Could there be a better way to see the Fernie vista than this? I’ve thought for many years that these guys have tapped into probably the most thrilling way to gracefully and blissfully be at one with everything beautiful that Fernie has to offer. Yes you can take a flight in a helicopter, an adrenaline rush no doubt, but you are surrounded by metal with earphones and rotor noise. Add a squirrel suit to the equation and the helicopter / squirrel suit combo is pretty thrilling and tough to beat, but fighting with turbulent winds on a mountain ridge while standing on a take off platform I think takes it all!
I was out with my family for my sons Birthday early this fall and it had been arranged that we would drive up to the microwave tower on Morrisey ridge that marks the starting point of one of Fernie’s full tilt downhill biking single track descents, Dirt Diggler. You see, he’s a downhill bike enthusiast and is getting faster by the season. The intent was to take him to Dirt Diggler and surprise him with his gift and introduce him to the thought of riding that trail sometime in the future (hopefully I’ve done it before he does!!)
But the real surprise came as we arrived at the top and were greeted to the spectacle on hand of watching Reiner & Mikel (Fernie locals) gearing up for an evening flight. As they prepared for take off , taking into account their safety checks and wind strengths etc. we all watched as a family, enthralled to get the chance to see them take off. It didn’t disappoint, Reiner made a couple of first attempts and was blown around by vicious cross winds, finally getting airborne and once attached to the uplifting thermals I was able to breathe. Exhilarating! and I had two feet firmly planted on the ground!! As Mikel was readying for his departure Reiner blazed a trail along the ridge way out in the distance turned and danced his way back along the same ridge linking up with the now also airborne Mikel. Together they drifted out into the setting sun in the distance and gracefully floated down to earth. I hope to someday experience what I witnessed, but for now I’m satisfied with just a small video and an unexpected added Birthday surprise. Thanks to Reiner & Mikel.