Saturday, August 26, 2017

Elsinore to Brewery, 60 km

I rare fly Elsinore, but when conditions is right it's a great site. This day was no exception. Launched at 12:00 and got to 10K over the lake transition was easy. Another 10K climb before Soboba and then getting super low near Yucaipa. Drifting with some lift postponed my landing, but not too much. After I connected with main ridge strong SW wind eventually put me to the ground, just 3 km short from Hangar 24 brewery.


Gliding from Lake Elsinore

Lake Elsinore

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Canadian Paragliding Nationals 2017

I was planning to fly in Canada for awhile, in fact we visited Pemberton for 1 day in 2013 during our road trip across Western America with my wife, but that was like preview or movie trailer. This year I had spare time in summer due to job change and a perfect chance to visit Canada for longer time participating in Canadian Paragliding Nationals 2017 in Pemberton, British Columbia and then The Willi XC Challenge in Golden.
Pemberton valley
First was logistical challenge, since flight to Seattle was half price of flight to Vancouver. I also decided to camp, so need to pack camping gear into my glider bag. It kind of worked out. I took a train from Seattle airport to downtown. It was very interesting feeling when I sit on the street with local Seattle homeless with my huge backpack waiting for my friend Andrew, who eventually picked me up and provided a shelter before we went to Pemby on the next day.
Flying south from Pemberton
Overall competition was great, we had 4 interesting tasks, but unfortunately all of them was in Pemberton valley. It's understandable, since sending 84 pilots to other valleys with potentially long hike out and long retrieve was a burden for organizers. You also probably don't want to meet Grizzly bears inhabited local forests. Safety was the priority because last time competition was organized in Pemberton in 2012 there was a fatality when John Clifford was drown after landing in Lillooet River.
Flying in Pemberton
My personal performance was great, overall I was 12 out of 84 pilots. The key was to always stay on full speed bar, no matter what. It took me few days to learn local tricks from my friend Igor, who scored 9th overall, flying on Skywalk Cayenne 5 and he was disappointed!


Golden valley was also very impressive with higher mountains and more possibilities for long flights. But there was multiple fires in the area, which become worse every day, so after few days, I decided to get back home early. Still managed to have few awesome flights.
Smoky flying 
Certainly have to come back for Pemberton and Golden exploration outside of comps venue, to be flexible and explore nearby valleys and areas.