First Complete Crossing of California's High Sierra- paragli

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 103 of total 103 in this topic
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 3, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
FIRST FULL HIGH SIERRA CROSSING ON A PARAGLIDER

Here is the link to the video (might have to copy and paste)- https://vimeo.com/69642110


http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/772824

The morning of July 1st saw Tawny, Brad, and I at Walt's Point. Pretty standard scenario, except it was gusting from all directions and already OD'ing with some light rain at 9am. Needless to say, we were hesitant and kind of skeptical about the less than ideal conditions. After an hour, it started improving so we suited up. I was out first, and at 10:30 am the thermals were already on.
Walt's is pretty much my home launch, and is my favorite flying site. I was enjoying this flight quite a bit, like normal, and was pretty sure I could make a big flight to the north. Two days before I nailed a 166 mile flight, and this day was seeming similar. I pointed north and headed for Mammoth.
Normally the further up the Sierra you go, the more the west wind develops, and starts to push you off. The best days are when it's southeast, and the wind helps push you along the crest. Straight magic. But this day was different. It started out with the magic SE flow that takes you up range, but became the even more elusive straight east. With this E wind, it was very easy to soar up on the crest, making XC progress possible towards the northwest. Once I made it to Mt Williamson, the idea was starting to take hold; cut loose and head west.

Now, heading west over the Sierra is a serious endeavor no matter where and how you do it. Only one pilot has ever pushed over the High Sierra, and that was Stephan about two years ago. He took a route just to the north of mine, and landed somewhere around Lower Kings Canyon, halfway between the crest and the Central Valley.
His flight gave me the idea to start looking for routes that would allow me to fly from the Owens Valley all the way into the flats of the Central Valley. The FULL crossing. Not only would I have to cross the wild, remote High Sierra and expansive forests and foothills of the west side, but I would also have to risk flying over the National Park for quite a while. I saw potential through the heart of Sequoia National Park's central ridge line- the highest and most remote stretch of the entire range. I wanted a proud line, and this was it….

I tanked up on altitude over Mt Williamson, then started testing the waters to the west. The lift was good, but the clouds were obviously starting to over-develop to both the north and south(!) of me. There was still a streak of sun out to the west along my proposed route, and the tail wind was enticing. I was telling myself to just head one or two peaks over, as I was trying to stay a bit conservative. But who was I fooling? I was so damn psyched to lay it out there, that I was smashing the speed bar down and pointing west with pure enthusiasm.
Heading west from Williamson, you have multiple ridge lines of peaks staring you in the face. And I'm talking big, scary peaks with granite teeth and no LZ's. For miles. And miles. This was my first obstacle- get past the 26 straight miles of granite peaks, then deal with the crazy big forest of the west slope later.
The climbs started to get a bit smaller and further apart as I flew deeper, and needless to say, I wasn't psyched about this. I had left the crest at about 15-16,000 feet, and the further west I went, the lower I got. Very soon the situation became questionable- I had flown into the most remote section of the Sierra, and was flying a wet comp wing over a spiky granite basin dotted with tall trees. The clouds were blocking almost 85% of the sky, and it was starting to let loose with hail and rain.
Ah sh#t, I gotta dig deep here and focus. I laced my way ridge to ridge, soaring and thermaling my way in a zig zag pattern to stay at ridge height. I got lower and lower, but it was mattering less and less. With no options but to thermal out, it's easy to make a plan. Fly. Up.
As I passed the last of the high peaks, I was already below the forested ridge leading west from the last alpine peak. I still had another 22 miles of forested national park, ranger infested trails, and rolling foothills to make it out to the Central Valley. I was far from being done, as now there was virtually no LZ's through lower Sequoia National Park. Landing in the NP was guaranteed confiscation of gear and they would arrest me. For sure.
So, keep heading west. And up.

This is where the story gets weird. Sometime around this section the Rangers took notice of me, and started to chase me on the ground in their SUV's. Five Rangers in three cars were hot on my trail, and wanted blood! I wasn't super high, so they probably saw me up there, having fun, and wanted to jack my scene. After avoiding dangerous peaks, deep valley crossings, expansive forests, and turbulent clouds; the Rangers were just one more ingredient to this high stakes flight.
I continued west, passing mile after mile of forest, and made my way to Moro Rock. I quietly soared my way up the face, and gained a bit of altitude, and got back above the ridge for once. Tourists waved and birds soared. I was getting great footage.
Not one to hang out long on a route like this one, I was eager to leave NPS 'controlled area' and get back into the National Forest. I cruised down the perfect ridge line and had just the right blend of ridge soaring and thermals to frisbee my way out to the foothills. After a nice sigh of relief to leave the NPS behind, I relaxed a bit. The Central Valley was just a few miles now, and I could taste it.
Nice warm thermals with slow, mellow climbs greeted me along with some ravens to the Central Valley. There wasn't much lift, but enough. The birds and I cruised out over the final lake and foothills together, and as they flew on, I landed in a series of orange groves and fields with a giant smile on my face. The first full Sierra crossing had now been completed- valley to valley.

I was so excited with the day's flying, that I hardly noticed at first- four NPS Rangers approached me, and it was obvious they were not as psyched about my flight as I was! I couldn't believe that they had been following me the entire time, even though I hadn't done anything wrong. Why had they chased me all they way out from their jurisdiction, and followed me to the San Joaquin Valley? At first they asked for my ID and info, which I gladly gave them. They asked me where I took off from, intending to bust me for flying from the National Park. I told them I took off from south of Lone Pine, and they obviously were not buying that. I said I could produce evidence on the spot with definitive proof of my flight path, and proceeded to show them my flight log from XC Find. Yes! That's right! From the east side!
They couldn't believe it, but the proof was right there. They let that one go at this point, but then it got even weirder. They now were accusing me of shouting and yelling at people as I flew by Moro Rock. What the F*ck???!!! I thought they were confused or something, as this was ridiculous now, and I wasn't sure if they were messing with me or not. I think they were just desperate to bust me, or were confused on who or what the f just happened. Weird and weirder. Is this what the NPS should be doing?
I got the entire Moro Rock section on video with HD GoPro footage, with full sound, and make not even a yell or anything during this section of the flight. In any way. So, no. Not that one either guys.
They kept me there for a short time while they ran my info and took down my details. As I went to the Ranger cars, the fifth ranger was there with yet another vehicle. They had nothing, so they had to let me go. Damn, I almost felt like a criminal at this point! A few minutes after they left, I was back psyched again. I kicked back under some orange trees, and began my six hour wait for the retrieve. Poor Tawny had agreed to drive for us today, and now had to circumnavigate the entire Sierra Nevada Mountains. We made it home the next day.

In the end the flight was only about 52 miles of A to B distance, but it took everything I had. The route was long, complex, and had never been flown. Commitment and determination was the name of the game, and some risk and luck thrown in for spice. At times I was unsure of how it was going to turn out, but that was the entire reason for being there.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 3, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
HOLY CRAP!!!!!!

My, what large BALLS you have, Sir!!!!!!!

VERY impressive!!!!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
Freaking awesome

Lol at the fuzz..

Needs footage.the flying and the fuzz
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:05pm PT
Wow! All the way to orange groves. Guess those rangers had nothing better to do. Glad they left you alone after their inquisition. I'll be sure to drop this into the conversation next time I see Kevin Klinefelter. Congratulations!
Ian Jewell

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
DON'T TASE ME BRO !
Tony Puppo

climber
Bishop
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Well done lad! Pioneering spirit alive and well.
Up!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
DOOD!

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
I thought maybe they wanted your autograph.

: )
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
I have a hard time conceiving of the experience you've built up to assess so many risk factors and variables and make a reasonable decision to commit to something like that. Pretty awesome and impressive.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
[HolySideWallBlowOut!-edit:]

Whew!!

BADASS!!!!!!!!
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
Four NPS rangers?? fukking gestapo state.
Bargainhunter

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Amazing voyage! Very impressive.

Too bad it ended on a bitter note with a ridiculous and completely pointless tooling by multiple LEO rangers. Our tax dollars at work, unfortunately. What a stupid waste of resources.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Wow! Super impressive and ballsy!

Glad that the LEO's realized they had nothing on you and took off.

Looking forward to the footage.
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
BURLY...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
I cannot believe they chased you for that long!!!!

I'd a shot ya down WAY sooner.

: )
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 3, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
The footage is right here-

https://vimeo.com/user5961980/videos

it just wont seem to make the link
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
ms55401 - HolySideWallBlowOut!

Could you please fix that? It screwed up the whole page's formatting.

THANKS, DOOD!
John M

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
That is way cool. I would be stoked to see a paraglider way out in the back country.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
I once saw Air Force One, undoubtedly carrying the POTUS, flanked by fighter jets in the backcountry. It was crazy.

but this is crazier still
QITNL

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Awesome. Also amazing how little snow remains up there.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
.


nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!

Jul 3, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
I have a hard time conceiving of the experience you've built up to assess so many risk factors and variables and make a reasonable decision to commit to something like that. Pretty awesome and impressive.


Really incredibly humbling and amazing!!!!
I think this is the coolest thing I have ever read ... It's got it all..
I'm incredibly jealous... To fly with birds and mountains like this ...amazing

And you also manage to capture and illustrate what is truly wrong with this society and the ignorant one they call The Tool!!

Blown away
Ian Jewell

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
YOU'RE BATMAN !!

yeah , i'm batman .


http://youtu.be/rkpvON6IpNs
John M

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
I'm kinda amazed that they were able to follow him and keep him in sight, and went to the trouble.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Sick vid!

What's the music?
adam d

climber
CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Wow! Committing!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:09pm PT
Nothing new to say here but that's awesome! Really cool view of moro and great video and writing. Thanks for sharing the adventure with the rest of us!
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
On the topic of Moro Rock - definitely a great angle to capture it's steepness. It looks a lot more slabby from terrestrial angles, e.g. down the road a bit. But it feels pretty steep when you are trying to climb it.
Argon

climber
North Bay, CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Pretty incredible and sad that the allegedly budget-strapped National Park Service would speed so much effort on catching a paraglider. I wonder how many Mexican cartel members were in the park at the same time harvesting pot? Too bad the LEO's lack the balls to go after real criminals. Just another example of government wasting taxpayer dollars and harrassing good citizens while doing nothing to actually protect our well-being and safety.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Nice one, Dave! What a fantastic adventure, breaking new ground!! Woot!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 3, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
GREAT video!

What was your total flight time?
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 3, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
I almost felt like a criminal at this point

this is what disgusts me, and in no way do I want to detract from what was a first-rate, full-value adventure.

Some jackass LEO had to have thought, "Oh, there's this guy paragliding. He probably flew from Mexico with tons of blow, or maybe from Afghanistan with tons of AK's -- let's get some LEOs to see what this guy is about."

But enough!!! This crossing was mega-badass, and it trumps the lameness of the LEOs. That is the bottom line. Thanks, Dave, for being bad-ass, for sharing your bad-assery, and for turning the other cheek when some douchebags get uppity. I could have done none of that.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Jul 3, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Super Cool!
and so badass
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Jul 3, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
awesome and congrats. was climbing on moro on saturday. would have been cool to see you go by. :)

gotta watch the vid now
Ian Jewell

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
they were tryin to jack homeboy's scene

scenejacking is now standard protocol for NPS LEO as outlined in NPS LE service manual : federal statute AFL CIO 69 NFL QB - 867 5309 , jenny,jenny, who can i turn to ?


Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Don't touch my junk, Ian.
ec

climber
ca
Jul 3, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Thx! I needed that! Bad Ass!

 ec
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
What was your total flight time?

