Paragliding Above Sun Valley; KMVT Reporter Flies With World's Best


By Michelle Bartlome

Sun Valley, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Soaring the skies over Sun Valley, it's how 125 paragliders are spending their days lately. All this week paragliders from 28 countries have been participating in a flying competition for the World Cup. It's the 5th competition of the 2012 circuit season.

From the summit of Bald Mountain, our adventure begins.

Chuck Smith, Fly Sun Valley says, "Sun Valley is a world class flying site for 25 years, 5,000 tandems and 15,000 flights all together....When you're in the air. It's just you in the element. You trying to go as high as you can as far as you can. It's bonding."

Over one hundred colorful paragliding wings fill the skies.

Pilots using a GPS, race to check points and then to the finish line. Today.. It's Arco.

Event Organizer Mike Pfau adds, "this is a paragliding world cup. A race to the goal. There is a goal field out there that we have set and these pilots navigate checkpoints to a goal and the first person that gets there wins."

The flying course changes daily due to wind and weather conditions.
It can range anywhere from 10 to 100 miles.

"Tt's pretty amazing to watch. It's like someone fired a confetti gun."
"The sense of freedom, there is no comparison."

And while we may not have won the race, we were brave enough to paraglide among the world's finest.

The fun continues this week with the second event.. The National Champs Long Distance.

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