High Family Reunion: New Colorado Tandem Record
It was the beginning of September when Bert, Pete’s brother, visited town. It was an epic day in Colorado and Pete’s mind wasn’t on the ground at all. Instead of taking his brother for a beer at the local bar, Pete ordered two bottles of Oxygen to-go, and took his brother for a ride to set a new tandem record in his hometown. In Pete’s words:
“On September 2nd, flying my Magnum2 38 with my brother Bert, we set a new Colorado tandem distance record. The flight lasted nearly four hours, had a maximum altitude of 5,452 meters (17,882 ft) and covered 109k of fantastic mountain terrain. Typically I fly XC solo, but this day was graced with the perfect setup and fantastic conditions. With my brother visiting from out of town and a great forecast I had a major dilemma; do I cancel my plans with this dear family member to selfishly solo fly (again) or do I spend the time with him on the ground? There was only one option that felt right and that was to take him flying with me. The issue here is that most people can’t handle such a big flight as a passenger; they get cold, nauseous, hypoxic and feel the intensity of the position. Along with this, the terrain where I fly is wild and at times roadless. I wanted to go big on this day and figured he would only last an hour or so, but he showed up in a big way and we went for it. Wrapped in as many layers of clothing as physically possible and with a big tank of supplemental oxygen we launched into perfect conditions with the local XC crew. This was one of the best decisions of my flying career. The flight went perfectly with lots of cloud hopping, a few low saves, a close encounter with a jet and fantastic terrain below. Bert was my hero on this flight and I was his; he never complained, didn’t get cold and even helped me out by flying the glider. It was fantastic to share this experience with him and way less lonely for me. The conversation ranged from “holy s… this is wild”, to thermal dynamics and flying theory, to “what kind of cheese do you like and remember that time when we were kids and you jumped off the roof”. We managed to fly over some of the largest mountains in Colorado and eventually turned around due to overdevelopment downwind. Flying the Magnum2 38 on this flight was perfect. The ease of handling and passive safety made the flying incredibly relaxing; the performance made the transitions easy. Staying high and in safe position was paramount. It was a dream come true and I couldn’t have done it without my big brother, Bert”
Peter Thompson has lived in Colorado for nine years, during which time he has pushed a few big XC lines into the mountains around his home. Pete specializes in XC coaching, which he offers in Colorado and abroad.
For Pete and Bert’s track log click here
Congrats and Cheers from all the OZONE team