October 28, 2013

Olu-Deniz Speed Flying

After procrastinating for the past year, I finally edited the mountain of Gopro footage that I took while flying in Turkey last Fall. I went to Olu Deniz for two reasons: 1) to take an SIV course with the renowned Jocky Sanderson and 2) to learn to fly smaller wings. The venue was ideal for both and it was not uncommon to log 4-5 flights / day. In the end, I managed 90 flights during my time there. It's hard to imagine a more idyllic flying / vacation venue. There's even good rock climbing nearby! I hope you enjoy the video. There's a good sand crash at the end if you make it that far.

October 27, 2013

Canadian Alpine Journal 2013 - Baffin Island Base

The back cover of the 2013 Canadian Alpine Journal. I took this photo in May 2012 while working on a film shoot in Baffin Island. The jumpers are Timmy D, Jesse H, and JT Holmes. The location is the Shark's Fin in the Sam Ford Fjord. Thanks to Sean Isaac for editing the journal and using the shot!

We skied three great lines on this trip. Here is Josh H and Josh L in the Polar Star Couloir.

The interminable Jimmy Chin climbing the AC Cobra.

The AC Cobra is the highest line stretching in to the clouds in the center of the shot.

Josh L near the top of the Cobra.

Jesse Hall at the top of the Cobra.

JT Holmes before jumping off the Shark's Fin.

A foreshortened view of Carlyle's Couloir that Josh Lavigne and I skied on the last day of the trip - named in the memory of Carlyle Norman.

October 15, 2013

Climbing on the Howser Towers in the Bugaboos

Climbing fixed ropes to the top of the Central Howser Tower with Pigeon Spire in the background.

Well, another summer guiding season has come to an end and the countdown is on until the heli-ski season begins. For this year's final gig, I was lucky to team up again with some of last year's Baffin Island crew for a spectacular film shoot in the Bugaboos. The plan was simple: land a helicopter on the top of the Central Howser Tower, rappel down a few pitches, set up a portaledge, get some footage with the helicopter, jug-up and fly home. But as the saying goes, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Or more aptly, until the weather shits the bed and the helicopter can't get the shot or even pick you up...  On day 1 of the shoot, most of us thought that we would be spending the night shivering on the Tower when the clouds enveloped the peak and the wind started to howl. But with the sun setting in the sky, the convective activity broke up and the pilot was able to pluck us off despite the high winds. It was an impressive piece of flying and we were all grateful to make it back to the lodge. Needless to say, I really appreciated sleeping in a bed that night.

Coming around to the East side of the Towers (lookers right).

The frosty west side of the Howsers (North, Central, South and the Minaret) from left to right.

Jeff R rapping down early on day 1.

Rapping down to the ledge on day 1.

On the final day of shooting, we broke through the clouds and had the best view of the Howsers I've ever seen.

Morning light on the Howsers.

The newest landing in the CMH Tenure.

The call sign says it all - FNOB. Paul Maloney Photo.

Bird's eye view of the landing on the Central Howser Tower. Paul Maloney Photo. The small dug-out circle on the looker's left made for a relaxed perch in an otherwise airy place.

On the final day of shooting, we were forced to haul the ledge above the clouds so the helicopter could get the shot.

Jeff R jugging to the top.

Looking across at the South Howser Tower.

FNOB passing in front of Pigeon Spire.

Shots in the can and going for the top.