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Author Topic: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan  (Read 10034 times)
Lowell_Skoog
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July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« on: 07/17/07, 10:13 AM »

Joe Sullivan is a fellow I've met through my consulting work. He sent around this link showing a speed flying descent of Mt Baker last Saturday. He said he didn't mind if I posted it here. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUoTSPuj89I

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Marcus
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #1 on: 07/17/07, 10:19 AM »

Fantastic -- that's just great.  He really buzzes the tower on some of those big cracks on the lower Coleman...
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Pete A
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #2 on: 07/17/07, 10:35 AM »

oh &%$ thats awesome!   
thanks for posting that Lowell.   i loved it when he was trucking along and then all of a sudden...tips up, and glide right over that gaping crevasse.

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Turtle
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #3 on: 07/17/07, 11:33 AM »

OK I read this site all the time and this is a my first post. First let me say all of you are nuts and I love it. All of these post  have inspirational to me I read here and go there it is great. But this guy he wins the wingnut award flying  past Skykilo and Lowell wow what a wingnut I love it I'm taking my kite to snow dome next week!!!!
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RonL
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #4 on: 07/17/07, 11:51 AM »

Yowza, I am not quite ready to try that - but I will watch it again. Can you make that thing pull me uphill?
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philfort
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #5 on: 07/17/07, 11:56 AM »

Wow, that was amazing!  And he didn't have those silly rocket skis like the guy on the Eiger (don't really know much about speed flying, so I don't know if mechanized descents are the norm).

Next he should do the Coleman Headwall, or Roosevelt.  Or thermo!  Probably not very often you get good flying conditions though...
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climbinghighest
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #6 on: 07/17/07, 02:24 PM »

WOW
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #7 on: 07/17/07, 02:27 PM »

I'm working on a history of the early days of Northwest paragliding for this year's Northwest Mountaineering Journal. I've compiled a reference chronology on my website here.

The first recorded paraglider flight off Mt Baker was in 1989 by Michael Koerner. Koerner launched northward from the summit on tele skis and landed near timberline below the Coleman Glacier. The gliders they flew in the late 1980s were perhaps more like today's speedflying canopies than the soaring canopies you see today at Tiger Mountain.
« Last Edit: 07/17/07, 02:31 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Jason_H.
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #8 on: 07/17/07, 03:14 PM »

I was climbing baker and spoke to a guy who had paraglided off the summit. He had a deep accent and told me how many times he crushed or broke bones. I told him that it seems like a sport to take up when I'm older. I remember when I was about 8-10 watching a guy paraglide (they called it parapante) off the false summit of adams. He had a dozen or more people helping him take off. Once he did, he was gone in no time.
« Last Edit: 07/17/07, 03:17 PM by Jason_H. » Logged

Jeff Huber
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #9 on: 07/17/07, 10:55 PM »

That video is def. neat to watch!

What I was wondering is if those more familiar with this kind of activity could roughly quantify the level of risk the pilot is taking. Would it be about 1 out of every 20 times the pilot attempts a descent like this he gets seriously injured/killed or more like 1 out of every 500 times? I imagine (hope) the pilot is very skilled, but I'm sure the pilot is also just willing to accept a very high degree of risk. It reminds me of Dan Osmond.
« Last Edit: 07/18/07, 10:16 AM by Jeff Huber » Logged

runningclouds
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sull
« Reply #10 on: 07/17/07, 11:13 PM »

Awesome!

I saw "Speed Riding" a French movie at the last Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. It is a good introduction to the sport, they talk about the difference between paragliding and speed riding a bit (different shape and size of the paraglider).

There is a short intro to the movie on YouTube (the movie itself is about 40 min, if I remember correctly):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u156J537Eow
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Lisa
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sull
« Reply #11 on: 07/18/07, 04:42 PM »

Now that looks like FUN!!! 
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sullivan
« Reply #12 on: 07/18/07, 10:30 PM »

What I was wondering is if those more familiar with this kind of activity could roughly quantify the level of risk the pilot is taking. Would it be about 1 out of every 20 times the pilot attempts a descent like this he gets seriously injured/killed or more like 1 out of every 500 times?

I think 1 out of 500 is a better estimate than 1 out of 20. But I think it's too early to make conclusions about speedflying. The sport is too new.

My background: I flew paragliders for eleven years, from 1991 through 2002. I never really quit; I just found that other priorities moved paragliding to the background. I'm an advanced rated (P-4) pilot and I was the first safety officer of the Northwest Paragliding Club.

I think paragliding is the most dangerous sport I've done, based on the number of friends and acquaintances who've been hurt or killed doing it. It's a judgment sport of the highest order. In recent years, most of the fatalities in the Northwest have been more advanced pilots flying in more demanding thermal conditions. Search for "paragliding fatality" in this list for details.

There's an old saying in aviation: Airspeed, altitude, or brains -- you need at least two. I don't think there's anything intrinsically more dangerous about a speedflying canopy. But the speedflying game, as it seems to be played, deliberately minimizes altitude, one of the three safety factors in the old saying. This makes the game of speedflying intrinsically more dangerous than just gliding off a mountaintop.

Launching and landing are the most dangerous parts of a mountain descent because the ground is close. Hugging the ground throughout a flight vastly increases the chance of pilot error. So far, my only exposure to speedflying has been watching videos. But that suggests another big risk factor. If speedflying is regarded as performance opportunity, a way to make really cool videos, that magnifies the worst human factors that lead to accidents.

The jury is still out on this sport, but it will be interested to watch.
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powscraper
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Re: July 14, 2007, Mt Baker speed flying, Joe Sull
« Reply #13 on: 07/20/07, 09:48 PM »

It must feel great to fly.

And I thought ski descents were over too fast...
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