Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

The last couple of days, Penny and I have been talking lots about the upcoming xAlps, starting in a couple of days! We have lots and lots of great memories. What is going on there right now? … everyone is now in Fuschel am See, checking in, going through the safety and race meetings, working on the final touches of their gear, going over the route again and again, meeting fellow pilots, supporters, photographers, runners, and you name it…. It is a huge family!

We feel very privileged to have competed 4 times in the race. The xAlps helped shape us into who we are, how our relationship evolved, and what our family is today.

Yes, we would love to participate again, but we also know how much commitment it takes to be there and we are now at a different chapter of our lives. We created lifelong friendships over the years of racing, and we learned a lot, but it was time to move on, and pursue other goals and adventures in our lives.

Our thoughts are with everyone there, as well as Hannes’s family and friends, being the first race without him. It won’t be the same, and he will be sorely missed.

Penny, the kids and I wish all of the xAlps teams, the competitors and supporters, and everyone involved in the race, all the best, good health, and a lot of fun, in the very unique and personal adventure of the 2017 Redbull X-Alps!!! (www.RedBullxalps.com)

 

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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 DSC_0290registration 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

20160327_125248Click here for more pictures

 

 

DSC_0370Merry 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!

 


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This years Lakeside event was an amazing event with great people and a awesome party and dinner.
Instead of writing about it, have a look at Danny Wolf’s video to see our playground and mark your calendar to come for the 40th annual Lakeside Splash down Aug 6th 2016.

Well done Danny

Thermal & Cross Country Clinic
June 26-28
Thermal & Cross Country Clinic with Max Fanderl

Max flying over Chisel Peak

This Thermal XC Clinic will help pilots who have never flown in thermals, and those who want to perfect their technique. Pilots gain a huge amount of insight and knowledge by the end of the clinic allowing them to take their flying to the next level, and start working towards Cross Country flying. Here is a list of some of the topics we cover in our thermal clinic.

Will offer Google Earth presentations, including track logs and XC maps, on the most popular XC routes in the Columbia Valley, BC.
There are so many topics to cover over a weekend clinic you will find it to be a very rewarding experience regardless of the weather. You can bet when a good flying day presents itself we’ll head up the hill and plan an XC route for the day.

Happy landings
Max

Winter in Canada, for most paragliding pilots, means to either dream about flying or going south to find warm thermals.

Landing on skisIn 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.

panorama ski flyingFor 17 years we have been flying at Panorama in the winters, 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.

About 6 weeks ago Mark Damm, from Cochrane, asked me if I would run a Ski-launch workshop at Panorama, as he and a couple of his buddies would love to learn. We scheduled the workshop for Friday Jan 9th evening, and 2 full days of flying on Jan 10th and 11th.
Pilots came all the way from Saskatchewan, spending 11 hours getting here, and the others were from Alberta and BC. The evening session on Friday was held at the Station Pub. Thank you for the private room and the excellent meals and service.

We discussed different launch techniques with skis and reviewed XC flight planning. Saturday and Sunday brought fantastic mid winter weather conditions, and pilots had up to 6 flights a day. All in all we flew lots, had a lot of fun throughout the weekend, and watched 15 pilots flying and landing with happy faces and we all made new friends and meet some great new people.

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.

tandem ski launch on Rollercoaster run at PanoramaIf 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
  • HPAC Liability Insurance
  • NO Speedwing flying, Paragliding only
  • All pilots to sign the 2014/2015 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/

More pictures about the ski launch workshop at
https://plus.google.com/photos/107366320201211493303/albums/6104683265941420513 

Here is a video of a flight from Panorama to Invermere

 

Winter here in the valley is not boring at all,Here are some pictures from a flight off Mt. Swansea with the Canadian flag and landing at the start of the Winter Festival and the Annual Bonespiel.

Click here to see more pictures.

Check out this video about our Whiteway (right in front of our doors)

 

Are you still flying in the winter? This is a question asked every year

I still hike up Mt. Swansea and do the odd flight through the winter, but most of the time we head up to Panorama www.panoramaresort.com and fly at the ski area.
We love skiing and flying there, and the resort is very generous to us pilots, and guests seem to really enjoy watching us soaring the skies.

Christmas day, Penny and I flew, dressed as Santa and an elf. We landed at the day-lodge with a good crowd of kids and adults waiting for our arrival. (click here for more pictures)

Over the Christmas holidays, we had beautiful weather and very good flying conditions, and were even able ridge soar.
Our New Years flights were fantastic and I really enjoyed the footage and the picture Penny took when I flew with the Canadian flag.

 

 

We have had several more flights since new years, with a lot of other local and out of town flying buddies joining us. If you don’t have any plans over the next couple of weeks, consider coming for a ski & fly at Panorama. More information is at my website at http://www.flyingmax.com/area/panorama/ 

If you have not heard yet, the annual Panorama Easter Flying Meet, which is usually held the Easter long weekend, has been moved  to March 28, 29, 30th. Because Easter is so late this year, we had to re-schedule it. For those of you who have never come to the event, you don’t want to miss it, and for the those of you who have, I know we’ll see you back again.

