First Mountain Soaring Experience

Mountain soaring: Shot in flightThe other day Mike and I were soaring a local mountain here in eastern Fresno County. It’s not huge by any means, but it was close to the TLZ (takeoff landing zone) we were using that day. So, “How could we pass it up!” we asked ourselves!

Mike is an experienced pilot and has been flying PPG for close to a decade, if not more. I felt comfortable following his lead as the winds were very light and the turbulence was basically nil ~ All by-products of a perfectly calm morning. The only chop we hit was at the boundary layer of the inversion zone on the initial climb out, but other then that I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to soaring for the first time.

As for the experience on the whole, what can I say! With every great initial experience I am blessed to have in PPG, the sport itself just keeps getting better and better. Mountain soaring in particular I could sort of relate to because I have a surfing background having grown up in ‘The OC’ ~ And the similarities between the two for me were readily apparent. The mountain is the ‘wave’ and the glider is your board. The rising air currant is the wall of water under your feet keeping you upright on the wave’s face.

The only difference really is that the ride doesn’t seem to ever end, and you’re occasionally sharing it with hawks and other soaring birds – The ‘dolphins’ if you will of this never ending, 1,400 foot WAVE!