Paragliding enchainment

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 21 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
DataMind

Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 29, 2013 - 01:34am PT
Dean Potter may have sparked the vision with the parachute, but Ueli Steck is taking it to the next level. Once Honnold can solo with a paraglider maybe the triple crown will go down with a single digit time??? Either way this is sick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yns694E5Qg
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 05:37am PT
This is what it's all about.

This was the dream way back in 1985, when John Bouchard was climbing and flying. However, now the gliders are solid, safe, very flyable, and small enough to really carry. The climbing knowledge base and the flying knowledge base are both really high now.

It's gonna be really interesting to see what "The Swiss Machine" can do. Very inspirational if you ask me. Spectacular things will be done.

He's doing it at a cutting edge, but many can do this at a more mello level.

Volbivouc and X-Alps is really, really cool also. More climbers need to fly. I'm surprised that the numbers of flyers in the US hasn't reached the numbers in Europe yet.

Do Europeans have more cajones? Or is it just that they have more lift served grassy mountains and take responsibility for their own actions?

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 29, 2013 - 09:33am PT
Maybe they're less likely to get thrown in the slammer than in gringolandia. Is paragliding illegal like base jumping? Seems a lot easier to get into than base.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
Ueli Steck – “The Swiss Machine”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=B2WiRRrETZQ
Ueli Steck - A New Vision
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yns694E5Qg
Ueli Steck - Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnlL79hqoxk



Ueli really is an inspiration. Seems like a really nice guy who's down to Earth.

Climbing and flying that's where its at.



Link to this:

Poor Man's Heli-Skiing
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2092295&msg=2092295#msg2092295
BASE1361

climber
Yosemite Valley National Park
Mar 29, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
Jean Marc-Boivin was the first to have the vision. Doesn't matter I guess in the end.

Sadly Jean Marc-Boivin died BASE jumping Angel Falls in 1989.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 4, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
For your (easier) viewing pleasure




I have been trying to get a similar thing going with my own 5 pound paraglider for the last 3 years... but i have definitely NOT been sending (read low speed crashes on take off). Dave Turner HAS been sending - http://vimeo.com/user5961980
manzanita man

Social climber
somerset, ca.
Apr 4, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
this guy was flying over my place yesterday. took off from the park down the street.
Credit: manzanita man
Credit: manzanita man
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Apr 4, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
between climbing, hard drinking and drugging, and sex with women of low morals, I don't need another dangerous hobby.

thanks a lot, as#@&%e.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 5, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
hey there say, manzanita man...

did not get to comment on the artistic part of the photos, first time, when i saw them...

but say, very well done...
balanced and set nice...

thanks for sharing...
:)
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 5, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Paragliding enchainment went through a phase back in the nineties.

Bouchard came out to Bishop in 1986 when I was living there. We flew every day using different experimental designs that he had. I kept telling him to patent one design, and it ended up being the type now used by skydivers.

It was a lot of fun. I tried it on my BASE canopy and ended up going head over heals down a hundred feet of talus and came up with only a bunch of scrapes.

The thing that Dean dominates in BASE is distance and freefall time. He is built like Kevin Durant from the NBA, with a huge wingspan, and he can really milk out the distance. At the same time, everyone else seems to be into proxy flying.

CMac would probably know more about this than me. I'm pretty disconnected from the whole scene now. Too old.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Apr 5, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
Bouchard was the US pioneer of paragliding (called "parasailing" back then, before we knew that was the name for the tourist sport of being towed by boats). He supplied me and a team with some of the first paragliders in the US in 1986, and after a couple hours of pretty haphazard training (due to lack of time and non-ideal wind conditions) in Bishop, we climbed and flew a few peaks in Baffin Island.

Bouchard's first imported paragliders were simple 7-cell square gliders--actually they were much better designed for the kind of stuff Uli is now looking at. I saw the dream of climbing and flying (as the descent vehicle), and I pioneered and practiced "cliff-launches" with paragliders. I had several successful flights with the old 7-cells off cliffs in the southwest desert--the Moki dugway being my favourite launch. With those old gliders, with lower flying speed, I could start on the edge of a cliff, launch the glider with a firm tug and practiced timing on the controls (a little pull on front risers), take the step off the cliff edge, and fly.

I made a near-fatal mistake with the next generation of gliders, which had a higher flying speed (meaning they will stall at lower speeds), in an attempt to cliff launch at a site in Chamoinix. My glider stalled on my cliff launch, and I found myself free falling with the glider below me off a 2000' cliff. It then caught some wind, popped up and open above me but facing the cliff, and I slammed into the cliff, was knocked out. When I came to, alive only because the glider cords had hung up on little knobs on the cliff, I was able to climb off the side of the cliff into a gulley with a cracked ankle talus.

I tried to work with the manufacturers to build the ultimate descent vehicle--small, light, square shape glider with 7 or 8 larger cells, to pursue this dream, but by that time the paragliding community was looking for increased performance, and the gliders were getting bigger, with higher glide ratios, and higher stall speeds, heavier--but not suitable as a descent vehicle. Liability was a prime concern in the fledgling sport of paragliding back then.

Good to see this dream might come to light sometime in the future. It will take the combined wisdom of some bold climbers and some bold designers/manufacturers.

Here's some pics of one of my Moki Dugway flights:

Credit: deuce4


Credit: deuce4

Credit: deuce4


Credit: deuce4
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Apr 5, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
I want to hear more about paragliding:

Tell me more supertacoers!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Apr 5, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Holy crap, Duece, what a story!!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 5, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
FLY!!!
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Apr 5, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
Here was the second generation of paragliders available in the US (1988 or so)--larger, slightly higher performance (though glide ratios still not much better than 1:1), and completely unsuitable for cliff launching, which I had to learn the hard way...

