Thursday, June 3, 2021

Some paragliders manage to travel across hundreds of miles by remaining aloft for several hours

SF Chronicle:

Traditionally, paragliders spend an hour or so cruising near their launch sites. But a new crop is upping the stakes with long-distance flights that can carry pilots well over 100 miles and last upward of 7 hours. These intrepid fliers never know exactly where or how far they’ll go — or, more importantly, where they’ll land — until they get into the air and chase updrafts, like dandelion seeds carried on the wind.


“Ideally, we land in Fresno at sunset,” 160 miles southeast, said []a pilot from Richmond.

“Or it could be a bust,” [he] said. “We might just end up at the bottom of the mountain.”


An ethic of cross-country paragliding requires the first pilot down to find transportation — usually an Uber or Lyft back to their car — and begin scooping up the others, who may land miles away, hours later. Part of the fun is seeing where everyone ends up.