Showing posts with label Paragliding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paragliding. Show all posts

Video: Snowmobile Paragliding in Sweden

So here are two words that I never thought I'd see used together: snowmobile paragliding. That is the new extreme activity that a team of daredevils called the Stunt Freaks invented while out in a remote region of Sweden in the winter. As you'll see in the video below, it is exactly as crazy as it sounds.

Video: Speedflying Through the Swiss Alps

We return to the Swiss Alps again today for another mountain adventure. This time we go speedflying in the mountains with paraglider Jamie Lee launching himself off a high cliff and zooming down the side of a mountain. Of course, it's all captured using his GoPro camera, which gives us a first person view of the action. For me, these videos are fun to watch, but not something I'm eager to try myself. I'll let others make the videos while I just post 'em!

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Video: Every Flight Counts - Speedflying in the Alps

There may be no better way to take in the stunning scenery of the Alps than from the air. In this video, a team of paragliders head up into the mountains on several flights, recording their adventures along the way. The results are some breathtaking shots of the mountains with plenty of stunning scenery in every direction.

Every flight counts // homebound speedflying - 2016 from Marius Beck Dahle on Vimeo.

Video: Exploring Alaska from Above with Paraglider Paul Guschlbauer

Paul Guschlbauer is an Austrian paraglider who traveled to Alaska – one of the world's last great frontiers – to explore the region from above. What he found there was an epic wilderness that remains remote and untamed, even in the 21st century. Paul flew across this amazing place in a 60-year old airplane, finding beautiful landscapes and amazing adventures along the way. This short video takes us along for the ride, and will leave you wanting more. See Alaska the way the famous bush pilots do, and marvel and just how spectacularly beautiful the state truly is.

Video: Wings of Kilimanjaro 2016 Expedition

Next week, 29 climbers will set out for the "Roof of Africa" as part of the Wings of Kilimanjaro initiative. The team, which is being led by my friends over at Tusker Trail, will attempt to trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa, where they will then paraglide off the mountain. But the group isn't there just to have an amazing adventure. They'll also be raising funds to support a number of projects that are improving the lives of people living in Tanzania. Those projects include installing pumps to deliver clean water, teaching local farmers to grow crops in a sustainable fashion, and improving the education of the children that live there. In the video below, you'll learn a bit more about the program, but you'll also see some amazing shots of their previous climbs up Kili, and the epic flights they've taken from the summit. It looks like a great way to see an already impressive mountain, and its all for a good cause.


Video: The Ultimate Descent - From Everest to the Indian Ocean

In 2011, Sanobabu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tshiri Sherpa completed one of the most difficult and unexpected adventures in recent memory. The two men began by climbing to the summit of Everest, where they then deployed a paraglider and launched from the summit, flying down the Khumbu Valley to Namche Bazaar,  where they then embarked on the second stage of their journey – a kayaking trip down the Sun Kosi River that would ultimately take them to the Indian Ocean. Along the way they faced Class V rapids and the real threat of drowning, even as the Nepal military was searching for them since their Everest flight wasn't exactly sanctioned.

This video is from a news report about this crazy expedition. It was obviously filmed not long after they made the climb, flight, and paddle. The clip was recently posted online however, and for those that don't know the story, it is an interesting one. It was quite the adventure going from the summit of the world's tallest mountain to the sea level in just a few short weeks.

Video: Paragliding Over Rio de Janeiro

With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in full swing the eyes of the world of turned towards Rio. If you've been watching the events unfold in Brazil, you've no doubt seen some beautiful shots of the surrounding landscapes along the way. But in this video we join paragliders Nader Couri and Joe da Silva as they soar high above the city and Conrado Beach, giving us an adrenaline filled look at the surroundings. We haven't seen Rio from this vantage point just yet.

Video: Paragliding Over Broad Peak

A couple of weeks back I posted a story about how extreme paraglider Antoine Girard set a new record by launching from 6500 meters (21,325 ft) in the Karakoram and then caught some thermals that allowed him to soar high enough that he actually climbed up to the summit of Broad Peak. At the time, I mentioned that there was a GoPro video of the flight, but it hadn't been released yet. Now, we have that video, which you'll find below. As you would expect, the short but breathtaking video includes some great shots of the Karakoram as Antoine soars up above those massive mountains. This one was definitely worth the wait.

Video: Watch Skydiver Luke Aikins Plummet 25,000 Feet Without a Parachute

Yesterday I wrote about skydiver Luke Aikins and his 25,000 foot jump without a parachute. At the time, I said that there had to be a YouTube video coming that would show the entire proceedings, and I was right. You can watch the entire spectacle in the clip below, which is as scary as you would expect, even knowing the outcome. It will also give you more respect for Aikins skills as a skydiver as he maneuvers into a relatively small net to arrest his fall. Amazing stuff all around.

Skydiver Sets Record For Highest Jump without a Parachute

One of the biggest stories from this past weekend was the record setting skydive by Luke Aikins, who on Saturday leapt from an airplane at 25,000 feet (7620 meters) without a parachute and yet still managed to land safely and walk away completely unharmed.

