Monday, June 29, 2015

Flying Around

We ended up paragliding at four different sites around BC - the two near Vernon, Mt. MacKenzie at Revelstoke (thanks to Brad at Revelstoke Paragliding), and Mt. 7 at Golden (thanks to Scott at Altitude Adventures).

getting ready to launch in beautiful scenery

The launch at Revelstoke is from the top of the ski hill, which has the highest vertical in North America - 1,713m (5,620 ft). So even a "sled ride" without thermals is a 25 minute flight! If you're considering a tandem flight, this is a great location to get a long flight. (most places can only guarantee 10 to 15 minutes). My first flight here was about 40 minutes, my second, a little later in the day with better thermals, was 80 minutes, and I probably could have stayed up longer if I'd wanted. And on top of the the great flying, the scenery is fantastic with snow covered peaks and the big valley with the river running through it.


Mt. 7 at Golden is well known for paragliding. Many long, record breaking flights have been made from here. We flew early in the day so there were no thermals and we just got 15 minute glides down, but it was good to get to know the site. Launch was a little trickier. Not over a cliff, but a steep slope that would not have been pleasant to fall down.

If there's wind you can do reverse launches where you can pull up the wing facing it, and make sure it's good before turning and taking off. But we had no wind which meant forward launches, where you have to run to pull up the glider and you can't (easily) pause to see if it's ok. After I set up my glider, Scott, who was showing us the site, asked if I wanted to move my glider further back from the edge. I said no, I was fine. In retrospect, if someone experienced asks that kind of thing, it should probably be taken as a suggestion, not a question! Where I set up, I had about 3 steps before the edge. Enough room if everything went well, but not really enough room to abort if it didn't. Thankfully my wing came up straight and didn't overshoot, and I flew off cleanly.

Shelley coming in to land

Shelley coming in to land. The Mt. 7 launch is the left hand peak on the skyline.

We started this trip with only a single 15 minute flight under our belts. We now have 12 flights and I have almost 7 hours in the air. We're still beginners but at least we're getting a little experience and getting to know some of the flying sites.

See all 8 photos as a slideshow or overview

See also my earlier post - Learning to Climb

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