Surprise! Nothing better then finding surprise tickets to go skydiving for your birthday, eh! Well Tyler’s birthday is June 3rd, and he kept complaining that he really wanted to do something extreme! Since he had mentioned Skydiving a few times, I did some research to find a safe and reliable company within an hour drive of our small town, and I found Vertical Extreme Skydiving out of Vulcan, Alberta! So there we were going Skydiving Over The Prairies in Alberta, Canada.
When Tyler opened his birthday card, and was expecting money or the usual lottery ticket, not 2 hand-made tickets (by Mel) for skydiving, best of all it was for the next day!! So for the entire evening and following morning was feelings of excitement and nervousness. Tyler has bungee jumped before but never a free fall from a plane at 11,000 ft. That is 61 seconds of free fall..! And 4 minutes of canopy time (that is when your parachute glides you to the earth).
The airport itself is 42km from the closest community and was made in the 1940’s for training World War 2 pilots, it is now a historical site that sits abandoned, The sky diving company has permission to use the beat up old run ways and one plane hanger. There are 4 hangers in total on the once very busy training grounds, when you drive up its a true look into the past.
The old air rad speakers still stand on the top of the dilapidated buildings and there is more wild life living in the buildings then the amount of visitors that the airport see every year. If your ever in southern Alberta it is a great place to stop and see some of the Canadian WW2 history that has sat untouched for many of years.
After a safety talk and gearing up with flight suites, it was time to get into the plane, knowing that you would not be landing in it. The excitement starts to grow as you walk down the tarmac that has grass and weeds growing from the cracks in the old cement, the 4 jumpers fit tightly in to the small air plane and the plane begins to taxi down the bumpy runway. The engine starts getting louder and the heart starts pounding faster as the plane picks up speed down the runway.
The flight up to 11,000ft takes about 25 minutes but seems like an hour, the view of the rocky mountains meeting the Alberta prairies is amazing! A couple more safety reminders form the instructor 5 minutes before open door time, the mood in the plane is light as everyone has a smile glued to there face.
The next 5 minutes went by really quick and the pilot gives the signal to open the door. The door opens and the sound of the wind becomes intense in side the airplane, and chilly. The 1st jumper makes his way on to the landing leg and gives a quick smile and lets go. Now it’s my time to jump, slowly making your way out side on to the landing leg is interesting and one second later you are doing a front flip into the air.
The feeling of free fall is nothing you can describe in words, only way to know how it feels is to do it yourself (highly recommended). The one minute of free fall feels like it goes by in seconds and the view of the ground speeding towards you is incredible!
The parachute opens and the world around you goes quiet as all wind noise stops. The feeling of gliding is very relaxing and the view is absolutely amazing and well worth it. After a couple minutes of canopy time and watching the world go by, its time to put your feet back on the earth. You gracefully skim the green grass and its all over, your adrenalin is at its max and you cant get the grin of your face!
Special Thanks to Rob our instructor, the cameraman (pictures & video), and everyone at Vertical Extreme Skydiving in Vulcan, AB. My lovely women Melissa for the AMAZING birthday present! Words of advice: Make the jump, cause it’s will not be your last!! It most definitely won’t be our last one.
Birthday Boy Tyler’s Skydiving Video
Mel’s Skydiving Video