I took delivery of a new Nova Mentor 2 paraglider just before the final weekend of skiing at Panorama Resort near Invermere, BC. Good timing, because that weekend was our annual Easter Fly-In (a little early this year). So, after a speed-wing flight to dust off the mental cobwebs, I was back at the Cappucino Hut launch location with my brand-new wing, ready to fly it for the first time. Conditions were ideal all day long, with light winds and a few weak thermals to add some excitement mid-day: on my third flight I was able to circle for 10 minutes in one location (see all those red circles?) :
I’ve put together a short video bringing together elements of the three flights, hopefully giving you an idea of what it’s like to fly at Panorama. Oh, the folding wing tip? I was testing out the behaviour of the glider, simulating the kind of effect that strong turbulence could have. The glider did pretty well: even with nearly half the wing folded, it showed little tendency to dive and roll. I like this!
I cycle to work every day through downtown Calgary. My commute takes me under 10 minutes, as I live close to my office – less than 3 km – so this is clearly the best way to get to work. If I were to drive a car, it would take at least twice as long, or longer, and cost me up $6000/year in parking. Taking the bus would be cheaper, but again, much slower. And neither of those two options are as much fun as riding my bike!
Here’s a video clip showing my daily commute. Now, when riding a bike I’m definitely paying attention to my surroundings, unlike some of the motorists I encounter. In the video I comment on some of what’s going through my head while I’m riding, and text captions indicate some of what I’m doing on the road. Your thoughts?
A little surprise awaited me for my morning commute: 25 cm of fresh April snow.
Well I must be some kind of fool to be going back-county skiing only 3 days after an invasive surgery procedure, but with winter coming to an end, time was of the essence. Plus, I had an invitation to check out a new line in the Kootenary Park burn. So on Friday April 1st, I met up with ACC Calgary Section member Julie Muller and we drove out to the park, stopping just north of the Vermilion Lodge.
The snow on the lower slopes of the mountain was fairly baked and crispy in the early morning, but the higher we climbed (slowly), the better it got. Near the top of the range we found caribou tracks and knee-deep powder – too deep, in fact, for the shallow slopes there, and we had to pole our way over to the steeper slope of the main face. That was so nice we had to do two laps of the upper mountain!
Then we located a clear “ski run” down the mountain which was untouched. From mountain-top to road-side was about 1000m, so, lots of turns were to be had. And thankfully, the weak sun had softened up the snow at the bottom for our cruise back out to the car.
Here’s a video excerpt of the day’s skiing: