Last week I was rushing out. Late.
It was a great flying forecast, perfect to try a long out-return. As I walked up to launch, Phillip was already disappearing over the back towards the bigger mountains… sort of under-lining my lateness, in thick marker pen like a teacher.
Laying out quickly, gliding off low in pursuit of Phillip’s wing, the inevitable landing happens, and I am now even more behind schedule, shedding clothing, and carrying my wing another 50m higher up a very steep and slippery slope, to await a stronger cycle. In tee shirt and jeans to savour the cooling breeze, I know I have blown it, any chance of some ‘massive’ flight that still lurks in my brain, but I no longer care, because I am riding the wind, being a bird…and saving a very long hot walk out from my bomb-out zone.
And then I am above the snow fields, those magical elusive things on a summers day, that hang so high up above the valley, tempting you to visit.
Nearing the clouds, feeling the cold , and thinking of landing to gear up, made me think, I should land there! It felt like skiving, bunking school for the day to go off playing, the snow was still hard, packed deep into the boulder fields. Summer snow is an amazing thing.
That night I looked at the UK xcleague. First up was Steve Etherington, winning the day with a brilliant out-return.It made me smile. And then Mike Cav uploaded his flight…and he had flown it too, along with Steve.
I must be getting older.Years ago I hated bombing, especially watching others, gliding over head. But last week it gave me something special, something ephemeral that won’t be there next month. I got to walk on summer snow, thanks to my paraglider.