The link shows it as 3:17:24 with an average speed of 22.9 mph for 64 miles. Way faster than walking!
ec

climber
ca
Jul 3, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
With ground support, this would make backcountry access incredibly quick!

 ec
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Jul 3, 2013 - 09:11pm PT
Nice work Dave thanks that was a great read.
2 l l

Sport climber
Rancho Verga, CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
http://vimeo.com/69642110
Bargainhunter

climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
Also, you must have good friends who don't mind VERY long drives to come pick you up.

The music is Hot Like Sauce by Pretty Lights.

I have to add, after watching the whole vid: that was badass!
micronut

Trad climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
Bra. Vo. Brah. Bravo.

A grand voyage for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Scott
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 3, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
wow! amazing journey Dave!
great video - incredible!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 3, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
DT, that's FANTASTIC!!!

Well done.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 4, 2013 - 02:29am PT
Eggcellant job slick!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 4, 2013 - 06:15am PT
Nice! Great adventure. Great footage.
Chewybacca

Trad climber
Montana, Whitefish
Jul 4, 2013 - 06:30am PT
What a great story to read on such a beautiful morning. I felt like I flying along with you Dave. Thanks for sharing.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Jul 4, 2013 - 07:41am PT
Dude that's the radness thing Ive seen all summer!!!


how were your legs upon landing after 3+ hrs of flying?

RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Jul 4, 2013 - 07:45am PT
WOW! Fantastic work!
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Jul 4, 2013 - 08:09am PT
Wow Dave that was the most amazing story. Once again you are leading the pack. Just a new game! I was in the valley for a couple of weeks in June. Sorry you weren't there. Tom says you have moved to the east side full time. Sounds like it's working out well.

Cheers,
doug
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 4, 2013 - 08:36am PT
In a lot of places paragliding is only allowed where they say its allowed. I didnt know you could write up a flight plan and go backcountry whereever you want. This sport doesn't look too hard to learn, maybe I will take it up sometime.
Double D

climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Flipp'n amazing!
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jul 4, 2013 - 09:56am PT
Amazing video!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 4, 2013 - 10:08am PT
good thing u had the video
JohnnyG

climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Right on, Dave! great write up of a sweet adventure
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jul 4, 2013 - 11:15am PT
Stoked!

Congratulations Dave and sh|t that looks fun!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 4, 2013 - 11:47am PT
First off, YOU CRAZY, MAN!

Secondly, YOU DA MAN! CONGRATULATIONS!

Thirdly, why did you cooperate with The Tool when you didn't even land in
his jurisdiction? I would have told 'em to arrest me or STFU.

Fourthly, I would have told the effing hypocrites to explain why they don't
do squat about the F-18's that haul azz by Moro Rock, seemingly daily, making
a lot more noise than a thousand of you guys could with bull horns.

Fifthly, did you get their names? If you don't I would like to lodge a formal complaint on yer behalf.
I'm going to anyway as they know who they are.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jul 4, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Outstanding accomplishment, sir.

Looks easy, but I'm sure there's a lot to it - what a great first to have done - congratulations on an inspired and inspiring adventure!


I'm sure you're already plotting the next crossing route...
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
Dave,

Wow! Incredible!! Excellent!!!

You were the pilot to do it. Great job! Awesome!

I sure hope you write it up for the mags. Great short video too.

Way to school the LEOs. They should have approached you to shake your hand and to be the first to congratulate you on an incredible first and an incredible adventure, but that's not how they reacted.

They have egg on their face big time. Maybe they can do some self- reflection and write you an apology. It could go a long way to helping calm the fears of the NPS and other Federal agencies regarding free-flight. They need to realize what their jobs really are. Their jobs are not to harass good people who are doing incredible adventures that are on the cutting edge of the human experience. I hope you write that angle up too for the mags.