The historic jump took place in the California desert on Saturday evening, which is when years of planning and months of training came together at long last. The very experienced skydiver used all of the skills he gained on more than 18,000 previous jumps to maneuver himself through the air and land on a 10,000 sq. foot net, which caught him perfectly, preventing Aikins from smashing into the ground. At that moment, he became the first person in history to jump from an airplane without a parachute, and land safely.

In the minutes leading up to that dangerous landing, Aikins – along with three other support skydivers who were wearing chutes – jumped from an aircraft and began drifting back to Earth. Luke wore an oxygen mask until he dropped below the 18,000 foot (5486 meter) mark, at which time he proceeded to fall without any kind of additional aid. He had to keep his wits about him at all times, and control his descent as best he could, in order to land on his mark. The net, which is roughly one third of the size of football field, was specifically designed and built to catch him just right, preventing any kind of injury. But, in order to hit it the daredevil had to be very precise in his approach. Fortunately, he was.


Just prior to making the jump it was announced that Aikin had been required to wear a parachute, although he vowed not to open it. It is unclear where this requirement came from, and it flew in the face of the entire plan, casting a brief shadow over the proceedings. Luke had been planning to make this jump sans chute for more than two years, and we even told you about his jump here on The Adventure Blog more than a year ago. But once he was airborne the requirement was reportedly lifted, and he was free to make the jump as he had originally intended.

As already mentioned, Aikin is an incredibly experienced skydiver. In addition to the 18,000+ jumps he's already made, he also is a consultant to the U.S. military, served as a stuntman, and even worked on Felix Baumgartner's record setting jump from the edge of space a few years back. In other words, if anyone had the skills necessary to make this leap, it was Luke and very few other people should even consider it. Hopefully this doesn't start a trend of more people trying to push the envelope in the skydiving department, which could end in tragic accidents.

That said, this is another stunt that I'm eager to see the YouTube video for. Hopefully we'll get something released int he next few days. It will definitely be interesting to watch the entire fall and see how it all unfolded.

Congratulations to Luke on accomplishing this feat. What an amazing, daring, and crazy stunt to pull off.

Extreme Paraglider Breaks 8000 Meter Mark in Pakistan

Here at The Adventure Blog we cover a lot of interesting stories about people climbing 8000-meter peaks. It isn't often however that we share a story about someone who found another way to reach the mythical 8000-meter mark that doesn't involve ropes, crampons, and down suits. Earlier this week it was revealed that French extreme paraglider Antoine Girard managed to do just that when he sailed above the summit of Broad Peak in Pakistan, rising to some 8100 meters (26,574 ft) in the process.

According to Brad Sander, an American adventure pilot living in Pakistan, Antione approached him a few weeks back inquiring about renting oxygen bottles for the flight. Sander called Girard's accomplishment "the flight of the century," while helping to fill in some of the details about how all of this came together.

Apparently, Antoine shoed up in Pakistan with a friend in tow. Unfortunately, that friend was part of the French military, so his entry visa was denied. This caused Girard to scramble his plans some, but he met up with some other paragliders in country that helped get him acclimated. After that, he took off for the Karakoram, where he spent three weeks exploring the area and making flights around the mountains there, including the 8126 meter (26,660 ft) Nanga Parbat.

Once he learned how the thermals in the area worked, and became accustomed to the weather conditions there, the Frenchman hatched a plan. Climbing up to the Baltoro Glacier, he camped for a couple of nights while he made his preparations. On July 23, he took flight, gliding over the famous Trango Tower on his way to Concordia, a place where few paragliders have ever flown before. From there, he could see Nanga Parbat, K2, and Broad Peak.

After he got the lay of the land, Antoine was ready to go for it. He climbed above 6500 meters (21,325 ft), then set off in his paraglider. Catching thermals he was able to rise higher and higher, eventually reaching the summit of Broad Peak itself, which sits at 8051 meters (26,414 ft). This makes him the first person to actually fly to the summit of an 8000 meter peak in this manner.

Antonie is currently in transit back to France, but we're told that he has GoPro footage of the flight. You can bet that we're eagerly waiting to see how that turns out. It should definitely be very interesting. In the mean time, you can read all about his adventure here.

Video: GoPro for a Cause - Remember the Nepal Earthquake

Next week will mark the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Nepal. Over the past 12 months there have been a lot of efforts to help the country – which is a haven for outdoor adventure – to rebuild itself. In this video, we see yet another one of those efforts as paragliders and hangliders join the Cloudbase Foundation in its efforts to help with the cause. Along the way, we get some great views of the legendary Himalayan landscapes found in Nepal.

Video: Fledglings - Paragliding with Climbers Cedar Wright and Matt Segal

Climbers Cedar Wright and Matt Segal feel right at home scaling a tough route on a challenging rock face. But recently they both have gotten into paragliding as well, which gives them a new avenue for channeling their adventurous spirits. This video, which comes our way courtesy of The North Face, takes us on an incredible journey with Cedar and Matt as they hone their skills as paragliders before traveling to Mexico to climb and fly from the top of Pico de Orizaba, the highest peak in that country at 5636 meters (18,491 ft). As you can imagine, the views from the top, and the flight back down are amazing.

