Paragliding in Åre (March)

He had just taken off, yet he was suspiciously close to the ground. Looking to his left, the mountainside was moving fast upwards relative to him.

This was sinking air, no question about it. He was already below the ridge he needed to clear to get to the landing area.

Turning a bit to the right, he flew over a ski lift. Right in front of him was another one, at the bottom of it was a big flat snowfield. He quickly decided that was where he was going to land.

As he came down a bit closer he could see a flag he could use to estimate wind direction. The landing was spot on.

Looking 90 degrees to his left he could see the other glider circling around the same spot as him. As the other glider turned a bit more, so did he to prevent it from coming up behind him. It was better to try and keep the same distance all the time and use each other to determine where the most lifting air was.

Suddenly the other glider surged upwards, that was where the center of the thermal was. 180 degrees later in the turn, when he came to the same spot in the air, his own glider surged upwards. He tried to flatten out the turn a bit, as to get more wing area lifting up whilst in the lift.

The other glider was now a bit higher than him, still 180 degrees to his left. They continued their game, trying to find the best spot to go upwards.

This was my first time flying since December. Did some dry runs, or fake starts, before getting airborne. I still don’t have enough flights for my certification, so I’ll have to fly supervised by an instructor for now. It’s not a lot of flights left though, soon I’ll be able to go on my own whenever I want. That’s where the real journey starts.

The certification is mostly basic security training, so it’s when you can get out there on your own that you can start learning how to ride thermals and winds.

Also I’ll be able to hike up pretty much any mountain and fly down, can’t wait to get my hands on my own glider.

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