Swansea Hook XC

5 Feb

A short little cross-country flight on my Niviuk Hook paraglider from Mt. Swansea last July: 

A friend captured my launch off the summit of Mt. Swansea at Invermere, BC,  just before 14:00 on July 9th, 2010.  The air was a bit more dynamic than I expected, and I over-controlled a bit on the first correction after inflation. Fortunately I got it a bit more stabled out before lifting off.  I climbed out in a thermal to 2700m ASL, then tried to fly upwind to the north. After a couple of tries I made it to No.1, the next peak north, but it was a struggle.  Trying to get to No. 2, I started to get low, so I gave up and headed out downwind over the golf course to get under a low, circling glider.  I got in that thermal and climbed from 1500m to 3000m (nice view of Assiniboine to the ENE), then pointed straight down the middle of the valley following Highway 93.  Just past a low rocky knoll with a radio tower on it, near Lyttle Lake, I squeezed out a top-up to 2500m and went on glide toward Fairmont Hot Springs.  Heading toward the airfield, I called in my approach on my aircraft handheld and made a left-hand circuit to a grassy touch-down beside the mid-point of Runway 33.   



The subsequent exchange with the aircraft manager sitting in the shade in the sweltering heat went something like this: 

“Where’d you come from?”

– “I just landed on [runway] 33”. 

“I didn’t hear anything.  Where’s your aircraft”

– “Right here (pointing at my large bag)”.  

Long silence, raised eyebrow. 

– “It’s a paraglider.  And I’m a licensed pilot.” (So relax already). 


The 3-D GPS tracklog of the flight is on paraglidingforum.com. 


Seconds after launch:


Looking north toward peak No.1  (lower right)  and No. 2 and No. 3 (middle):


Mt. Assiniboine rises above all in the distance to the ENE:


Heading south, with the Fairmont airport way in the distance:


Getting low… I might have to land in one of those fields ahead of me:


Thanks to this rocky hill and knoll for triggering a thermal for me:


Ahh, that’s better, now I have a chance of making it to Fairmont:


Happy boy!


“Fairmont traffic, this is hang glider Sierra Alpha Mike, 1 mile to the north at 5.0 (thousand feet), inbound for landing, any conflicting (traffic) please advise.”






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: