Freeflight To The Rescue

While Laura and I were enjoying French toast at @breadandsaltrest in downtown Frisco this morning, @chuckmarty and friends were living in an alternate reality, high above the clouds and over our heads.
The damp morning low clouds were exceptionally beautiful this morning. Between sips of hot coffee and bites of buttered French toast, I was dreaming of flight and retelling the story of how @willrawstron and I made it down from Victoria one night in an unexpected way.

Thanks for being a total boss of a mountain partner Will and for your mentorship in my early years of flight before our serendipitous West Vic flight that evening.

Free flight To The Rescue

Remembering Will “Realstrong” Rawstron and our first launch West ‘over the back’ of Mount Victoria Frisco Colorado

That evening Will and I had been Para-waiting on the summit of MT Victoria. The mountain air went from strong and gusty to light before switching to “over-the-back” He blew his acl on a light rolling reverse attempt at East after I aborted one with rock snags. Then, like magic, the air switched. I had barely ever considered West and didn’t know for certain about the glide to shore/middle school, or possible venturi or rotor we might encounter while crossing around over Royal. But it all seemed reasonable enough. It was either we launch into the possibility of the unknown, or call SAR and start hobbling down into the night.
I looked at Will and he looked at me. I said how unstable is it? Who should go first? if I launch can you launch ok? Or should you go first? I don’t want to leave you. He said he was good and best for me to try first. Team trust. As the sun set, I stepped off..
I hung-a-right and looked back in the low light creeping at his toes. Will was setting up hobbling with a freshly blown knee. My legs and fingers were crossed.

The rotor crossing over was probably more unsettling as I simply did not know what to expect. Though wind on launch was 4-6 so I was hopeful, as I tried to balance ground clearance with directness of heading toward the lake in case we encountered sink in the lee, and wind from the canyon/katabatibc flow.


About half way to the shore south of the Marina I kept looking over my shoulder. Common’ Will, you got it. Don’t stay up there alone… and finally saw my buddy rounding the corner over Royal!
I was nearly parked in the evening strong NW flow and descended like an elevator with zero penetration. Will landed even closer to the Marina.
Tom and Todd said that in 15+ years of working the Marina each summer, they had never seen anyone launch Vic let alone land at the Marina. (I’m sure Gary or someone had long ago, but we had been exploring in a vacuum here those days and had to figure this all out on our own, grateful for the process )

They bought us beers and whisky and we sat there enjoying the evening until the @Charlie_Martin and Jackie retrieval!
We all celebrated a fun self rescue by free flight as he said “oh, my blown knee!? No problem, I’ll get it fixed later. That was WAY more fun than walking or waiting for SAR (tho I know they’d have our back!) Let’s enjoy these drinks on the house! Thanks Frisco Marina!
Cheers to Vic!

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