Monday, 27 February 2017

Vegas Fun


I love climbing at Red Rocks! But gale force winds the first couple days that made us stop and just hang on until the gusts went by were making me question my judgement. Day three was the charm!  While it was still a little cool in the morning, we had a fantastic afternoon of climbing in the warm sunshine.

Looking down the rappel line.
Typical bum shot when the belayer is trying to take photos of the climber.
Springs Preserve

It's hard to believe this place is in the middle of Las Vegas, not far from the strip. It's one of our favourite places to go, either in the morning before we head to out to climb or on a rest day. We always get a membership both to support their initiatives and so that we can get early admission before the general public arrives. We were the only ones there on this morning. So quiet and relaxing. 

Andrew enjoys the photography opportunities

The cactus garden.
The butterfly garden was out of season but I liked this colourful entrance wall.

This is the first time we've been back to Vegas area since taking up paragliding. So Jean Ridge was a new spot for us. The conditions weren't spectacular (a few difficult-to-stay-in thermals but no steady wind required for soaring) but we did get several short flights of 4 - 18 minutes. The ridge is about a mile long so if conditions were "on" it would be awesome!!

It's a 20 minute hike from the bottom of the ridge and, thankfully, the road in was doable in our Prius. There's also a road to the top but a 4x4 is definitely needed for that. Sort of humorous that one of the dirt bikers we encountered was more impressed by the fact we got there in the Prius than he was by the fact we were flying off the ridge.

In addition to the dirt bikers, there are a ton of ATV's and people out shooting guns. We learned that it's one of the few areas near Vegas where there's enough room for people to do long-range (i.e. a mile +) practice. We'd wondered why there were rocks near the road in with paint on them but they were markers for the shooters. One morning we arrived just a couple minutes ahead of a couple shooters and they weren't too impressed that they had to find another location.

We didn't have any success contacting the local paragliding club but luckily this is a site that doesn't require membership, etc. It was definitely fun to be able to come here on our own and not worry about needing a retrieve vehicle. We'll no doubt be back!
View from Jean Ridge mid-launch.
Andrew at the top of Jean Ridge, waiting for a good wind cycle before launching.
Me, just after launch. Screenshot of video taken by Andrew. 
Andrew coming in for landing.
Patrick, a pilot from Utah (left) and Andrew (right).
Me, just after launching. Photo from video taken by Patrick.

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