TAKE TO THE SKIES ON A TANDEM PARAGLIDER
Paragliding – it gives you wings! The experience of paragliding is like nothing else with precipitous drops, stunning vistas and a wonderfully eerie silence that is punctuated by the wind rushing though the canopy.
Looking up at the mountains is an awe-inspiring sight, with jagged rocks piercing the clouds. Looking down on them is an altogether different, more impressive experience and the chance to fly with the birds is a remarkable activity.
There are no particular skills required for Paragliding, the pilot conducts the safety checks of the canopy and the harness. The pilot is responsible for selecting the correct winds for take-off and they will also ensure a safe landing in the correct location. A brief induction is provided as to the required take off procedure. Then the pilot chooses the optimal time to launch and both the passenger and pilot run downhill to inflate the canopy and take-off.
Tandem paragliding flights are undertaken in connected harnesses that are hung under one canopy. The passenger flies in front of the pilot who controls the canopy shape and direction. The passenger lies back and marvels at the sight of peaks, the valley floor in the far distance and the sound of wind whistling as the paraglider cuts through the silent Alpine air.
Suitable wind conditions are required for paragliding flights. These will be assessed at the time of the appointment, through to moments before take-off. The pilot will cancel a flight indefinitely if the wind conditions are not optimal and safe.
A reasonable head for heights is required as is the ability to run down a snowy path during take-off. Good footwear and warm clothes are required as it can be frigid, high up in the thin Alpine air.
Paragliding locations are numerous with most resorts offering tandem flights. Notable locations to fly with a paraglider are Zell am See for its dramatic horizons of glaciers as well as Austria’s highest peak. Zeller Lake on the edge of the resort also makes for a wonderful backdrop.
Mayrhofen is another great option for a tandem paragliding flight. Views to the south of the mighty Hintertux Glacier and beyond into Italy are very special whilst to the north the sheer rock face below the Penken ski area is dramatic. What a way to download to the valley!
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