Position: 42°43’06″N 0°18’02″W
We jump off a mountain for fun and adventure! As you will see Carol is completely comfortable flying around suspended by a few bits of string. I on the other hand, being something of a control freak, prefer it when I’m doing the driving. We also had different landings. My pilot introduced me to the BabyBjörn fall flat on your face paragliding as a full contact sport approach. Although in fairness, he reassured me it was, ‘completely normal for a first landing.’ Carol’s pilot took a more relaxed scoot along your butt until you stop landing.
From our vantage points we had fabulous views of the lake and valley. The winds were gentle, and I soared over a huge vulture a hundred feet beneath my feet. Carol’s favorite part, aside from all of it, was circling the treetops above the lake just prior to landing. And all this in covid-inhibiting masks.
The upshot is we are sold on paragliding and only wish we had time for lessons. Both our pilots said we could make a solo flight in week, then spend the rest of our lives learning a very technical skill. The wing and harness are bulky, but (un)surprisingly light. That led us to consider the merits of hiking up a couple of thousand feet first thing in the morning and gliding down for several hours until lunchtime. That would balance the sport’s lack of aerobic demand and the fun of pretending you’re a bird.
Years ago I went skiing in Flumserberg, Switzerland, and discovered the most practical use for a paraglider. At the end of a long day, the conditions required taking a gondola back to the base. Two guys bombed down the edge of the mountain, took off their backpacks and unfurled their wings. No doubt they were into the glühwein hours before the rest of us.