Halloween 2018. We’re Done Here…
The 2018 season got off to an early start this year with the Lookout launch accessible by vehicle on the May 21st long weekend. The remaining days in May proved to be perfect weather for a number of epic XC flights.
The month of June was predictably unstable with over-development by noon most days. Unfortunately the very few nice days were plagued with strong afternoon & evening winds. Not much quality flying to be had, particularly for paragliders.
Things began to improve in the last week of June and those lucky enough to have planned their visits for July were rewarded with excellent conditions. Virtually every day in July was on. Weather was hot and sunny with solid thermal conditions… …then the wildfires started.
August was essentially a bust after the first week. Smoke intensified to an unbearable level. Fires near Parson choked off all XC down range. Two fires started mid-month across the Kicking Horse river to the north putting the Mt.7 launch within the 5 nautical mile exclusion zone. The rains finally decided to show up in normally sunny September and did not let up for the whole month. While the endless rainy weather did dampen the fires, conditions were basically unflyable for all of September – really disappointing.
Early October saw a fair amount of snow fall up high making launch access a bit sketchy. The remaining days of October proved to be quite nice and a few die-hards took advantage of the good days to get some 11th hour sledders and extended sledders working the low ridges. The downside of the late season traffic on the access road was that the snow turned into ice making vehicle ascents and especially descents fairly sketchy, if not downright dangerous.
Snow is in the forecast in the next few days so, as far as paragliding & hang gliding go, I think we’re done here. Time to tune up the skis. See you next spring in Golden, BC!