Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let it snow!

The ski season finally started last Monday for Park City Mountain Resort.

Some images from around Summit Patrol

Monday night the resort threw a party for the staff.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Finally the snow is stacking up! Seems we always get a little more snow here in Parley's Canyon than the resorts on the Wasatch Back (Park City Resorts). This most recent storm system began Thursday and it's still dropping snow consistently. Overall storm depth - 17".

A few pics from around the house.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Extreme Holidays

Thanksgiving found Julie and me in the Midwest. Our families are scattered from Houston to Nashville to New York, and for a few days during the holidays, they all converge at our parents' homes like an organized army . They set up camp in every available niche of my mom and dad's house. This year there was even motor home that took part in the invasion. But despite all the madness and commotion, I wouldn't miss it for anything. Julies family is sedate compared to the Hibbard clan. We spent 4 days at the Hibbards and three days at the Cleeks.

My mother has hosted these thanksgiving dinners for as long as I can remember, and she's still making them happen.

Siblings and cousins.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The resorts are slowly opening, with minimal amounts of snow. Most are making snow. Park City Mountain Resort opening with a walloping 2 runs! But mother nature is doing her best to squeeze out a few storms here and there. Yesterday and last night we picked up about 7 inches here in the sub-division. I'm not sure what the total count for the resorts ended up being. Around 4 am the lake effect snow machine kicked in adding to the totals, but lake effect is so variable its hard to say who got what. So patience is the key, Im sure we'll get nailed here pretty soon! In the mean time, dreams of warm air and strong thermals. Or white storms and knee deep powder.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Southern Utah

This past weekend the crew headed south with hopes of scoring some off season soaring in St. George, Utah. Hurricane is just outside of St. George 15 minutes or so. A twenty + mile long ridge that runs somewhat east and west. I arrived early Friday morning and met with Greg. We arrived at launch were fellow Salt Lake pilots Shad, David and Steve were already set up. The southerly wind was picking up so everyone was scurrying around launch getting ready to get airborne. Shad was first off the hill and I followed close behind. Greg soon was in the air and we all three enjoyed the smooth ridge lift. The conditions were not as great as we hoped for, still we managed to log over an hour. Later Steve and David launched taking advantage of the days remaining winds.

Cody, Jeff and Greg loading up.

On Saturday the wind was not cooperating. When we arrived on launch it appeared as though it would be a repeat of the day before, but as the day progressed the wind became lighter and lighter.

The crew's enthusiasm wains in the late afternoon sun.

Jeff landing after his extended sled run.

The west end of the ridge.

Molly's Nipple

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some fine flying at Moma S

Saturday proved to be a great day on the South Side at the Point of the Mountain. Everyone was out. Eleven hang glider pilots! The air was butter in the morning, with hangs and bags filling the airspace above the ridge. Later in the morning the wind picked up. The bags packed up leaving the rest of the day to the dozen or so hang glider pilots. In the afternoon John Russell showed up along with pete Anderson - both in recovery mode. John recently recived a new Knee and of course Pete on the road to recovery from his towing accident this summer. All said, a great day of soaring!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday 11.02.07

A few pics from this evening at the Northside. Pretty much a repeat of Wednesday night, but a little stronger. I managed to log an hour and some change on the lower bench. Craig the dentist and Jeff flew as well. Jeff was able to bench up, later performing some wingovers for those on the ground.

A beginner pilot taking advantage of the smooth evening lift.

Val and John demanding Greg to launch.

A great night for the Bag people.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Little Airtime

I got out this afternoon and drove down to the Northside. Steve and Val were already set up and ready to go. As I was setting up, Val launched and within a few minutes benched up and disapeared into the gap. Things seemed to be getting lighter so I hurried to launch only to wait, for the wind began to lighten up even more. After ten minutes or so and a few cycles, it was evident things were dying off. I launched in the next cycle and for the next fifteen minutes scratched around flying in and around a half a dozen bags. I was pinned a few times at ridge level by the bobbling flying thingies before committing to the lower LZ. John Linndberg had a similar flight but was able to top land.

Possibly Friday will bring stronger north winds!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Of Moose and Men

Today ends the week long evac training at Park City Mountain resort. All said, most everyone finished well trained and ready for a lift to go belly up! During the training, there were quite a few stories about lift evacuations when the weather was horrid. A scenario no one looks forward to. The last few evacs at PCMR was during optimal weather conditions. I can imagine a three hour evac when the air temp is -10 and it's snowing - yikes!

In short, the rescue rope is thrown from the top of the tower and worked close to the first chair. The skiers are lowered in a chest harness. Through a series of semi-complicated rope maneuver's the line is moved down to the next chair and the process is repeated.

The skier is safely lowered.

