Although the bad weather has been hitting the South Island of New Zealand hard recently, training has not stopped.  This little edit shows two recent ascents of Bowen Peak in late September.  Bowen Peak is still one of the best local peaks for both training and flying, it is accessible from a number of different routes, and only takes up to 2hrs to summit.

The use of the gondola on the queenstown route cuts the evening missions down to only 60 mins, and the direct route from Arthurs point up the face is a lot of fun, but harder work and takes just over 90 mins.  The start point and landing for both routes is approx 350m and the summit is 1623m, so there is a good vertical distance to be overcome for the fun flight down, but well worth it.

Now when we say, the above footage shows two recent flights…this is not entirely true as the camera decided to pack in due to the temperature drop during flight…needless to say we have ordered some more GoPro's!!



There are simply heaps of non-alpine mountains and hills around Wanaka that are ideal for a bit of a training hike and fly mission.  A few days ago we went for a wander up to the Saddle of Treble Cone and walked out towards End Peak.  As the day wore on and the winter sun set in the western sky we quickly realized that we needed to make a flight happen, we were running out of daylight and we still wanted to go rock climbing as well!

The actual flight was pretty kewl with Dugald running an amazing canyon / valley down to the waterfalls overlooking the TC paragliding landing area. 


Enjoy the flight – we enjoyed the walk!



After a beautiful climb up Single Cone to inspect one of the future winter missions, we moved on to double cone and discussed the possibility of a launch from the summit by tossing the gliders above us and checking them in the air before stepping off.  This time the decision was made to move to a lower more suitable take off and practice some rope skills on the short descent to it.  After several attempts during the short moments of clearance we received from Queenstown Air Traffic Control we again decided to move down the West face to an area less effected by wind rotor.  From here we both launched for a great gully flight!

Today Dugald and I managed to get to the summit of Single Cone and double Cone but unfortunately we were not able to launch from the main summit due to inconsistent winds and a poor launch area – the summit Single Cone and Double Cone will be good when there is snow covering the peaks.

We had to make a conscious choice to find a better launch site – which meant we needed to climb down another 150m to the main ridge.  Unfortunately we were again thwarted by winds and rotor conditions as well as Air Traffic Control and Air Space Regs – it's hard to just go when you need to make a call to the tower to get clearance.

After enduring some of the most difficult launch conditions we have both experienced we once again had to descend to a lower point on the West Face of the Remarkables to find a suitable launch site.  This was at 2087m and flew one of the western gully systems.  The conditions meant that we were unable to launch together, however we both had a screamer of a flight – landing in one of the farm paddocks at the base of the western face.

Dugald will be playing with his new Apple Mac to make an video edit of the days adventure.

A jaunt into the New Zeland Alps to climb and fly.

 *The weather forecast is too bad to go into the hills from 12-16th April – trip postponed *

12th April to 16th of April – Open to other speedflying pilots with alpine skills

Dugald and I will be heading into the NZ Alps near the start of April to Tasman Saddle hut.  The objective of this trip will be to do some alpine training with Dugald and to climb a number of nearby peaks and fly off them.

Objective 1

Hochstetter Dome.
A good easy alpine training hill with a great summit from which to launch from

Objective 2

9144 – Mt Annan Ridge
This area offers a number of different locations to climb and fly from  – either along the ridge line or from the summit of 9144.  Gaining the summit during winter is via a snow / ice gulley – in summer conditions it is a great alpine rock adventure.  The summit offers a great place to launch from again

Objective 3

Walter Peak
Probably a little to ambitious for this particular trip but if you don't try you don't do.  Walter Peak combines some interesting glacial travel with moderate alpine slopes to bring you up onto the main divide.  If the treu summit of Walter gives no joy there is an awesome Plateau from which to launch from about 100m below the main summit