Reminiscent. First flight.

A query on paragliding forum: do you recall your first ‘solo’* flight?

License in hand, having only been issued two weeks prior after a weekend of SIV flights.

A beautiful Saturday afternoon in early fall. Fall days are tame days, forgiving and gentle – a near guaranteed sled run punctuated with the rare bump.

The launch has been basking in the sun for several hours, streamers lightly fluttering up slope. Easy launching conditions, no risk of being plucked.

The streamers continue to flow upslope…

… and then down slope

… then from the left … and right.

A near metronome quality.

Arched eyebrow and slight tilt of head, I turn to one of my compatriots who had been signed off a month earlier, “That is odd.”

“It’s fine.”, comes a quick, reassuring reply.

The observation of this being a blind leading the blind scenario – absent.

Half an hour later – kitted, connected, and laid out.

A text book reverse pull up, a glance left at the congregation of whuffos, and we (me/myself/I) are off.

Aforementioned compatriot quickly gives chase and what followed for both of us was aptly described by him upon landing:

A guided origami tour of the mountain.

experience++; // Introduction to leeside rotor

* Solo as in first flight post sign off when the teacher is not present. Not to be confused to solo where one is standing on launch alone with an empty sky and lz – the sense of being truly on ones own.

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