To those that think this is easy, then I say go for it. Consider:

You have to be a really competent paraglider pilot with a great deal of experience with nerves of steel to fly really active air (Owens Valley and the Sierras, they both have a well earned infamous reputation) and unbelievable commitment to cross no man lands.

I would put it on level with soloing near the top of your climbing ability on a long route. You are really putting it out there. Let's see the hands of those who are able to do this? Very few.

Dave you inspire me. Thanks.
pc

climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Well done!

Thanks for sharing with us and sorry about your NPS LEO run in.

Quick question for the law experts....If a NPS LEO asks for our ID well outside of park boundries, are we obligated to give it to them? Or can we tell them to pound sand.

Cheers,
pc
jstn

Trad climber
monrovia, ca
Jul 4, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
Bad ASS !! Bro!!
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Jul 4, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
Awesome job, bro! I figured you'd be doing firsts in the sport when you first got into it.

I love this quote on the NPS website:

There are 84 million acres of iconic, treasured and sacred places protected in America’s over 400 national parks – and it all belongs to you. This is your land.

Bullshit! If it was "our" land then why can't we fly free?


36 CFR 2.17 - Aircraft And Air Delivery
(a) The following are prohibited:

1. Operating or using aircraft on lands or water [...]

2. Where a water surface is designated pursuant to paragraph (a.1) of this section, operating or using aircraft under power on the water within 500 feet [...]

3. Delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

If you weren't planning on landing on NPS property but the winds that were predicted didn't pan out... wouldn't it be considered an emergency landing, IF you had to?
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
If you weren't planning on landing on NPS property but the winds that were predicted didn't pan out... wouldn't it be considered an emergency landing, IF you had to?


YES.


There are hang glider pilots who have launched outside of Yosemite National Park and have attempted to fly over the Sierras and who had to make a safe emergency landing in Yosemite Valley proper or T. Meadows. The LEOs after investigating couldn't do jack diddly squat.
Gagner

climber
Boulder
Jul 4, 2013 - 02:03pm PT
Proud Dave!! Congrats!
Guernica

climber
right there, right then
Jul 4, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Totally rad!

I paraglided a bunch before my propensity for motion-sickness just became too bothersome, including in the owens. Definitely have to back up Klimmer here.

For sure, it does look easy, and yes it's pretty easy to learn the basics too. But beware! You can very easily and very quickly end up way over your head. It takes great awareness and subtlety to stay safe in active air. And a crossing like this one is hard to get your head around until you've been personally batted around thousands of feet above the peaks. Way more serious than it looks!

Anyway, great job.
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
Jul 4, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Cool! Great job Dave! Stay safe!
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Jul 4, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Wow! Way to fly.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jul 4, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
I've become pretty jaded and hard to impress in my bitter old age, but that was most EMPATICALLY the SH#T!!!111!11! WOW!!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 4, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
An NPS LEO is a sworn officer of the law....so yes.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Jul 4, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Bump for BAD ASSSSSSSSS!
Gene

climber
Jul 4, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
What's next for Dave - White Mountain Peak to Santa Cruz?

I find his flight just amazing.

g
Rudbud

Gym climber
CA
Jul 4, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Wow! This is badass!
Holy sh#t those rangers are tools, but I had no idea to this extent, What a bunch of douch bag nazi's
Good job on the flight, coolest thing I've seen on the taco in awhile.
Alebion

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 4, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Congratulations Dave. What an outing! I echo all the sentiments above re your accomplishments and the NPS.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jul 4, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
What a pussy, afraid of a towering wall of mountains with no play to divert or land......

What could go wrong that you'd need a place to land?

(:

I was in Bishop in '93 for the world hang gliding championships. I was back-packing and climbing for 13 weeks in the High Sierra that summer, and all the while there were a dozen hang gliders high in ths sky above us. I was slugging it out with a 100-pound pack on the Shepherd Pass trail, gazing up in the sky at hang gliders floating effortlessly above....

