Posts Tagged ‘paraglding’

12466020_10154090121292069_8195084440770983282_oWhat 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

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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 flyingWe 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.

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.
This is why we position our self for the launch position 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

 

 

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.