Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Naming Trees

Summertime rocks. I love the sun, the heat, and the easy-going attitude everyone seems to have this time of year. The flying can be good, and even when it bakes out and you're spending your whole flight bobbing around just below launch at least it's warm & beautiful.

Last night I had a flight like that. Took off, got just above launch height & flew off to the next ridge hoping to do a mini x-c along the range. Spent 20 or 30 minutes trying to get back up to launch height & finally had to surrender and go tank up at launch. The "knob" at launch is pretty much a guarantee to get back up, but on certain days it can involve about a million passes back & forth until you can scratch your way back up. Worth it in the end but definitely an exercise in patience! Yesterday I must have spent 20 minutes trying to gain 200 metres of height, so along the way I decided to start naming the trees. After the 846th pass, I had a whole story made up. See that tall tree over there? That's Princess. She's being watched over by the evil scraggly tree Prince Na-thorn-ial. If you can fly over to rescue her she'll reward you with a beautiful thermal, but if the Prince catches you he will release the dragon & slay you & send you back to the dungeon.

Ok, so maybe I was going a little crazy, or maybe just dizzy from all those figure-8's I'd done to try and stay aloft. I could've just given up and flown out but I wanted to work on my endurance too. My goal is to do big x-c's and enter more comps, and I can't expect to stay up for 3+ hours when I'm only doing 20 minute flights in the stable air at home. So instead I'm working on improving my scratching skills, endurance & patience (and of course, my story-telling ability).

It looks like it's time for a real-life adventure. Soon. Before the trees start talking back to me!