Sunday, January 18, 2009

Postfrontal Pickle

A strong north day lured eight of us out to Dillingham. Maui Jon and Jeff kindly drove us out to the switchback ridge in their jeeps, and we bushwhacked our way up the hill through dense vegetation to three different ridiculously steep and snaggy spots, none of them remotely suitable for safe launches. Nonetheless, five of us managed to escape the surly bonds to enjoy sweet long flights in strong ridge lift: Jorge and Frank got away from one spot, me and Jon from another, and finally Berndt got away from a third one. Jeff, Jim and Maui Doug didn't like the odds for safe launches up there, and made the always excellent decision to hike down. Thanks to Frank for making the call. And thanks to Jim for the cold beverage!


Anonymous said...

Minor correction: I finally gave up on the launch I had cleared as it was too wind-shadowed and the 12 ft vertical cliff a cuple of inches behind my heel was a bit disconcerting. Made it down to Franks launch which was not any bigger, but as I was about to call it a day, the wind picked up by just a little and I was able to get a couple cells inflated and then wrestle the rest of the wing up into the airflow.
Lost my virginity three times in one week: got some head at Koko and Diamond, and now, finally, a taste of the pickle. Even Britney Spears can't do that!

Alex said...

Berndt, it took me a few days but I finally get your Britney Spears joke. Whew, I'm slow but I get there.

I am so glad you persevered that day - it was agonizing to see your wing arranged and re-arranged over that steep cliff face for so long, but I was equally anxious about what the hike down might be like. I hate to say it, but thoughts of hiking back down through that steep undergrowth were a big motivator for me to get launched at all costs. My first attempt was a disaster, and my wing draped over a dense grove of haole koa below my launch hole. After what felt like an hour of unsnagging and detangling, I finally tried again, and thankfully made it out. But I could hear you breaking branches, and also cursing and shouting somewhere off to the side and I thought I had a good idea of what you might be dealing with. But only after I got airborne did I really appreciate the challenge of the spot you were in. Nor did I realize you ended up hiking down to Frank's spot. Is that the same spot where Maui Doug is standing in the photos?

I guess it's like they say - what doesn't kill you makes you strong. I'm definitely stronger for each flying attempt I've made at Kaena Point.

Anonymous said...

I have the scars and puncture wounds to second that sediment. But, wow... once in the air that was some of the sweetest flyin I have experienced on Oahu!

Alex, thanks for letting me go first and holding my wing up slope. Still buzzing from this weekend.

Maui Jon