Mountain Training

‘I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.’ – Unknown

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It’s about a month before we launch for our national park tour in June. Time to get out to Denver and do some training. As I wrote in a previous entry, this training isn’t a legal requirement, but a safety issue.

I have a customer in Broomfield, CO right by Jeffco. While I was out there a few months ago, I looked up a few flight schools and made some calls to interview the candidates. I was particularly interested in making sure that whoever I ended up with would be willing to help me get a bunch of ground school prep-work done before I got to the airport.

The first thing I did was read a couple books. The Mountain Flying Bible is a commonly recommended book on the subject. Flying the Mountains is another. At this point I’ve read them both and can say that unless you are interested in flying in mountains, you won’t find them useful. These are not the most compellingly written books in the world, but they get the information across.

Next, I had a talk with the flight instructor I’ll be flying with when I make my trip. We talked about my background, the trip we’re making in June and what we would do on the flight. The flight plan turned out to hold a pleasant surprise.

I’m attempting to become a bit more of a runner. I have been running a half marathon or more every weekend for the past month and a half and am ramping the mileage up with the goal of running an ultramarathon in September. One of the most famous ultras in the world is run at nearly 10,000 feet in Leadville, CO. Leadville is also home to the highest airport in North America at 9,927 feet. When you fly in, they print you a free certificate for having visited. When I found out that would be our destination airport for the first training flight, I got even more excited about the trip. Between the several fourteeners and the highest airport on the continent, I should be ready for the much more modest altitudes we’ll encounter on our trip.

So, in a week I’ll be in Denver. I can’t wait.

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