(this is just a 'normal' flight at the Flagstaff craters)

2nd generation
2nd generation
Credit: deuce4

Merriam Crater
Merriam Crater
Credit: deuce4

Flagstaff, AZ craters
Flagstaff, AZ craters
Credit: deuce4



deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Apr 5, 2013 - 10:54pm PT

Apr 5, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Looking for old notes, couldn't find 'em, but I had made some modifications to my gear, and had sketched some design ideas for ultimate descent vehicle:

--glider clips onto climbing harness with minimal modifications (i.e., super light chest rig--attachment points between breast and collarbone each side).
--preference flying speed requirements over performance (lowest stall speed).
--Shape: relatively flat square design with larger cells (the elliptical tip paragliders are designed to reduce vortex drag--not really a concern with with cliff launching).
--Packs small and 2-3Kg max.

Factors: weight, packed size, glide ratio, stall speed, windspeed range, ease of pop-up inflation.

Like kiteboarding, one might have a "quiver" of kites, dependent on expected launch conditions.

The cliff launches I was doing were best in light (less than 5 knot) winds, but no-wind cliff launching was also an option with those old first generation parasails. I did a few in winds that were close to the max flying speed of the glider as well, but the flying speed range of the old ones were quite low compared to today's versions).

I always reckoned you could somehow design a glider with variable wind speed ranges (at the expense of some performance)--perhaps with a simple adjustment system of the foil shape of the wing.

Disclaimer: even back then, no one else was trying this kind of cliff launching, and most people legitimately thought me crazy to be pushing the sport that way, but the dozen or so extreme flights (in addition to a few hundred 'normal' paragliding and hanggliding flights) are still a highlight in my memories of seeking maximum intensity in my youth...


GuapoVino

Trad climber
Apr 5, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
Pretty cool. I started taking paragliding lessons last summer. There's a much larger body of knowledge to learn and master than I imagined. I would almost compare it to learning to fly and getting a private pilot's license.

Supposedly the modern wings are a lot safer than they were even a few years ago. Wings are certified and fall into different classifications based on how they react to different input, canopy collapses, how they recover without input, etc. The lower classifications are much safer and forgiving to novice pilots than more advanced wings.

Here's a pretty cool video:

http://vimeo.com/48351310
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 5, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Wow, looks so cool. I know some guys who launch off of Sundance Mt. 30 miles away. they said they got extra gear, but kind of afraid I may like it too much.
Bob Palais

Trad climber
UT
Apr 7, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
A lot of amazing history and new steps forward. Thanks for posting the wild stories and great pictures John et. al!

I didn't realize how widely influential John Bouchard was in early paragliding here - weren't his wings `Feral'? He really made breakthroughs in multiple realms. I had a really fun afternoon doing RecomBeast with him in the 90s after he hadn't climbed for several years. He said he'd broken all his biners and slings testing gear! So he called up Rick Wilcox and bought a rope and a rack and he was so joyful he kept saying how much he realized he just loved climbing from being away from it. It was a real treat to share that fresh appreciation of nothing but the pure joy of climbing. Very pioneering in gear, business, accomplished in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas (Shivling: http://www.markrichey.com/who_we_are/mountaineering.cfm )

And Ueli Steck's visionary technical and endurance feats are surreal. It is great to live in a time when those ascents are being done in great style and when we can actually see Ueli in motion in such nicely produced videos. Even the filming must be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous.

I was mainly posting to give a nod to another group of pioneers in the early days of when paragliding met climbing, Jim and John Yates. My first paraglider was one of their Summit Magic wings. I don't think I would have ever flown but the personal care and passion in their workmanship and their own flying was really inspiring. It is nice to still see them at the Yates booth at the OR show.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
Apr 7, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Deuce,

Great stories from the early days. Always enjoyed the vision in your A5 ads in the mags. Nice pen drawings with big wall climbing and paragliders flying off the summits. Very cool. Very forward thinking.

I would take images of John Bouchard, Ken Baier, Fred Lawley, and others flying off of Little Black here in San Diego before I got into it, that was the early 90s. 1997 I finally could afford to do it and got my P3 and I continue to fly today. It's a great sport. Things are finally working out to do the things we always dreamed of doing. The equipment and knowledge today is superior.

New issue (April 2013) of Hang Gliding and Paragliding mag for USHPA has a great ad by Ozone inside the front cover for a mountain descent paragliding harness/backpack "The OZO" and a mountain glider "The Ozone XXLite" all together = 3.7 pounds! Amazing. Harness plus glider at 3.7 pounds and high quality/safe!!

Then there is an article called "Sierra Safari: A Paragliding Journey" by Gavin McClurg, with Jody MacDonald, Eric Reed, Nick Greece and Antoine Laurens flying Volbivouc from Horseshoe Meadows, just south of Mt. Whitney to all the way to Lakeview, Oregon in 18 days. Incredible adventure. It's happening now. Amazing.


For some levity ...


The Fixx - Lost Planes [1982]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1ot_pGQIhw





When you're hanging from a parachute
The whistling wind might play your flute
So forget it
Lost traffic
Someone said you couldn't fly the plane
So I guess this journey's all in vain
So forget it
Lost traffic
We're on a lost plane
Should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
So forget it
Flying high but your fuel is low
How far can a missing plane go
So forget it
Lost traffic
Tell you that you're flying radar
But it's that much safer to take that car
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
So forget it
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
So forget it
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
So forget it
So when you're hanging from a parachute
The whistling wind might play your flute
So forget it
Lost traffic
Tell you that you're flying radar
But it's that much safer to take that car
We're on a lost plane
I should've taken the train
We're on a lost plane
So forget it
We're on a lost plane
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