Friday, August 22, 2014

xAlps or not

The application deadline for the xAlps is coming up soon and the big question is, are we going to apply again to represent Canada in the race?
It often crosses our minds, especially during the race, why are we doing this. What pushes us to train so hard, spend our "holiday savings" on it and dedicate so much time and energy in preparation and during the race?
There is something very special about the xAlps, and something that  no one will really understand unless they are part of it. However, one of the reasons for participating in it, is the adventure, which I share with my partner (Penny). The other is the mental aspect of the race, and to be able to do things you dream of. Many of which are hard to do on your own. Also the whole atmosphere of the xAlps, which includes everyone from the organizers, volunteers, supporters, sponsors and competitors. They are all like family or brotherhood, and everyone we have met over the years have played some sort of roll in our life, whether it be during the race or afterwards in a continued friendship or mentor.
We are very proud that we have been accepted/invited 4 times to this amazing race, to experience the adventure, and to meet and make so many new friends.
Since the 2013 race, many new things have happened in our lives. Last October, I started a new business ( with a good friend, Aaron Cameron, which has taken off in a big way. It has been a lot of work, but a lot of fun at the same time. Furthermore, I have decided to get back into Ultralight flying and teaching, and we are looking to get a float plane to explore the mountain lakes around here. Also on the agenda for next year is a holiday to Penny's "homeland", South Africa and experience the African life with the kids. Penny has recently also finished a refresher in open water sailing and she wants to go on a sailing trip with the kids for a couple months too.
As you can see, with all this, and focusing on the new business, we will not have the time and dedication for the preparation and participation in the 2015 xAlps. For this reason we have chosen not to apply to represent Canada in the next xAlps.
This decision was no an easy one, but in reality you only have so much time in day and instead of spreading ourselves too thin with all these plans and projects, something had to give.
Thanks again to everyone who has cheered us on and supported us over the years, and who keep following our adventures through the available social media.

Max, Penny and the kids

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Webcam and Wind meter at Mt. Swansea

Late last fall we already installed the webcam and wind meter at Mt. Swansea. for a test run. Over the winter the battery got drained and froze up and the webcam and wind meter went into hibernation.
A couple weeks ago I carried up a new car battery and the system woke up and is running fine since.

Thanks to Jan, job well done. Also, please see all the credits in how this project got established and funded at

We plan to have the webcam and wind meter running from mid April to mid November and shut it down over the winter
Besides the 2 webcams, we as pilots certainly enjoy the 2 wind meter links. One is to show the actual wind directions, speed and gusts and the 2nd with a 24 hour history to see what the overall wind development is.
Jan is also working to create a page to view more historic data over the month to come.

Check it out at


More winter flying in the Valley

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)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flying to Powder King

Aaron Cameron, my business partner with, Chris Wiegert , home builder in Columbia Valley, and I did a business trip to Powder King (near Mackenzie) and rented a Cessna 172 from for the 680 km trip.

There is nothing better then flying in the pristine Rockies Mountain trench in the winter. There are no words to describe the beauty, vast, wild and untouched landscape and even the pictures are not doing justice either.

Skiing at Powder King was fantastic. Amazing hosts, super nice people and excellent snow.
Thanks again to everyone making us feel so special.

We had to change our flight plan on the flight back due unsettled weather and it turned out to be a very exciting and scenic flight back via Prince George, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Revelstoke and the Rogers Pass.

What a trip, can't wait to fly there again!

Click here for more pictures.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Are you still flying in he winter?

Are you still flying in he winter?
This is what I get asked every year, specially when it gets very cold.
I still hike up Mt. Swansea and do the odd flight in the winter, but most of the time we head up to Panorama and fly at the ski hill.
Panorama Resort is very good to us and they (and their guests) enjoy watching us playing in the sky.

At Christmas day Penny and I landed at the day-lodge with a good crowed of kids and adults while we landed as an Elf and Santa Claus, which was a lot of fun. (click here for more pictures)

Over the holidays, we had very good conditions and we could even ridge soar.
Our New Years flight was fantastic and I really enjoyed the footage and the picture Penny took when I flew with the Canadian flag.

We had several more flights since new years with a lot of other local and out of town flying buddies. If you have no plans for the next couple of weeks, consider to come for a ski & fly at Panorama. More information is at my website at 

P.s. if you have not heard about it yet, we will have our annual Panorama flying meet (usually during Easter) March 28, 29 and 30, if you have time, come and have fun with us.