Thursday, May 21, 2009

What a great long weekend we had....

What a weekend we had.
Our x-alps expenses was growing bigger than expected. Frank (former supporter) and Trayce came up
with the idea to have a x-country challenge combined with a fund-raiser party at their house during the May long weekend (May 16th and 17th).
The x-Alps will cost us in excess of $20.000.00. The main costs are for airline tickets, car rental, gas, maps, travel expenses and equipment (e.g. wing and hiking gear).

15 pilots showed up at 9:00 am Saturday morning at Frank's place. The task was easy, walking up Mt.Swansea (about 10 km) then flying to Radium Hot Springs and back (26 km).
It was pretty funny to watch some faces drop when they heard the word "walking". Anyhow, we did not ask for any entry fee, but if you wanted to get your gear shuttled up, it cost you $10 or $20 if you wanted a ride with your gear.
7 people hiked up without their wings, 2 with the wing (Steward Midwinter and myself), and the rest got a ride up. Most enjoyed the hike and might even get into "hike & fly" in the future. Flying conditions were strong and not easy, but
5 made goal and one flew even further (Steward Midwinter).

After flying, we set up for the party with 100 Bratwursts, 50 Hot dogs, 100 Hamburgers and 3 keg's of beer. Frank
was not just offering his house, he also donated the live Band (Electric Squires from Banff). These guys were great and played until the police asked them to stop at 1:30 am.
All in all, it was a great party and a ton of fun. Over 200 friends and neighbor's showed up. The food was gone in 2.5 hours, the face-painters for the kids worked overtime, the beer was gone just before midnight and we raised just over $10.000.00 with the cover charge, silent and live
auction. This is just amazing, thanks a lot all the people helping at the party, donating products and services (see companies listed here), Frank and Tracye to host the party and to everyone for coming. The people who could not make .... missed a good one.

Sunday was kind of slow going.
Thanks again to everyone helping to clean up Frank's house in the morning. After that, no one was interested to walk up the mountain again and I was on my own (as usual) The flying conditions were trashy and the flights did not last too long and I seemed to be the only one making goal to the Lakeside Pub.

Here are some pictures at my Photo Gallery
If anyone has some more pictures, send them to me and I will add them here

Again, thanks to everyone

Max, Penny, Katia and Erik

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

what harness should I use?

Besides the wing, the next most important gear to choose from is the harness. This was quite a learning curve and I think I got now what is best for me.
First I used a Apco AirChair with a front container and somehow I felt there must be something better out there in combination as a back-pack and harness. I tried a couple and either they come with a smaller pack-pack, or they turn out to be to heavy and bulky or where not good to fly for my kind of flying style. I almost went with a light harness and a good backpack, but until today I could not find a comfortable enough backpack.
Here is what I ended up with now. I am using a Apco AirChair with the reserve under the seat. This version is about 0.250 kg more then with a front container but is very comfortable and easy to get in and out without any straps and container to work with. In total this harness is 2.9 kg including a big backpack. The backpack was not the most comfortable pack but with a couple straps it makes the pack very slim and easy to carry.
After I decided to use this harness, Vincene with gave me the harness as a sponsorship. On top of that, she also donated a beginner lesson for 2 for our silent auction at the fundraiser party coming up.
Thanks a lot Vincene,

also a big thank you to all the local business donating products and services for this fund-raiser party. See details at