Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Thermals are back!

We've had a pretty mild winter here in BC. In paragliding terms that's meant easy access to the launch sites (no snow) but also only sledders for the last 2 months. Ok, that's a lie. I've actually had a couple of flights over an hour but they were serious work. Tight, tiny bullet thermals off the clearcuts that you hog because they're the only things keeping you from the LZ, and then you end up with fingers & toes that have turned blue from the cold.

Fortunately last Thursday reminded us what spring has in store for us. Although it was an east wind day (which means challenging launches and weird areas of rotor) I found my first Happy Thermal of the year. It was just lovely - easily defined edges that let you map the shape of the lift, it grew stronger and wider as it grew taller and I could even sit flat in my harness & still go up at over 2 metres per second! It was like a gift after all those scrawny sharp pre-spring thermals we've had to deal with over the last month. I was giddy by the time I climbed up 600 metres over launch thanks to Happy Thermal and tried a little x-c upwind. No luck on my attempt that day, but that one thermal made this one of my favourite flights of the year so far.

Bring on Spring!