Based on how long ago I posted my last blog, lots of people are wondering what is happening,
It was a very busy summer with paragliding, ultralight flying, working with TrappeurHomes.com and ColumbiaRiverPaddle.com. The summer flew by, and it is hard to believe it is almost winter.
Besides certifying new pilots, running a SIV at Whitetale Lake, doing “Discovery” flights with my Quicksilver ultralight, guiding in the Dolomite’s, visiting a SIV workshop in Annecy and attending the Nova pilots meet, I renewed my paragliding instructor rating and accepted the invite as a Senior paragliding instructor.
For my instructor re-certification course I traveled to Claudio Mota in Drayton Valley, AB. It was the best thing I ever did and was able to brush up my towing skills.
Everything feels like all the pieces are falling into the right places:
- Re-connected with my old friend Juergen Kraus to get all the support to run a “soft” SIV at Whitetale lake.
- Working more extensively with the Quicksilver in regards to Ultralight flying and instructions.
- Re-certification instructor course with Claudio Mota and brushing up my towing skills.
- Accepting the “Senior” instructor status to to be more involved with the HPAC instructor certifications.
- purchased a “Scooter” winch (650cc Suzuki)
- to offer another option to “foot” launch for supervised P2 flights.
- use the winch for teaching powered paragliding
- got approved as a Transport Canada Ultralight School in the Columbia Valley (Flight Training Unit #5031)
Based on all the above pieces falling in place, I have the following plans for 2017:
- For the 2016/2017 ski season
- signed a contract with Panorama Mt. Resort to fly tandems at least 5 days a week
- offer ski launch workshops
- offer supervised P2 flights for P1 pilots
- Powered Paragliding lessons
- Running Ultralight Ground School (min 20 hours)
- Practical PPG lessons
- Run a paragliding instructor course in the early spring
- Instructor course based on the on the minimum HPAC requirements
- Instructor course including ultralight ground school, HAGAR course and practical instructional tips (1 week)
- Run one P1 course through the College of the Rockies in early spring.
- Plan to run another “soft” SIV in May
- Explore the Alps tour in September
Happy landings to everyone and looking forward to the next season.
Max & Penny
It was pretty much a seamless switch from flying with ski’s at Panorama to Mt. Swansea in the valley.
In the mean team the College of the Rocky Mountains were hosting a couple P1 courses and we currently running a P2 program for the new P1 pilots.
Now coming up we are running a
Security In Flight and P2 flights at Whitetail Lake BC
Date: June 17th -19th
This unique opportunity to learn the dynamics and limits of your wing will be held at the beautiful private flying site of Whitetail Lake in BC. This site offers a generous amount of height to practice maneuvers over the safety of water. During the evenings, there will be lectures on cross country strategies, weather, and air regulations. There will be two instructors, a safety boat and video. There are also a variety of ways to participate. There is a maximum number of people that can take part in the course. All courses include shuttle rides to launch, life vests, two BBQ dinners, two breakfasts, and camping at Whitetale Lake.
We only have a couple spots left and they will run out fast.
Thanks again to everybody (pilots, family and friends) who came and made this such a special event!
We had 3 days of great flying conditions and one of them with lots of nice thermals. Frank Kernick, Deryk Yuill and Max Fanderl were able to fly out into the Windermere Valley on Saturday.
First prize this year was shared with Chris Wilson and Max Fanderl, 2nd was Frank Kernick.
A big thank you again to Sheri and Diana for all their help with registration and at the LZ, and also to everyone else who helped make this such a great event.
I would also like to thank Panorama Mountain Resort for supporting this event, and paragliding at the resort, for 19 years. The resort and all the staff are amazing!
Mark your calendars for next years meet, as it will be the 20th!
March 24, 25, 26, 2017.
Max, Penny, Katia and Erik
Today I had my oldest tandem at Panorama Mountain Resort.
We chatted at the ski locker this morning which turned into a tandem flight.
At the end of the day we met again at the ski locker to wrap up the day and he told me were else he skied after our flight.
WOW, I sure hope I will be able to ski all day when I am 80 years old.
You are an inspiration Tony!
What an incredible ski and fly season we have so far at Panorama Mountain Resort. Lots and very good snow and amazing flying conditions.
Due all the pictures and videos posted in the last month we have more and more people planning to come to Panorama to fly in winter.
To make things easier for everyone new and as a refresher I will post parts of last years post again.
All the best and happy landings
Max & Penny
Winter in Canada, for most paragliding pilots, means to either dream about flying or going south to find warm thermals.
In Invermere however, we are a bit different, as we are very lucky to have the great Panorama Mountain Resort, which offers downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, amongst other great activities, and also welcomes paragliding pilots.
January and February are super smooth months to fly due the cold dense air and it lets you enjoy the extra glide you are getting with it.
At the beginning of March, when the snow starts melting off the trees, you will see the beginning of the nice, wide and smooth thermals, and start doing your first XC flights of the year. The thermals are typically wider and smoother than in the spring and early summer months, as they generate from a bigger area (the trees), in comparison to generating from dry ground (the ski runs with no snow) and are great to work slowly into XC flying for the season.
