HANG GLIDING

 ...  an awe-full thing to do with your spare time.

Special Note: If your bookmark has brought you here, you'll be much better off going to HERE. This host (Sympatico) has proven to be completely inadequate so I have moved to a different web space. (You may find that not all the pictures and links work right on this page.)

In '93 I attended an introductory lecture at U of  T by Michael Robertson. I was hooked. I signed up for lessons. I bought the books. I read everything I could get on the subject. I bought the calendar. Hell, I even bought the little hang gliding toy.

My first flight was about 4 seconds long. Not much. But I had launched, flown, and landed. Successfully. And that was all that mattered. I had flown the wind.


I learned on Centennial Hill in Toronto's west end. Later I started "towing" with High Perspective (ext) in Pickering, just east of Toronto. Mike has a stationary winch in a huge field with 7000 feet of spectra line on it. Normally you hook up to about 2000 feet of line played out across the field(s) and when you're ready that ol' winch will start pulling you, like a kid running and pulling a kite into the air. Except you are on the kite. At 800 feet you release and enjoy the view; and the sled run back to mother earth. By "stepping" you can get as high as 4000 feet; but typically 2200 feet. Very cool.

OK, Here I am about 1500 feet over the High Perspective tow field (Lloyd's Field). You can see the barn. the club house, a couple of cars on Hwy.7, and 2 of many gliders at the north-east launch point. Note the big dark cloud encroaching from the west. Just my luck.


HANG  GLIDING   TRIPS

Florida  (1998)   I really didn't "get it" until I spent a week at Quest Air (ext) in Florida in February of '98.. There I got some serious altitude. Like over 5000 feet. I learned aerotowing but I also learned flying techniques because all flights are tandem until they pass you. I have a whole separate page on my first annual getaway which was a hang gliding trip to Florida.

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California   (1999)   The next year near the first of March, I went to the San Bernardino Valley in southern California. I met up with Rob and Dianne MacKenzie of High Adventure. They were great. The site was Crestline/ Marshall (they have a common LZ) and it's a beauty. I flew every day except one. Topped the week off with a fabulous 2 1/2 hour flight at cloudbase. Came home; wrote a few stories about panic,  passion,  and such. Suffered from permagrin for about 2 weeks.

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Georgia   In the spring of 2000 I hiked it on down to Lookout Mountain Flight Park in Georgia. I drove down, so it was nice to be able to take all my own gear, and then some. I met people from all over the world. And I performed my first ever cliff launch. I was nervous and dry-mouthed for that first leap, but after 4 flights I was an old pro. The flying was good; and yes there is a story. But it was the people that made this trip really sing.

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Arizona  Late summer of 2000 we had an INTELEC conference in Phoenix. Wendy and I took the opportunity to travel around Arizona a bit. Didn't get to the Grand Canyon but we thoroughly enjoyed what we did see and do. I even got in some hang gliding at Mingus Mountain. Awesome!

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Golden, BC  (2001) The Canadian National Hang Gliding Championships, along with the Paraglider Championships and the Western Canadian HG Championships were all held close together before and during the August long week-end of 2001. Great experience and lots of fun. I hope you enjoy reading about my trip to Golden.

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Lumby, B.C.  (2002) The Canadian Nats again. Had a great time. Read all about it if you can hack another hang gliding adventure.

SOGA   (2002)  Just a short trip to Teviotdale, Ontario for the annual SOGA hang gliding competition.

Lumby, BC    (2003)   A return trip to the beautiful Okanagan Valley for the Canadian Nats. Had my best flight ever.

SOGA COMP (2003)   A cloudy story with a silver lining. Aug.2/03.

The Florida Ridge    I finally got to check it out on a very short trip to Mimi's in Naples.

The 2004 Canadian Nationals in beautiful Lumby, BC.   A return trip to the Okanagan Valley.

Florida 2005    Canyons in the Sky.

The 2005 Canadian Nationals   Good clean fun in the Okanagan Valley.


Here's another shot of me over Lloyd's Field. I'm still on tow. You can see the bridle, 'biner, and tow rope 'chute. See those little cars on Hwy.7 ? Now look south at that big ugly scar for the new 407. Off in the distance is Lake Ontario. Hazy, though, eh?.

Lima India November Kilo
Radiotelephone Word Spelling

A few more Hang Gliding Links


If you have ever fanticized about drifting in the air over your house, your local park, or some more exotic place, then this activity can fulfil your dream. If you've ever dreamed of soaring over the country side soundlessly on gossamer wings then this is the sport for you. If you've ever watched the birds - I mean really watched them -  and wished that, just for a few minutes, you could fly with them, then this is the discipline for you. Because hang gliding does not just lift your body into the air; it lifts your spirit. This is the discipline of soul soaring.


And  it's much easier than you think. It is not the extreme sport that is commonly perceived. In fact, I believe, that under the right direction, it is so safe that I had no qualms about encouraging my daughter, my niece, and my sisters to try it. And they did. And they loved it. And here's the picture to prove it.


In July of 2001, I did a little more aerotowing. First since '98 in Florida. It was at Teviotdale with the SOGA club. It was my first time aerotowing in Canada.


Hangies love to look at the sky especially when it's doing something wild. Here's a collection of unique cloud formations and other things that I call SkyShots. Hope you enjoy.


 

Here's a little pic I took while hang gliding on one of my trips.

Do you recognize it? If you've ever been there, you'd know it right off. Send me an e-mail with the right answer and win a prize. (This contest not open to friends, family, or Terry Lavictoire.)

What's the prize; you ask? Well, it's so valuable, it could save your life. Yes, a free hang check. Bonus!

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This picture sums it up. It is one of my all time favourites. It is a picture of Nelson Howe high over the Rocky Mountains near Aspen, Colorado. Photo by Nelson Howe.Favoutite HG pic.


Impressions: I collect  little stories and impressions from various people who find ways to express their feelings and responses to Hang gliding. The general consensus is that words are inadequate.          (I'll expand on that later.)


Some try so hard, ...          ....  and to others  it just comes naturally .

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April 5/00 and July 13/00.

TR
Revised slightly December 26/03.

And again on Dec.7/05  -  TR