BTW, all law enforcement officers are corrupt dick heads. ALL OF THEM. Without exception.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jul 5, 2013 - 06:00am PT
To cross the Sierra flying a piece of cloth is significant like Lindbergh or John Glenn.


This is huge. It took not only an excellent pilot with great luck but all the technology and years to develop the gear.


Da Vinci would be so proud.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Jul 5, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Sir! Congratulations on your historic achievement!


Wright Brothers
Glenn Curtiss
Bessie Coleman
Billy Mitchell
Charles Lindbergh
Bill Boeing
Jimmie Doolittle
Wiley Post
Lloyd Stearman
Clyde Cessna
Juan Trippe
William T. Piper
Chuck Yeager
Neil A. Armstrong
Dave Turner


ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 5, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Wow! This is badass!
Holy sh#t those rangers are tools, but I had no idea to this extent, What a bunch of douch bag nazi's
Good job on the flight, coolest thing I've seen on the taco in awhile.

Agreed.
J man

Trad climber
morgan hill
Jul 5, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
Well done!

That cover picture before the video starts had me guessing where the heck
is that? What lake is that on the right? Had to brute force it pausing the vimeo and scooting google earth along following you. South Guard Lake!
About to pass over the Great Western Divide near Thunder Mtn!
Awesome.



the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
Congrats! Great read.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:09pm PT
Well done! Wow!
ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
San Diego
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:14am PT
"To cross the Sierra flying a piece of cloth is significant like Lindbergh or John Glenn.
This is huge. It took not only an excellent pilot with great luck but all the technology and years to develop the gear.
Da Vinci would be so proud."

Since many on here are not pilots, I wanted to expand on this quote above... This feat is along the same lines as the first NIAD or perhaps even first nose climb. It really is ground breaking and amazingly bold and committed. In many portions of that video there are not landings. If you are not sure that you can get out, you will be in the trees.

Epic. and inspiring.
Bad Climber

climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 05:39am PT
Absolutely fantastic. Park Rangers are becoming total asses. Screw 'em.

Way to fly the hell out of that. Proud and stout.

BAd
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 8, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
Thanks for all the awesome comments and positive feedback! And a big thanks to Tawny for driving AROUND the Sierra to come get me!
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Jul 8, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Dave, this is a really amazing achievement! Congratulations! That's a perfect vantage point for some of the best views in the park. I can't even imagine how awesome that was! Great job avoiding rangers!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 11, 2013 - 12:41pm PT

bump and:

Your writeup was beautiful and evokative. I haven't been able to make myself watch the video yet, just 'cause I'm scared it would be too heavy. Despite that, I'm looking forward to it.

Even to a non-flyer, this hits home. Thanks for the post.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 11, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
Many are inspired to take flight. We recently rescued this fellow:

http://www.examiner.com/article/man-flies-homemade-balloon-lawn-chair-and-ends-up-a-tree

Joe Barbera of Washington State flew to a height of 15,000 feet in a balloon lawn chair. The problem with the flight was the landing wasn’t quite so nice. He ended up in a tree, 40 feet above ground.

Barbera built his homemade chair and balloon apparatus in his garage. He decided to launch the project at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The air-bound novice remained in contact with his team during the flight, just north of Battle Ground. The team remained in contact via radio until they lost track of Barbera’s flight through an online tracking system.

Barbera had a chance to report that he was stuck 40 feet in a tree before they lost contact.
After the rescue, Barbera stated that he could not have chosen a better tree in terms of a landing place. Barbera ended up landing in a stable position in the tree but it was too far to jump and too far to fall without injuries.

The homemade craft suddenly dropped in height a tiny distance during the flight, leaving Barbera scared for the first time.

Barbera was rescued by the Skamania County Sheriff’s Officers and the Volcano Rescue Team. The emergency responders climbed the tree and set up a rope system to rescue Barbera.

Barbera says he does not believe he will repeat the experience, although he would like to.

