The morning after I saw the rainbow, I awoke before sunrise.
I had gone to bed early—around eight— so this wasn’t much of a surprise.
I was still shaken from my experience the day before; filled with a sense of satisfaction. I rose quietly, doing my best to let Saffron sleep. I ventured outside to relieve myself. The only toilet was occupied, so I walked a little ways off the property, and peed on the trail. It felt good; felt refreshing in the chill morning air.
I walked back to the lodge as the morning sky was beginning to fill with light. It was a clear, brisk morning. The valley was beautiful, quiet and peaceful. You could see for miles. Far off, in the distance, the distinctive silhouette of of the Fishtail poked out of the horizon. Although the real name is Machupuchre, the mountain has acquired the English nickname “Fishtail” because of its obvious resemblance, from certain angles, to a fish’s tail.
The Burton U.S. Open just wrapped up in Vail last night.
I attended some of the events, but for the most part found that I would rather be on the mountain instead of standing around watching other people have fun. The riders threw down some incredible stuff though. Below are a few highlights, although my personal highlight of the event was riding Chair 6 over the Golden Peak Terrain Park and getting to watch dozens of the world’s best snowboarders playing together. That was cool.
Our focus this weekend is on speed flying. Speed flying is a combination of skiing and paragliding, a combination which results in what is without a doubt some of the most stomach-clenching POV footage ever shot. Super cool stuff.
I first saw speed flying at the 2013 Warren Miller film No Turning Back. Unfortunately that particular segment doesn’t seem to be freely available online. If you have never been to one of Warren Miller’s ski films, I recommend the experience. At the time I saw Ticket to Ride, I was not even skiing or snowboarding very much, and it was still exhilarating. The cinematography is top-notch and they give away plenty of skis and gear at the showings. Warren Miller is a cool outfit.
And Warren Miller introduces you to cool stuff such as speed flying. Which brings us back to our ski video Sunday.
Our first video comes from 2006, before the advent of the GoPro. If you look closely, you can see that these guys have duct-taped cameras to their helmets. It is POV footage of the first speed flying descent of the Eiger.
Our second video is a more professional, controlled scene showing a team of speed fliers descending Mont–Blanc. The removed perspective gives you a sense of the beauty of this movement.
Hope you spent your weekend doing something life-affirming. I went to the X-Games. Those guys and gals don’t need the parachute to go flying. Post on it coming soon. Anyways. Have a good week, and