Published on February 6th, 2012 | by Adam0
Winter jumps at PST
So first off, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Adam Mabee at Parachute School of Toronto for the ENORMOUS hospitality he showed us at PST.
Not only were we welcomed with open arms, he made sure that we got into the sky even when mother nature wasn’t 100% cooperative. The wind conditions were perfect, but cloud ceiling wasn’t very much so….
We got several hop and pops done, some emergency exit practice and luckily I even managed to get in on one of the two loads that got to 9.5k (We had a blue hole opened up for us for about an hour on the Sunday).
Long story short, Adam was a great host, and I honestly look forward to going back to PST again.
So Friday evening around 4:30 pm, we head off from Montreal for a 7 hour drive to Toronto.
We were to be the last ones there, leaving Montreal with somewhat disappointing weather (There was a pretty big snowfall while we were on our way), that left me kind of worried that we wouldn’t get to jump if conditions stayed this way. But as we got closer and closer to our destination, things got greener and greener…
To put things simply: There was no snow after the Quebec/Ontario border.
Now, we’re beginning February in Canada… One would expect to see some white… But seriously, there was nothing at all.
At this point I’m thinking “What the hell kind of a winter jump is this gonna be? I’ll be landing on grass”
But we continue on our way regardless. Obviously we’re not here for snow, we’re here to jump off planes.
Around 11:30 PM, we arrive at the hotel, everyone’s been drinking, we’re last to arrive. The others has stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings and managed to get us sponsored. We would have to skydive while wearing their kid’s crown, in exchange, we’d get 50 wings. For those of you who don’t know, B.W.W. has a hot wing challenge where you have 5 minutes to eat 10 of their hottest wings (200 000 – 350 000 scoville) – More on that later.
So we get drunk and head to bed around 2:30 AM like good skydivers. ( We can sleep on the plane right? )
At 7:30 AM, we get up and head out for breakfast then on to the DZ.
The DZ is just opening up, they’re pulling their Cessna 182 out of the hangar (The 206 had just gotten a new engine, so they’re going easy on it for a bit).
I walk in to see this:
Put a smile on my face, even though Adam hates it for being tacky.
I manifest myself on the first load to 4500 feet to get a quick hop and pop done and to simply work off the rust since my last skydive.
While on the load, that beautiful blue sky you see in the picture earlier proceeds to disappear and we’re told that the ceiling is at about 5000 at the moment.
Worked for this load, but later on, it kept creeping lower, and lower, and lower, and lower…
Luckily, Adam kept us warm with a nice fire:
Needless to say, the ceiling never went back up and stuck around 3000-3200 feet.
Adam made sure that our time wasn’t wasted and let those of us who were comfortable do some emergency exit practices:
We may not have gotten full altitude, but we did have a great time.
That night, we went back to B.W.W.
With our pictures from the day as proof:
We of course got our hot wings…And yes, I proceeded to eat them in less than 5 minutes… Tears, runny nose, burning fingers and all…. I will not go into details about how my poor colon felt the next day.
So Sunday morning, we headed back to PST for some more action. We had convinced Adam to open early so that we could get as many jumps in as possible before heading back.
We were greeted by gray skies and a ceiling of 5000 in the morning. So once again, hop and pops.
I got on the 3rd load, attempted to do a mini track jump with one of the girls, but ended up back-flipping unintentionally on the way out and simply tracking on my own.
After that jump, I decided to sit out for a bit to warm up while the others jumped more.
I’m super glad I did, because Adam came in to announce that there was a hole that opened up.
Before he even got further than the word “hole” to tell us how high we could go, myself and 2 others were running to the whiteboard to put our names on the next load.
We got up to 9.5k, I got to do some head down, and I had triumphed at what I had set out to do: Get a full altitude winter jump done at PST.
All was well until about 500 feet, when I realized that I was coming in to land on a patch of ice. I figure “time to slide on my butt”, I proceed to do so, but then slide another 20 feet past the ice right into the mud.
Those wings + my muddy backside have won me the nickname “Shitty pants” at the DZ for quite some time.
Hopefully Adam and the others at PST enjoyed the laugh at my expense.
Once again, I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to Adam and the peeps at PST for being so welcoming and so nice to this group of crack-headed skydivers from Quebec.
I have to say that of all the Drop Zones I’ve visited, this is by far one of the ones that is MOST fun jump oriented. Adam is a true saint in the sport, he runs the school for the love of the sport and not for the money.
Rentals at 12$ if you pack them yourself are by far the cheapest I’ve ever seen for any canopies at all. (You’re jumping Sabers if you go for the sport canopies)
If ever you’re in the area, be sure to stop in for a fun jump or two, and as Adam constantly says “Just don’t fuck up”.