in terms of park design and trails available.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 Monarca Paragliding Open

This was my second Monarca. Conditions was perfect as expected, we flew everyday and only one task was cancelled due to strong wind. I was much more confident this time in flying and stay around 45-ish place whole comp, but did not tag a start cylinder last day, so drop to 57 (out of 109) overall. There is no results for serial class, but my estimation is 28 (out 76 or so). I had one scary moment when trying to get out from cloud suck on big ears and went to deep stall -> full stall -> cravat -> etc. It was my first cascade on Venus-2, lost about 150 meters, but finally exit fine. Good idea was to apply speed bar with big ears, which could prevent deep stall in the first place, but I did not realize how important its to use speed bar with ears at that time. Now I know. Here is a video:

Valle de Bravo, Mexico 2011 from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.