Sunday, 11 February 2018

First Flights in Nepal

We got our first paragliding flights in Nepal yesterday!

In the morning, we had to wait for our paragliding permits to be issued and with not having flown since October, our bags having been packed for a week, and not wanting to try to sort everything out with a bazillion other pilots on launch, we spent a couple hours by the lake getting organized and kiting. It felt good to do a some inflations and turns on the ground to get rid of the nerves. Ok, some of the nerves!

We were humbled by the ~10 yr old Nepali kid, who was kiting like the wing was just an extension of his arms, who asked if we wanted paragliding lessons. "I can help you out, brother," he said to Andrew. :-)
Andrew just after launching
From where we were by the lake, we saw the mass of mostly tandem pilots in the air and can't say we were too excited about trying to fly in that! Yikes! Claudio (our guide/instructor from Air Adventure in Drayton Valley) assured us that we could launch in between the peak times for the tandems. 

But we actually launched from a place a bit further along the ridge (Toripani) and thankfully there weren't too many pilots flying in that area. It was a bit cloudy and hazy and I didn't have much luck with the light thermals but, fighting a headache most of the day, I was happy with a ~20 minute flight. As always, Andrew was up longer and managed to do quite well, getting high enough to go back and forth along the main ridge.
I love the look of all the terraced slopes.
Looking back toward the ridge where the launch areas are.
The end of the ridge down to the landing zone. You can see wings in the LZ, far right, middle of photo.

Andrew coming in to land.

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