Here are a few snaps taken whilst paragliding around the northern Lake District. Paragliding is very weather-dependent, you can fly all year round with the right conditions but the days on which these pictures were taken were exceptional. There is a predictive conditions forecast for flying that has a 'flyability' scale of 0-5 with 0 being not flyable and 5 being 'it's going to be incredible, pull a sickie or quit your job and go flying'.
It's not hard to learn to paraglide, if you can walk up a hill with a large rucsack you've cracked the hard part. It does however take a very long time to become skilled at reading and using the air to best advantage. We often fly with birds such as buzzards, peregrine falcons and occasionally if you are luck an osprey who mock us with their mastery of flying. We do use them as they generally know where to go to find lifting air.
Paragliding is an adventurous sport but it's probably a lot less adrenaline than you think; there's no jumping off cliffs or out of planes, it's pretty relaxed for the most part and you have a comfortable armchair-like harness to chill out in and take in the view. Give it a go, it will give you a completely new view the world.
16 December 2015 by Stuart Holmes
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One hundred issues. That’s quite a milestone and, given that we print quarterly, that makes it 25 years we’ve been publishing The Update for our customers.