I’ve been flying my paraglider a lot lately; aiming for 5 days a week, usually getting at least 4. It’s starting to pay off.
In the past few days I had one mission accomplished where I launched from a lower point (we call it the bailout because it’s where you bail out if you botch your regular launch) and then top-landed at our regular launch site, a hundred feet or so higher.
That’s the view from the bailout; the normal launch is off to the right, up that dirt road. Launching from the bailout and climbing up can be difficult because there’s less compression of air coming up the hill, so it’s easier to “sink out.”
While it’s very condition dependent, launching from the bailout and then top-landing is considered a useful skill and a reasonable metric of your ability as a competent pilot.
I knocked another item off the list this week when I crossed over the valley from launch to a place called “El Capitan”, so-called because of its likeness to the far more famous and much larger version up in Yosemite.
Making the crossing is committing; you have to make sure you’re high enough when leave one side of the valley to avoid hitting power lines on the far side of the valley.
Once you get to the far side it’s usually easy to climb up; the cliffs are pretty steep, the air flow is smooth, and the compression is good.
Cool to tick off two wickets in a week. Mainly it’s confirmation that lots of conscious practice is what it takes to get good at something. It ain’t magic, it’s just hours in the seat.
Here’s to your success no matter you’re endeavor!