The paragliding scene is growing quickly in Canmore--when I first moved to Canmore there were only two or three active pilots, now there's around 20 of us at various skill levels. It's gotten to the point where I'll see gliders in the sky and not know who it is, almost strange, grin.
To help both the newer pilots and visiting pilots I wrote a short Canmore Paragliding Guide. It has useful weather links, hike descriptions, etc.
Kim and I are over in Golden getting an air fix. Kim had her longest thermal flight yesterday morning, and another good one in the evening. One of the great things about Golden is the morning and evening thermal action, nice and relaxed but still above big terrain. I had big plans to fly off into the wilderness after flying about 60K down to Parson, but it was a bit high pressure, the thermal were topping out at about 10,000 feet which is low for Golden (but still 7K over the valley). I ended up cruising down to Radium, 90K, in around three hours, then spent a half hour soaring a small road cut in town just above my chosen landing field. The hawks and ravens were also playing there, I really enjoyed messing about low with the birds. I'm often pretty goal-driven when flying, yesterday the goal wasn't smart to chase but the flying sure was fun--saw some goats on an alpine ridge, got a good view of the Bugaboos and Assinaboine, nice to just turn some circles and groove on the mountains.
Today also looks good, so Kim and I have stayed in Golden. Maybe today will be good for back country flying. I've got a strong desire to try a new back country flight, we'll see.
I managed to stay reasonably fit during the Paragliding Nationals in Quebec through going to the Allez-up gym in Montreal, but came down with yet another case of Crud on the way home. This is the third time in six months I've been sick, it's getting old. Anyhow, didn't train for a week but then got after it with Kevin at Grassi, a couple of good but short gym sessions and then a trip up to Planet X in Cougar Creek with Scott. I think Planet X is the best crag I've climbed at in the Rockies, it's a lot like Rifle. Not very many routes yet, but the potential is amazing. Scott redpointed Sticky Buns, a super-classic, congrats to him. I had a go at on-sighting it but pitched off, I'm not at that level yet. I managed to redpoint second go with Scott's helpful beta, then decided to get on Fudge Packer, which is named after Derek, a super-talented local who actually makes fudge as his primary job. Anyhow, it destroyed me, feels very hard. I've only ever climbed one other route of that grade, Fudge Packer is savage. I'm going to try that again. Managed to do a victory lap on Sticky Buns, I'm looking forward to going back up there with Scott, who plans to bump it up a letter grade and do Shooting Star, one of the best 13a routes anywhere.