Hang Gliding OcTOWberfest, Summer Soaring
It's definitely been a season of "better late than never". We ran our first Novice Hang Gliding Class of the season in late August, the Mountain High Flight course in September and now OcTOWberfest on the last day of the month. Yes, OcTOWberfest will be this Saturday, October 31 at Infinity Flight Park. Towing will start at 9:00 a.m. weather permitting. Please text Kevin (403 507 0300) if you would like to come. He needs to know if he should set up one or two or maybe all three winches. Please text him by Thursday at 6:00. We will have prizes for target landing and if someone can find a thermal, they definitely deserve a prize. Come out and fly with friends as the season winds down!
Summer Soaring Hang Gliding
It was a summer to stay outside and what better way to do that than fly! Here are some high lights.
Golden had some good soarable days but you had to time it right. I saw a number of you out there on the four occasions I was able to make it out. At times the hang gliders outnumbered the paragliders!
I was doing a bit of coaching with some of last season's thermal course students. Conditions were a bit spotty and you had to be on it to get up. On one of the better days we saw Kyle climbing up above the bumps. I said to Chris, "forget all the other places I told you to look and go straight to the bumps." As he was doing his first turns in the lift, I was already getting my harness on. By the time I got out there he was 500' higher but the lift was still there so I banked it over and up I went. Chris was doing a great job of staying on top of me as I only caught an occasional glimpse of him.
I topped out at 10,500 and was looking for Chris to go and do a little sightseeing. I couldn't spot him so I cruised over the summit of Mt 7, the Willi's Knob and half way to Kapristo. Not a single beep so I flew all the way back to launch thinking this was not the day to go cross country. Over launch I circled right back up to 11,000' this time and once more flew over Mt 7. The air was pretty rough up high and since I had been in the air for an hour I headed for the middle of the valley.
About 1000' above the LZ my vario let out a single chirp. I eased the T2C into a lazy 360 and the vario kept beeping. This mellow thermal was a pleasant contrast to the turbulence I left at 11,000' so I just kept turning. I was able to climb to over 8,000' in the middle of valley and then headed to the Dog Tooth Range on the west side. I spotted Timmy over there about 500' below me and both of us were searching for lift. Timmy pushed deep into the Canyon Creek drainage but eventually we were both unsuccessful and headed for the landing field. It is a rare treat to be able to cross the valley and fly on the west side! Awesome to be able to stay up 1.5 hours.
Here is Chris' video. You can see in the video I already have my helmet on as I am helping Chris to launch so I can quickly follow him. I show up after the 9 minute mark for about 3 seconds, haha Thanks for posting Chris.
In September Kevin and I ran the Hang Gliding First Mountain Flight Course in Golden. Congratulations to Lorianne and Kurtis for getting their first and mountain flight in. The weather was so consistent that by the end of 5 days Kurtis had completed 9 mountain flights and Lorianne 8. Thanks to a bunch of you who came out to fly with the new students. The mountain flights were part of weeklong boot camp put on by Kevin. The weather couldn't have worked out better for the students.
Here is a video from Anton, during that week: Thanks Anton!