Thursday, June 23, 2011

Neck Deep in Hang Gliding

I've had a good week being surrounding with good people and immersing myself in hang gliding. Dustin, jeff, and I have been cranking away building as many harnesses as we can. It has been fun working with friends and producing a product that people all around the world are excited about. Of course some days we bail out early when the cu's start popping. If we're building the product, we gotta use the product.

We found ourselves back at the training hill helping Jeff teach Justin and Sara. They both did great and are fast on their way to flying. It brought back fond memories watching them train and get excited about the sport. Even Jeff and Dustin snuck in a flight when the wind came around.

The other night a few of use headed up the hill for an evening flight. Dustin had been working all day while I was having a tattoo worked on, so we were looking forward to the evening soar. Nicky had high hopes of getting a tandem flight with Jeff that night as well. Conditions on top were light and looked like a sled ride. Didn't matter though, it was still flying and my first flight in a new harness. Jeff let us know he was heading back up, so we set up the gliders and started punching off the hill one at a time. They were all short flights, but still very satisfying. I think Nicky was the most satisfied with the flight. There is nothing like seeing someone who has just landed, buzzing from their first flight.

Dustin slaving away

Jeff working an inner shell

Jeff, Sara, and Justin

Sara working on launching skills

Justin's first flight

Myself on launch (courtesy of Tamar Kasberg)

Dustin just off launch (courtesy Tamar Kasberg)

Jeff and Nicky (courtesy Tamar Kasberg)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Remembering a Friend

Today I woke to heavy thoughts of life and death. It has been exactly one year since my friend Chris Spurgeon died skiing Lolo Peak. I've thought of this day for along time. What should I do in memory of Chris? I always thought I should head back to the peak and ski the line he died on, but now that this day has come, it just doesn't feel right for me to return. Friends are on their way up there now, but I feel it would be better for me to loose myself in my memories of Chris while I'm alone. Regardless of what I do today, I'm going to bliss out on life, which is exactly how Spurgeon liked to live.

Yesterday Dustin, Jeff, and I cranked away building harnesses while it rained outside. Eventually we reached our breaking point and went for and evening walk around blue mountain. The skies opened up allowing for a spectacular sunset and we all relaxed soaking in the beauty of our surroundings.

Lolo Peak

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Climbing and Surfing in SoCal

I just got back from another trip to Santa Barbara and as usual, I had a fantastic time. However, our original plans were shut down by weather. With a forecast of thunderstorms in Yosemite, we turned our attention to climbing at Tahquitz and surfing. We got a little climbing in and a lot of surfing. That was fine by me since I can climb all the time. Its not every day that I get to go surfing. And damn its fun!

Doing what we do best, enjoying good wine.

Brad racking up for Tahquitz

Brad playing with is new travel Martin nice.

Sunset view from Tahquitz

The summit of Tahquitz

Yesterday back in Missoula, the weather cooperated and a bunch of us got a great flight in. Conditions didn't look to promising with a slight overcast, but there was still plenty of lift in the air. We raced around the hill for an hour or so and all landed safely. I thought to myself how great life can be when two days ago I was surfing with dolphins 30 feet away and then come home and get to surf the sky with bald eagles!