I would do it again in a minute and I would do it better. Will I? Highly unlikely. I can’t imagine mustering that much manpower again.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Jul 11, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Wow, Dave! Amazing flight.

Especially love the peak views at the beginning half of the video!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 11, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
superb flight.

Rockies next?
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 12, 2013 - 08:26am PT
A ground breaking event for sure.

I reckon in 60 years from now, when paragliding is THE SPORT...

Dave Turner, much like Clyde, will be the MAN.
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2013 - 06:02am PT
Just broke the state record yesterday- from 168 miles to 172.18 now!! Oougghh!!!
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Jul 16, 2013 - 07:25am PT
So cool! What's that like 6 hours in the air?!

What's the world record? And where?

How's it compare (record wise) to hang gliding?

How do you go to the bathroom up there? ;-)
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 16, 2013 - 08:45am PT
I'm thinkin it put's new meaning into the phrase.. don't piss into the wind.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Wow Dave! It's turning into your miracle year. Good job!

What other records are you going to make fall?

Excellent.
srathbun

Social climber
Redding
Jul 16, 2013 - 11:53am PT
FLETC attempts to brainwash all NPS law enforcement. This is where that attitude you encountered starts from. Coincidentally it's a part of Homeland Security! YAY!

http://www.fletc.gov/
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Jul 16, 2013 - 12:25pm PT
AWESOME!!

Well done, Dave!!
MisterE

Social climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Absolutely amazing level of reading the elements, flying skill and commitment.

+1 on what is the music?

Erik

justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jul 16, 2013 - 06:09pm PT
Indeed well done. Amazing feat using a piece of cloth.

@Seamstress.. I can't believe another idiot tried that. Lucky he ended up in a tree. There was a guy in LA a while back.. did the same with weather balloons. Shot up so high he almost died. Flew into LAX airspace and caused a big rukkus. It was a huge mess and a total PIA to get him down. Myth Busters did a special on him. Having it on the show probably gave another person the dumb idea.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 16, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
"Lawn Chair Larry" and his 1982 flight:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters


Fortunately, Dave is doing something quite different, and hopefully not seeing many power lines or air traffic. :-)
TheMaster

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
Stupid rangers were fishing, waiting for you to admit something, you should have just told them to leave you alone and if they didn't know where you took off you weren't going to tell them. Five rangers?! Time/gas/etc to chase you down and make false accusations? We know where the Feds can cut next if they had five rangers available to chase you. A silent paraglider is criminal yet they let loudly farting and belching tour busses muck up the parks?
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Great piloting! Nat Geo or Discovery Ch should make a special called
"The Crossing!"


A nice write up in this paper.
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/07/27/3130963/paraglider-goes-to-new-lengths.html

tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Jul 30, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
bad ass!
bobo you just crossed my mind the other day and i was wondering what you had been up too. i have spent heaps of time in that area below. i had a dream once about flying over it in a hang glider. i bet it is pretty cool for reals. way to get after it.
i would l love to hear the justification for FIVE leos leaving the park to chase you. combing the hours plus gas, that is a good deal of tax money going to waste.
take care of yourself,
jo-lynne
Paul S

Mountain climber
Portland, Or
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
"I can't believe another idiot tried that. Lucky he ended up in a tree. There was a guy in LA a while back.. did the same with weather balloons. Shot up so high he almost died. Flew into LAX airspace and caused a big rukkus. It was a huge mess and a total PIA to get him down. Myth Busters did a special on him. Having it on the show probably gave another person the dumb idea".

I suppose it's easy to call someone an idiot that you have never met. I hiked the PCT with Joe B in 2012. He did get the idea from Lawn Chair Larry's flight back in 1982. He's an engineer and explained the concept in a very rational manner. Not much different than hot air ballooning.

He chose to pop some balloons after reaching 20,000'. He gracefully touched down in a tree which is easy to do since western Washington is full of them. Crazy? yes but not dumb.
Messages 1 - 103 of total 103 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews