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Today I had my oldest tandem at Panorama Mountain Resort.
We chatted at the ski locker this morning which turned into a tandem flight.
At the end of the day we met again at the ski locker to wrap up the day and he told me were else he skied after our flight.
WOW, I sure hope I will be able to ski all day when I am 80 years old.
You are an inspiration Tony!

Back flying the Babin Air Cessna again.
Had an amazing flight with Tony and Pat in the early morning around Mt. Farnham and checking out some bad ass climbing routes.
Than it turned out that we needed to pick up a new van for Columbia River Kayak & Canoe in Edmonton. Dave flew up with me from Invermere to Edmonton via Banff and Minnewanka Lake and on my flight back I flew from Edmonton to Rocky Mt. House along the Saskatchewan River to Golden and home.
Life is awesome.

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Our 2.5 month South Africa family holiday was a blast and it was a very cool experience for the kids and me to get to know Penny’s stomping ground.
Thanks again to everyone we met and from Penny’s very close family members and friends and flying friends, you all made this an unforgettable holiday.

In my previous post we posted already a lot of pictures of the safaris and more and here just a couple more flying videos from the Garden Route.

 

Happy New Year!
What a great way to start the new year!

A great family day, 2 awesome tandems with Katia and Erik and Penny had 2 superb flights as well.

Brent and Tanya had their first flights of Panorama Mountain Resort.… well done, it was a lot of fun!

The video is Penny flying with her Ion2.

20141225_153526A Merry Christmas and a happy new year from

Erik, Katia, Penny and Max.

“Time is like a flowing river, no water passes beneath your feet twice, much like the river, moments never pass you by again, so cherish every moment that life gives you and have a wonderful New Year.”

 

Are paragliding competitions good or bad?

I used to hate paragliding “comps” (competitive events), but started to enjoy participating in them since I was at the”Serial Cup” last year in Slovenia.

The main reason why I did not like them is that you had to fly a hot glider and the guy with the biggest balls had the best chances. This statement can easily backed up with the accident statistics.

At the last years “Serial Cup” it was fun, safe and very educational as the tasks where designed for average pilots flying average wings.

Following are some questions which cover what I like and not like about competitions.

Why are we going to competitions?

I think to have fun, meet new people, measure your self (same category of wings, tasks and conditions), experience and share the same with your peers.

What do I not like about competitions?

Can easily push you flying in conditions you normally would not fly in. It also can make you use equipment you should  not be flying and can make you a nervous pilot.

I just came back from the Canadian Paragliding Nationals in Pemberton.

I only could join the event for a couple of days as I needed to head back to do my part for the upcoming www.LakesideEvent.com. Pemberton is a great site and has super nice people. Thanks again to everyone for your hospitality and kindness. I loved it and and I will be back again.

Now thinking about the Nationals a couple days after, the only part I did not like too much (and this has nothing to do with the site and organizers) is that the Nationals are advertised for everyone, but the tasks are designed that only by about 10-20% of the participants make goal. Less then a quarter of the pilots were using the high end “D” wings which do have a definite advantage to finish the tasks and a big part of the remaining pilots get discouraged. It was interesting to observe how many people measured themselves in what they fly and how a lot of others where not so proud to state they would “only” fly a “B” rated wing.

I think the overall concept of Paragliding competitions need to be evaluated.

Right now we do have a hand full of pilots training for competitions and using the best available equipment, then we have the “wana be” comp pilots flying wings they should not fly and then we have the average to good pilots flying “B” rated wings.

If I would compare this to the car racing world, this would mean our competitions are done by Formula 1 pilots, “wana be” Formula 1 pilots/wings, “standard sports car” wings and pilots.

Seeing it from this perspective, this does not make a lot of sense.

I am all for the “Formula 1” races (wings/pilots) and they should compete at the “Paragliding World Cup” series only and the rest should focus on the main group of people the organizers are advertising to.

With this statement, I like to stress that I am in full support of the organizers of the current Canadian Nationals in Pemberton, but I think we need to re-think to who we want to cater our only official Canadian Paragliding competition to, in the future. I think we have a lot of recreational Canadian pilots who like to go to a competitions to learn, have fun and maybe to evolve into the professional paragliding circuit.

 

For the last 4 years I have now guided several Dolomite Paragliding tours for www.BlueSky.at. Susanne and Stefan decided to offer a Canadian Rockies Paragliding tour this summer and within a short time the tour was sold out.On June 14th Nathan and I headed to Vancouver to pick up the BlueSky group (15 pilots incl. Susanne and Stefan) from the Vancouver airport. The group was a mixture of couples and guys from any sort of life and varying from a wide range of ages (up to 72 years).The first stop was Pemberton. The weather was not favorable for flying, so we spend the 3 days doing the tourist thing in Whistler and checked out the new launch site Jim and Corinne (and local pilots) are setting up for the coming up Canadian Nationals. The next stop was Vernon. We got some nice flights going from “King Eddy” (near Vernon) and at “Coopers”(in Lumby). The 3rd stop was in Golden followed with an evening flight at Mt. Seven. Part of the group stayed at Hugo and Brandy’s place and at Sandor Lake. We got one day of good flying conditions in Golden and spend then a day for Lake Emerald, Moraine Lake and Lake Louise and other attractions within the Banff and Yoho National Park. The last stop was in Invermere with a flight from Mt. Swansea and other local activities. It was a great 2 weeks, to get more details about the tour, simply check out the

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pictures below.

Click here for more pictures from BlueSky.at

It is already March and very soon the flying season will start. In April we will start to do our first xc flights

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from Panorama Mountain Resort and once the road is open to Mt. Swansea (beginning to mid May), flying will be at its strongest season.To keep us up to date on Reserves and getting some reserve tossing practice in, we headed to Calgary last weekend and attended the “Reserve Clinic/Repack” with Muller Windsports. They had a great turn out and it was super to see people we have not seen for a long time. Something that came to mind when discussing what radio channels to use and how to react when someone comes down on a reserve, was my SPOT. I suggested to use a SPOT and to have the “Golden flying website” add a page where every pilot can register their public SPOT URL. With this system, pilots flying XC can be located and one can see where he/she is currently flying or hiking and their “OK” or “HELP calls. Strangley enough I received a very negative response to the SPOT, which left me a bit confused, as it seems to me, an obvious choice in locating pilots. At the completion of the clinic, Bruce Busby, who was one person who thought it was a great idea, discussed this option further with me. He is considering presenting it to the HPAC board to see if this could be implemented on the HPAC website. The SPOT is great to locate someone for a rescue, but how many times do we worry about others as to where they are and if they need help or not? Now if this gets implemented to the HPAC website, everyone could see where pilots are, if they are okay if they had to land way back in the mountains, or had to use their reserve, or simply need a retrieval after a long flight. Thanks again to Vincene for hosting this great event and thanks to Bernand for repacking both Penny’s and my reserve packs so quickly, in order for us to get back to Invermere so soon for another event!

 

 

The DiscoveryChannel came to Invermere to report about “Gigantic” things. We thought that gives me some good reason to get some more airplane hour under

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my belt. The WhiteWay (19 km) is going for a Guinness record as the biggest maintained ice rink. Nick Bernzin and my self started the idea and and connected the right people to make it happen several years ago. Who would have thought it would get this big? You can see the episode form the Daily Planet at http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/#clip619031 Here are a couple pictures we took from the air.

Happy New Year / Einen guten rutsch in neue Jahr

We wish you all a healthy and successful 2012.

Wir wuenschen allen ein Gesundes und erfolgreiches 2012