 

 

The xAlps finished Friday July 19th at noon. This is 12 days after the start and was the minimum time set for the race. Crigel Maurer set a new record and finished the race in just under 7 days and it took more then 2 days longer for the next guys to arrive in goal. From the start, I felt pretty good and was very happy with my pace and performance until I had to do an emergency landing past Innsbruck (by Seefeld) into restricted airspace and I received a 48 hour penalty. I could have done a tree landing (in very rough conditions) on top of a ridge to avoid the penalty, but I decided to land 500 meters lower, and to my disadvantage, safely in a field. The good part was that Christa Vogel and Juergen Kraus (flying friends from the 80’s) lived near by and we could enjoy visiting them and were treated with their amazing hospitality. It got even better as the kids just showed up for a visit and stayed with us for the 2 days. It was fun to invite all the other competitors for a snack or meals while

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they passed us, or landed in a field close by. After 2 days of watching 13 pilots pass us, we had to refocus and get back into race mode. Thanks again for the mental support from Stewart Midwinter to be able to start my own race and adventure from that position. We came from the very back of the pack (only 1 hour ahead of the last person) and fought ourselves into position 23. I was enjoying being in a close pack with such a great group of people/pilots and I was always close to my good friend, Andy Froetscher, who finished 17th. I was hoping to finish the race with him or better. Overall, it was an amazing race with very good flying conditions. We experienced a lot of set backs due the lack of local “area” knowledge. It was very frustrating thinking you know where thermals “should be”, what ridges and terrain would work better than others, only to find myself flushed down from 3500m to the ground and ended up having to hike up very high mountain passes more often than the “locals” The good weather also brought a lot of windy and dangerous conditions as well. We had flights in plus 50 km winds, in rain and thunder storms, but at the same time we had some long flights (one over 150 km) flying over glaciers and very beautiful terrain. We had hikes in areas we never would have gone to and met such a wide variety of people along the way, some who we’re sure were the start of a long friendship. All this would not have possible to do without the support I received. Thanks again to Mik Broschart for all his technical support, and who drove with his “fancy” RV and made it possible that Penny could walk and fly most of the route with me. Penny did an amazing job as a pace setter, along the flats, up the mountains, and because she figured she needed more of a workout, she’d run back down to the valley!! My stats for hiking was, 6 km/hr, 471 km distance and 40 km elevation gain. I would say that Penny did at least 90% of that, plus going down, cooked dinners, cleaned most of the dishes, checked weather, and was up earlier than Mik and I everyday to have breakfast ready, and everything ready and prepared for the day ahead ….. she is more then living up to her name (Powers). I would also like thank everyone who cheered us on and supported us throughout our training and during the race, A photo gallery will follow soon.

1031 km, as the crow flies, is the distance of the 2013 route of the xAlps. This is a lot of terrain to cover and hard to navigate by foot. Many people question how would one conquer this task, and how would one complete it. When spectators, such as non paragliding pilots try to answer this question,most of them might think of hiring guides. Some might even think that, given a chance and ability, it might be easier to paraglide across the high mountain passes rather than hike them. This might be correct if you are at the right place at the right time to take advantage of good weather conditions and flying possibilities. These variables and the present physical/mental condition of the athletes, make the xAlps such a popular and interesting race for anyone to follow, whether you are a participant/athlete in the race, a paraglider pilot or only a spectator. Every athlete has a live tracking device with them and the athletes can be followed throughout the race live at www.RedBullxAlps.com. In 2011 the race had over 2 million visitors on the website following it. It is very interesting understanding the perspective of the performer/athlete and also the perspective of the viewer/observer. The observer is entertained by watching the tactics of the athletes and tries to figure out the decision making of these performers. As it often is, the observer seems to know best what the performer should do! We hear it all the time. In sports, competitions, watching a movie or a play, the commentators and spectators feel they know better what the performer should be doing. And quite often the observer might have a better idea of what is going on and see the overall picture, and how to proceed with it. At the same time however, an observer is often surprised by the performers decision as the observer does not always know what is going on in the performers mind, their entire “game plan” and also the physical and mental condition or background knowledge of the performer. To assist an athlete/performer with the overall picture of how the event should be played, we use coaches/leaders. A good coach/leader helps to eliminate or reduce overall difficulties or problems, work on different tactics and is a liaison with feedback from supporters

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of what the performer is doing. The use of coaches in the sports industry is very much accepted and they play a huge part in all sports. The equivalent in the business world, would be a mentor. If you think about, a good manager should be the coach/leader, however, we see it all the time, the manager is also performing and can have a hard time seeing the overall picture. Even in our private or family life we could use a coach, who simply can be a couple of friends to talk to. For my preparations in the race, I always try to step out of the current situation I am in, and try to watch my actions from the outside. Sometimes I envision myself sitting in front of a TV, watching the event play itself out, and try to analyze this situation as an observer, coach, commentator or spectator, and in that position think about what the right decision will be for the next step. Trying to evaluate oneself like this, will only work to a certain extent. The xAlps race is not only about the pilot/athlete. It is about a team working together to achieve a common goal – getting the pilot to Monaco. I have to say that I am very fortunate to do the xAlps with my partner Penny, as she is a very good coach and motivator and the best of all is that we both have so much fun while preparing for the xAlps and then racing. In the 2013 xAlps, a team will now be allowed to have 2 supporters, which could, or might, make things much harder, as we know that too many chefs spoil the broth. But if you have the right team players, you quadruple the benefit. Penny and I are very excited that we found the best 2nd supporter/coach we could ask for. Mik Broschart is a long time friend, has a lot of connections, knowledge of the race and the sport, highly motivated, got the time and got the support from his family (thanks again Kristine) to make Team Canada complete.