It’s the classic story of the right guy in the right place at the right time.
A bunch of us had gathered at Elver Park to play with the north wind on the sledding hill. Everyone was enjoying fun 10 to 20 second sled runs from top to bottom. I also had a couple students there training. As we played the winds would routinely change direction and speed, indicators of thermal activity. We could see the cumulus clouds grow in number and size. Not surprising as it was a sunny spring day after all.
Mariyan, our paragliding instructor, launched his “C” rated wing from the top of the sledding hill just as he has done hundreds of times before. Only difference is this time he bumped into the leading edge of a blossoming thermal about halfway down the hill. No stranger to thermic flight, he tugging a little brake and leaned into it trying to make the most of it. The thermal was a bit rowdy at first but took him about a hundred feet up rather quickly. He we wrestled with the air some more and worked his way even higher.
By now, everyone on the ground began to notice that this was already an epic flight. Even the disc golf players took interest. Mariyan did his best to prolong the flight. He worked his way back and forth and round and around to get the most from this gift. He was doing so well I actually entertained the idea that he might be able to continue all the way on up to cloud base at one point. Of course all good things come to an end and eventually gravity won. Mariyan glided back to land at the bottom of the hill as usual knowing this will most likely be the longest flight taken at the sledding hill for years to come. In the end he spent roughly 3 full minutes in the sky above the park. Congratulations Mariyan!!
In other news:
Curt, David, Adam and Dmitry all made long cross country PG flights last week from the tow road. Curt ended up traveling the farthest of the group at around 30 miles. The others weren’t far behind. Way to go guys! Keep pushing those flights!
Steph has gotten serious about training. I spent a day with her kiting at Elver. Best of luck Steph!
Mike B, Josh Y and Jack V all began class this past couple weeks. Welcome guys!
Rod drove over from Iowa with the nicest built Gravity Defiant I have ever seen. He has spent countless hours customizing his paramotor. Every detail is custom colored. This thing is an amazing show piece. He even fabricated a swinging hitch rack for his SUV. So impressive. Well done Rod!
As much as possible training an flying continue in every opportunity we are given in this windy spring.
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Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict