Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canadian Paraglider Road Trip 7/98

I thought I would share some very old times & Pics with everyone since our present days of high winds are relentless & will not let us fly any time soon. This was my first road trip to Vancouver BC with Reaper after we first met him, also the original Cowboys: BJ, Nalu, Mad Dog. We also brought a new pilot to drive for us after his morning sledders on our X/C adventures! Anybody remember the Yeti?

Our Canadian road trip started in Vancouver BC where we all met up partied hard & flew 3 days in a row at Grouse Mountain, then moving on into the enchanted Fraiser Valley. Here we camped at a fantastic lake at Chilliwack BC for a few days (Yeti got his name here posing in front of a Yeti wood carving that he looked as twins to). From here we flew Woodside where I was able to core a thermal with a fairely large bald eagle, also flew Bridle Falls where we all piled into 4WD truck of Thin red Lines Max to head up to launch & all us Fat Bastards broke his leaf spring as I recall.

Before leaving the Fraiser Valley we all hired a Helicopter to fly 8 of us in 2 trips to the top of Mt Cheam 6800' where I took my first high altitude flight up to 12,000' a 5,200' climb! Big for me at the time...The Yeti took the early sledder down with legs wide & flailing & too scared to turn in the huge thermal he was in, good thing as he retrieved us from our 15 mile flight to Hope at the end of the Fraiser Valley, valley winds! WOW! at LZ. Then we drove overnight to Golden BC where we camped for the night.

Hanging a few days in Golden just prior to the Canadian Nationals we partied hard as young monkeys do & flew like the wind! Our Epic flight from Goldens Mt 7 on the Continental Divide was my 2nd high altitude flight & my longest X/C of 45 miles, we got up to almost 13,000' & flew south down the divide to just past Edgewater BC where we all landed in a 40 mph gust front! Which is another story all together...Yeti retrieving us yet again, yes always bring a beginner pilot who is very happy with morning & evenning sledders to pick you up mid day on the X/Cer's.

Hope you enjoyed the pics to side track us through the windy days of no Para Monkeying aroung. Full Torpedo's Ahead!!! Eye Eye Mate...

Aloha Mad Dog


Anonymous said...

Mad Dog... I'll happily volunteer to be your next did say there would be beverages correct?

Great story!


Mad Dog said...

Full Torpedoes Ahead!!! Yes always.
If the wind keeps up for days I'll try to scan my old pics from the "99" Red Bull Wings Over Aspen PWC which was a one month road trip with Da Boyz

Gravity said...

Great idea Maddog. Boy does that bring back memories...

Remember Bj going into Mountain Sports at Grouse mountain and the clerk walked up and in a perfect Canadian accent asked Bj "Where boots ya from?" Bj says "Yup, thats what we came here for". We almost died laughing from the two of them standing there staring at each other.

You guys as P-2's were allowed to fly at Grouse, and they said I had to have a club member sign me off and they wouldn't let me fly as a P-4 instructor without a guide. So, I snuck up the mountain with another local pilot with no hooks as arms, and we did an illegal tandem flight with the Grouse crew chasing us. What a hoot!

Afterwards we flew in the valley and ended up at the Sasquatch Inn for drinks. There was a wooden statue of Sasquatch and Aidan from Kailua Sailboards was the spitting image. Turned out a local drunken logger was the portrait for the carving. We laughed our asses off.

We got to Mt Seven in Golden, BC and found ourselves staring at CuNim clouds that eventually turned into thunderstorms so we launched early and did high wind sledders, the next day we launched into 2,000 fpm thermals to 16,500 ft cloudbase and then flew mile after terrifying mile downrange. I did a 38 mile tandem with T White( I was forced down by my passenger after she witnessed her boyfriend getting collapses), Nalu and Maddog flew something like 60 or 80 miles, and BJ was too scared to land so he flew over 100 miles until the 40+ mph gust front hit him. he then was pinned againest a fence while the owners huge dogs growled at him and the Haji owner pulled a shotgun on him wearing a turbin. All he wanted to do was get down and pee. Another good laugh...

Aidan and Maddog left the next morning after a crazy night of drinking at the local logging bar and threw my drunken ass in the back at 4:00 am. I woke up in the van, engine running, parked at the airport front doors 4 hours later with no gas, and no bloody wallet. Oh my head hurt... 4 hours of driving back and we flew again.

The next couple of days Nalu, BJ, and myself drove to Chelan where we had more epic flights, including my personnel best flight ever from Chelan Butte to Brewster field where I was still at 10,000 agl at 5:00 pm when Nalu called pissed off and told me to land, get back to Chelan (hitchhike) or he was leaving me as they had to catch a plane in Vancouver the next day. UGH!

A couple of days later and I headed to Europe for 4 months of epic flying living in my van. Another story.

My advice: Grab a bunch of knucklehead pilots, fly to strange place, rent a van, camp, and fly your ass off! Doesn't get any better than that for adventure...

MauiDoug said...

What a fun trip you guys! Hey Mad Dog did you find the fountain of youth somewhere along the way?

sandy said...

I remember the Yeti well and my awe at the original tellings of the adventure as it was just one month after I learned to fly. It's great to see your pics -- but where's the one of Aidon with the totem!?!?! I've always wanted to see that -- or maybe the resemblance only works with Jaegermeister spectacles so better to keep it a mystery?

Reaper, you should post your video of BJ and Nalu's "raft" ride, music and all -- it's a hoot.

So where do you propose next Maddog? Owens Valley? Dolomites? Himalayas?