What the Hell is Wingboarding and Will it Be the Next Big Thing in Extreme Sports?

Outside Online has published a story about an emerging new activity called wing boarding that is in the early stages of development. Inspired by the old Disney television show Tailspin from back in the early 90's, wing boarding is the brainchild of aerospace engineer Aaron Wypyszynski, who has designed a flying wing that is pulled behind an airplane with a person standing on it. In simpler terms, it is wake boarding in the air.

Over the past couple of years, Wypysznski has been developing prototypes of what he calls the WingBoard. In its current state, this flying platform spans 12-feet and weighs approximately 70 pounds. It has bindings attached to it much like a snowboard, and allows a full grown man to be towed through the air behind an airplane, doing all kinds of stunts in the process.

Outside says to date, the engineer has spent more than $25,000 on this project, which he hopes one day will be used at airshows with extreme athletes carving up the sky behind stunt planes. In a sense, it would be surfing through the sky, with safety features such as breakaway bindings and parachutes on both the pilot and the board, to ensure that no one gets injured in the process.

So far, only scale models of the WingBoard have been flown, with the most recent test involving a prototype that is 40% of the actual size of the end product. A similarly scaled model of a human was attached to that prototype, with the test running coming off without a hitch – including a full barrel roll. If further testing goes as planned, Wypysznski could begin producing and selling WingBoards as early as next year.

So? What do you think? Would you ride this thing? Check out the video below for a look at one of the models in action.


Video: Paragliding Through the Italian Dolomites

We've seen some amazing videos from the Dolomites in Northern Italy, but we've never seen those famous mountains from this perspective before. This video was shot on a 50 km (31 mile) flight in a paraglider that soared high above the iconic jagged peaks that are a trademark of the region. This four-and-a-half-minute clip will give us a look at these mountains that most of us will never see, and it is well worth the trip. Enjoy!

Amazing day in the Dolomites from Robi on Vimeo.

Video: Paragliding with the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis (aka the Northern Lights) are one of the most spectacularly beautiful natural phenomenons in the world. Lighting up the night sky in a variety of colors, they are a humbling sight to behold, and what better way to experience them than from the seat of paraglider? That's exactly what pilot Horatio Llorens did when he traveled to Trømso, Norway recently, and his experience is captured in the video below. As you can imagine, it was quite a flight.

Video: Taking Flight Over Moab

This beautiful video takes us high above the rocky landscapes of Moab, Utah where eight different disciplines of flight (proximity flying, wingsuits, skydiving, etc.) all converge to show us what is possible when humans take to the air. The landscapes around Moab make a great backdrop for these scenes, which look incredible from every angle. After watching this, you'll believe that a man can fly.

Video: Snowboarder Xavier De Le Rue Paramotors into the Alaskan Wilderness

Extreme mountain snowboarder Xavier De Le Rue is well known for going to great lengths to reach some of the most remote areas of the world. In this video, he shows that spirit once again as he and his team use paramotors to fly into the Alaskan wilderness to reach places that no one has ever snowboarded before. This is certainly a unique way to travel, and very different from taking a helicopter into the backcountry, which is the way many of these videos are shot. In the clip below, you'll fly along with Xavier and his crew through some beautiful landscapes before they drop off and snowboard down some incredibly steep slopes. It is an impressive display all around.

Video: Paragliding Through the Dolomites

The Italian Dolomites are some of the most spectacular mountains on the planet, and what better way to explore them than through the air on a paraglider? In this video we go high up with a group of gliders who give us a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. While I'd personally prefer o be hiking or climbing in this environment, it is hard to deny how beautiful it looks from the air.

Follow Me - Dolomites from Cloudbase Productions on Vimeo.

Red Bull X-Alps is Underway

One of the coolest races in the world is underway in Europe, where the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps is unfolding at a brisk pace. The event, which is now in its seventh year, pits athletes from around the world against one another in a unique format that is unlike any other competition that I am aware of.

The race begins in Salzburg, Austria and requires racers to cross the Alps on their way to the finish line in Monaco. To do that, they'll trail run and climb to the top of mountains, then deploy their paragliders to cover as much distance as possible before repeating the process again. The route includes ten individual checkpoints that the racers must pass through along the way, but other than that, they are free to choose which ever path they want.

This year there are 32 athletes from 18 countries taking part in the X-Alps. Amongst them is Shrivel Maurer, the three-time defending champ of the race. Maurer is off to a good start once again this year, as he has already won the Salewa Brenta Trophy that is awarded to the first racer to reach the midway point of the race at the fifth checkpoint. He now has 626 km (389 miles) to go to reach Monaco.

For the first time ever, there were two women taking part in the X-Alps, although Yvonne Dathe of Germany was eliminated yesterday after failing to make a time cut-off. That leaves American Dawn Westrum to carry the torch for female competitors moving forward, and I'm sure she'd love to reach the finish line to become the first woman to do just that.

It will still be a few days before the first racers reach the floating finish line on the Mediterranean Sea. You can follow all of the action as it unfolds at the X-Alps official website, which includes live tracking of the current positions of each of the athletes. The video below also serves as a good introduction to the race.