Colorado balloonist shows how to prepare before a launch

CAÑON CITY, Colo —  The fourth annual Create Cañon City Balloon Classic is underway, starting Saturday morning with a balloon launch.

The wind was too much though, so balloonists weren’t able to launch.

“If you look at this tall tree in the background and at the very, very top, the branches are kicking pretty hard,” said Mark Whiting, a Denver balloonist.

Whiting says it’s always important to keep your eye on what Mother Nature brings in.

“The number one key to me is to be a micro-meteorologist, the second thing is patience,” said Whiting.

From untangling cables to spreading out the balloon and filling it up, a lot of patience is needed.

It’s something Whiting says takes teamwork. But teamwork can only be used when the wind cooperates.

Whiting says he estimated Saturday’s winds to be 15 or 20 knots.

“And my goal is to not fly over 10 knots when I’m in the air and I won’t launch if it’s more than 5 knots,” said Whiting.

There will be more chances though for balloonists to launch.

The Balloon Classic goes all weekend and through Memorial Day.

 >> Click here if you’d like to see a full schedule of events.

The family-friendly event is free and held on the grounds of the Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City.

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