Opening weekend for paragliding @ Grouse Mountain May 15

 Grouse Mountain recently opened up and this weekend was looking pretty nice, a bit stable on the front mountains but more unstable even a little way back.

Grouse Mountain has plowed a tunnel to the Grizzly Bear enclosure,
but after that, it's hiking in the snow!  Photo courtesy of Alex Raymont.

The gondola was pretty quiet, since the mountain is "between seasons" for the regular tourists, and with Covid, only a few people are allowed on the gondola in the first place.

After a *very* hot hike up (the snow reflects all the heat directly onto you, like foil in an oven!) we arrived on launch with light cycles and Tom and Paddy already set up.  The cycles were actually quite anaemic and it was a tossup between a forward or a running reverse, not easy in the snow!

Looking at Grouse Mountain from Crown Mountain.  Photo courtesy of Alex Raymont.

Once in the air it was indeed a bit stable down low, but most of us went for the spine just to the west of launch (rather than the bailout cliffs) and that was working enough to get us high enough to jump back to Dam, and then Crown, Mountains.  Once back there it was easier to stay up and we actually got high enough to think about encountering airspace at 6500', but we were able to stay below that :)

There is still oodles of snow on the Coast Range mountains, which makes the scenery even more beautiful.

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