On March 3rd, 2001 I took a one day break from skiing, and went on a glider ride from the local Telluride Airport. The ride was very fun, and included a full inverted "loop-de-loop" at the end. Below are some pictures from that ride. The day was overcast, so the pictures are a little washed out.
This is the glider I rode in. I sat in the front, and that's John McKillup the pilot getting some stuff ready.
John pushing the glider into takeoff position.
Here is the front of the cockpit, where I sat.
Here we are, starting to take off.
In this picture we're being towed to gain altitude.
Here we have been cut loose from the tow plane, and we circle around the airport, riding a thermal up to about 14,000 feet.
Random picture out the front of the glider.
For about 30 minutes we dodged in and out of these 14,000 foot mountain peaks. Extremely peaceful, very scenic.
A picture showing my knee and the peaks beyond.
Another random picture.
You can see the ski area off to the left of center of this photo, and the town of Telluride is on the far left.
More random mountain ridges.
Here you can see we're losing altitude, so we're sinking below the tops of the ridges.
At this point we bank to avoid the mountain, you can see the angle of my knees.
You can see the Telluride ski area in the distance (upper right).
In a heavy bank, this is a picture almost straight down. You can tell by looking at the slope of the trees pointing directly up at us.
This is the Telluride airport as we come back to it. Notice the end of the runway just shoots off the cliff.
Here is a quick self portrait, taken by me holding the camera in front of me. I was trying to get the pilot in the picture (he sits behind me) but my big head is blocking him out.
And here John expertly sets down the glider on the runway, smooth as silk.
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