One of our local residents captured this evening on my camera.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ski season approaching fast

The season is upon us! Today started the annual Park City Mountain patrol lift evacuation training. Over 75 full time patrolers as well as a few weekend volunteers showed up for this week long training program. The training includes rope ascending and other specialized high angle rescue tactics.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday 10.12.07

Greg and I went to the point Saturday morning and managed to squeak in a bit of airtime. We got there around 10am. There were several para's in the air along with John Lindberg, flying his Falcon. We set up and waited as the wind slowly diminished. Finally a promising cycle or two coaxed us out into the waining morning lift. After a few top landings things got real light and we decided it was time for lunch. After a quick Mc d's run we returned to the Point only to find the getting light trend continued while we were gone. We hung out for a while longer hoping the predicted pre-frontal winds would manifest. No dice! We packed up and headed for downtown where we sat in on a session of the semi-annual USHPA board meetings - interesting.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Now and Then

Finally I purchased a new (well slightly used) computer. I had worked myself into a corner with my old 350 mhz G4. I picked up a powermac G5 dual 2.0 gig beast, and it seems to be the perfect system for my recording project.

My current project should be finished by Thanksgiving, if all goes well. I will post some pre-production, partial song files on the blog soon.

For your enjoyment, a few pic's from the Valle De Bravo trip this past winter

Cody and Greg chillin' at Fly Mexico's lake front LZ

The lemmings all lined up

Bruce launches after the lemmings trundle off

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Change in the Wind

This past weekend we got slammed up here in Summit Park. I guess a little taste of what mother nature has in store. The snow was gone by 2pm, but it's remained unseasonably cool. However, Clay and I got up early this morning and ticked off a few routes in little Cottonwood Canyon.

A look out the the back of our house

Clay leading up some fine climbs in Little this morning

Friday, September 21, 2007

Last Flying Day of the Summer

Here are a few pics from flying at Inspo on Friday.

With the fall colors close to reaching their peak and the crystal clear air, the day was brilliant.

Cody had been in Park City for a conference this morning with plans to fly in the afternoon. Greg and I were eager to join him for an end of summer flight at Inspo. The conditions were supposed to be strong and pre-frontal, but the wind was light when we arrived at launch. A few bags were out in front staying up in the light lift, giving us hope. We watched as one bag thermaled out of sight in the cloudless pristine air. We were getting a late start, and on top of that Cody was 45 minutes behind, so he opted to forgo flying and drive for Greg and me.

I followed a bag off of the hill and into a nice cycle. The para found better lift out front as I was barely maintaining to the north of launch. I managed a few hundred feet over launch before the thermal fell apart. I ended up snagging a good core out front over the gazebo. I followed the light lift and drifted slowly back over launch and ended up at 11,500 ft above Cascade. In an attempt to capture a few shots of the fall colors, I flew south to the end of Cascade and over Rock Canyon where there was a high concentration of colorful trees. The air was a bit textured, but I managed a pic or two, then climbed out in a raspy little core to 12,500 ft. Greg launched, but in the waning afternoon light found absolutely nothing. It was his shortest flight of the season. He ended up landing in the bailout LZ.

I thermaled on Timp for a while, and with a glassy ride out over the valley the day turned out to be a 10+. I ended up landing in the big green LZ with an additional 2 hrs to log for the season.

The city of Provo

Looking south and over Rock Canyon.

Last week after flying Inspo, I asked Jeff why he didn't get on Timp after thermaling high over Baldy (a smaller mountain in front of Timp). He answered, " the closer I got to Timp, it was as though she was breathing on me - heavily". Today I noticed the same thing, but it felt more like she was exhaling violently. Must have been some sort of mixing layer. Regardless, after a few turns over the spine I felt unwelcome and flew west towards Baldy.

The gang ended up at the Spin Cafe in Heber for some good food and relaxation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lessons In Collision Avoidance

Yesterday part of the gang flew Inspo. When we arrived the wind was a bit stiff, and as a result a van load of bag pilots were calling it quits (and wishing they had hang gliders). Val, Jeff, Greg and I set up and within the hour I was launched. I was surprised to find myself scratching to stay up. I was soon over the sub-station near the bail out LZ, barely maintaining 400 ft above the ground. I was able to stay in the lift and climb high enough to fly near the the big green LZ. There I worked some light lift, but was soon making turns setting up my approach to land. The rest of the gang had better flights, but reported nasty conditions. Later Greg was heard on multiple occasions making "there I was" comments. Not too long after I landed, Greg and Val appeared high over the LZ. By that time the big green LZ was transformed into a soccer circus, with a few hundred kids playing and oblivious that soon they would be under attack from the air. With the LZ 75% obscured with kids, Greg and Val pulled of respectable landings and managed to avoid hitting anyone. After a two hour+ flight, Jeff showed us all how to thread the needle. Jeff landed well even though the number of soccer players multiplied.

Some of the kids were shocked as the gliders seemed to appear from nowhere. Greg on final.

A few shots of Jeff weaving through the maze

A couple of future pilots

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Space Between

I don't know if Dave Mathews meant for his song to be interpreted this way, but I'll take the liberty to believe right now I'm in the space between. The last week has been filled with far more work than play. Today I was working on a decaf at Starbucks when Greg called. He offered to drive down to the Northside of the Point where we could possibly cash in on a bit of much needed airtime. After several rounds of calling back and forth, we decided it was too late to make the drive down south. So I guess it's just more work until the end of the week.

A few Valle De Bravo pics from our winter trip to Mexico.

An amazing residence with some killer ironwork

One of my favorite memories of Valle. After a short hike one evening, I was rewarded with a great overlook of the town.