Paragliding the Rockies

Paragliding the Rockies

Thanks to the fact that the Rocky Mountains cover a wide area of North America, taking in both the U.S. and Canada, there are plenty of locations to choose from if you want to give paragliding a go. This is an experience which is never to be forgotten but it is definitely one that is not for the faint-hearted.

In the Canadian Rockies, tandem paragliders are very popular. This trend comes hot on the heels of adventure sports such as heli-skiing and heli-hiking. This means that you do not need to be a paraglider pilot yourself but you simply go along as a passenger. This is a very good option for those who have never tried paragliding before but want to give it a go. There are also operators offering the more extreme heli-paragliding tandem flights. With these you need to go up to the mountain in a helicopter because that is the only way to get to the launch site.

Mount 7 is the best place in the Canadian Rockies for this type of activity. The Lookout is the launch point and all pilots used are fully qualified and experienced, meeting the standards which have been set by the Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association of Canada. They are also all qualified to instructor level. If you choose to take the heli-paragliding option you can spend some time enjoying a picnic lunch high in the Rockies before your flight begins.

Mount 7 can be found close to the town of Golden and it also has a launch site which can be accessed by motor vehicle, but there are also other mountains which are an option for serious paragliders. Mount Swansea can be found near Invermere and there are three launch sites here which are proving to be popular. The road on Mt Swansea will take you up around five kilometers and then you can hike to the launch site.

The Panorama Flying Site is very aptly named and is perfect for those who want to do a little flying during the winter months. There are three sites here which you can reach by making use of the ski lifts at the winter sports resort. The landing zone can be found close to the triple-chair ski lift. Alternatively you can head over to Revelstoke and try the sites at Mount Mackenzie. Also with three launch sites, this one is a little different as access to them is not easy and you will need the help of a local guide.

Alternatively further south you can spend some time paragliding in the Rockies located in the U.S. state of Colorado. Here there are opportunities for those who are completely new to paragliding and you can launch at 9000 feet, making the most of the amazing views. However, you also have the option here of doing the flight as a tandem ride.

There are a number of advantages to the tandem ride. The pilot will be the one thinking about the conditions of the flight and will be doing all the hard work while all you have to do is sit back and relax. The pilots will ensure that you have all the safety equipment that you need and talk you through every step of the flight.


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