December 30, 2011

Back in the Bugaboos

Flying around in the black and white. I went so far as to strap myself to the outside of the helicopter to get this shot.

Well it's been a long time since I penned something and wanted to put out some photos before the New Years coma kicks in. Two days after returning from Colombia, I started work at CMH Bugaboos and have been here ever since. The skiing has been nuts so far and we are currently in the midst of a three day storm that has dumped about a meter in the hills. Thank you El Nina. You are welcome here anytime.

Happy New Year!

Jay shredding the home drainage

Tina on Black Forest

Jay takes flight

Lauren on Black Forest

Skiing an old burn


Lots of face time

J Mac on Grumpy's

J Mac always brings the correct form

Christmas Day - the last time we saw the sun.

December 06, 2011

Colombia Country Side

Alaska Ben at a local market near Chicamocha Canyon, Colombia.

After a few short flights last Sunday, we jumped in the van and drove out of town to Chicamocha Canyon. The canyon is rumored to be the second largest in the world (after The Grand Canyon) and boasts what is also rumored to be the longest cable car on the planet. At first, I was skeptical about the cable car claim, but after riding in it for 30 minutes each way, I am a believer. Part of the canyon has been turned in to a National Park in recent years and it is a cool place to behold. There is also good flying in the park although it might be a little macho for the rookie pilot.

Gateway to the National Park.

Our host - Team Richi - with Chicamocha Canyon in the background.

The unofficial longest cable car in the world. It goes all the way to the ridge in the background.

A cool statue in the park.

Local mercado.

A tasty corn concoction. 

Local game of pick-up football.

Tile work at the mercado.

More tile work.


This guy recently showed up at the fly-site hostal looking to take some lessons.

Aerial view of the market.

December 03, 2011

Learning to Fly

Looking out at Bucaramanga from the Las Aguilas Launch, Colombia

For the past six days, I've been hanging in Colombia and learning to fly. Buca is a really good, consistent place to learn with strong thermals in the morning, good ridge soaring in the afternoon and excellent debauchery at night. After a day and a half of ground handling, we did our first flight - a five minute sled ride to the landing. Since then, we've managed twenty flights up to one hour and fifteen minutes in length. We've also bumped up against the cloud base and accomplished a few entertaining top landings - all good fun for a radio controlled monkey! Looking forward to four more days before heading home for the long, cold winter. 

Busy day at the launch.

It took me 17 flights before I felt confident enough to take a photo.

The shuttle-bus manager.

Lunch time at the villa.

Advanced maneuvers.

Post flight.

Cool evening light at the LZ.

During my first hour+  flight.

Gettting picked up just before the rain.

A quiet moment at the launch.