We have been flying at Panorama in the winters for about 20 years, but it seems that a lot of pilots avoid coming as they are probably thinking of the cold, harsh winters of Alberta. Sure, it can be cold here too, but remember, it is usually about 10 degrees warmer on this side of the Rockies.
I would like to share some tips here in my blog to help others who are interested, and who were not able to be here for this weekend.
Panorama offers 2 launch sites:
- First choice. and most used launch site is 2/3 up the mountain at the top of Roller Coaster, below the outhouses. (870m vertical). This is where the Cappuccino Hut used to be for those who remember it! This is an easy, but shallow launch site and accommodates up to 5 gliders facing NW.
- Summit Launch “Roy’s Run” (1200m vertical) is a steep, wide open launch (up to 4 gliders, strategically layed out) facing W to SW. This launch is only for good skiers. It can be a tricky launch site to set up your wing as the slope is steep and the wing tends to slide down while you get into your harness. As well if the wind picks up at all, it will slide down too. Do not set up your wing at the very top of Roy’s run layed out on the “easy way road”. This will be conflicting with the ski traffic.
For the two different launch sites you need to adjust your launch techniques simply due to the nature which they are.
At the Summit takeoff, overall, the wing inflates very fast and will have a tendency to overshoot due the steep terrain. The summit take-off site does not allow you to make any mistakes as things happen very fast, and you can end up in the trees beside the run very easily if you do not work with the wing at the speed required.
If you are just getting used to winter flying, I do recommend to start 2/3 up the ski hill on the shallow launch. The tricky and unusual part at this launch is to lead the canopy for much longer than you are used to. Furthermore, you also need to be more patient and allow yourself and the wing to pick up speed for take-off. The takeoff process on skis at this launch site are way slower than you would do by foot. You should get into your harness as close as possible to the trailing edge and be a bit offset from the centre of the wing. This way as you turn downhill to start skiing you can ski (turn) into the position where you want to inflate the wing and be in the centre of your wing. If you start with tension on the lines, you might inflate the wing sideways as you stand sideways to the hill with your skis and might not have enough momentum to inflate the wing due to being sideways to the hill and with your skis on.
See the following 2 videos. One shows you when you do not guide the wing for long enough and not being able to get airborne, and the second video shows you how much you need to charge forward and patience you need to get airborne.
I want to thank Panorama Mountain Resort again for all their support to the pilots, for the sport, and allowing us to fly for so many years.
Please respect Panorama Mountain Resort’s basic rules so we can enjoy it for many more years.
- Novice Rating (P2)
- HPAC Liability Insurance
- NO Speedwing flying, Paragliding only
- All pilots to sign the 2015/2016 waiver
- Pilots are required to get in touch with Max Fanderl (max@flyingMax.com) to get the waiver forms
Please respect the following points:
- No flying over the bottom high-speed Chair (Mile 1 Quad) area at all.
- No landings at the village. Only land on designated landing site or on Golf course if it gets to windy.
- No launches after 3:00 pm
- Stay at least 150 feet above lifts and ski runs
- Pilots need to have skis or a snowboard to get a ride with the lift
- Contact RK Heliski before you head up the Mountain at 250 342-3889.
This is just to let them know we are flying as they will inform their pilots of the activities.
More detailed and current information about of flying at Panorama Mountain Resort is at http://www.flyingmax.com/area/panorama/
Here is a video of a flight from Panorama to Invermere
The Weather Network was checking out the weather station and snow reporting at Panorama Mountain Resort and found a exciting way to get down the mountain.
Very excited about the video below as I think this is exposing our sport very well nation wide.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from
Max, Penny, Katia and Erik,
We are having so much fun up at Panorama Mountain Resort and it is hard to do all the activities we like to do in one day.
Below is a short video of our annual Santa flying on Christmas day, followed with down hill skiing and than snow-shoeing which includes to shake as many trees as possible…
We call this now our Christmas Triathlon!
Seasons Greetings and a happy and healthy 2016!
Today, Dec 23 2015, the ski & fly season is now open.
This year the ski hill is in great conditions, not every year Panorama is able to open the “Sunbird” triple chair this soon.
Anyhow, no more excuses why you can not go flying in the winter. Panorama is supporting us a lot again this year and you will be able to get a Ski & fly day pass for only $30.
More detailed information about flying at Panorama is at
Here is my midlife crises convertible.
Check out our “Family flying over the Columbia Valley with my new “convertible” video.
Stay tuned for the next flying season as we will also be offering “Discovery Flights”
H-Hiking in the Purcell Mountains……
WOW, Heli Hiking?….
No, Horse Assisted Hiking
with www.AbarZ.ca is the ultimate way to hike above the treeline for multi-day trips. You only carry a light pack and horses carry gear, camping equipment and gourmet food, while you enjoy an rustic adventure as Trappers, Cowboys and Explorers did in the olden days.
What an amazing trip!
If you like to see more pictures, go to