Hang-gliding over Telluride

Telluride, Colorado, is nothing if not an outdoor playground. Paragliding, in particular, is a summer recreational activity for locals and visitors alike. Check out this clip from the Telluride Air Force Hangliding and Paragliding Club featuring an epic ride over snow-covered peaks and through the clouds. Things culminate with several swoops over town, before a graceful landing in the high school playing field. If you make it out to Telluride for a flight of your own, try and time it to coincide with sunset.

Two climbers paraglide from the summit of Everest

Paraglide from the summit of EverestThere is a well known adage amongst mountaineers that says “getting to the summit is only halfway to the finish,” as obviously they have to safely come back down the mountain after they’ve completed their ascent. There are few places where this is more apparent than Mt. Everest, where climbers not only have to make a long, grueling trek to the top, they also have to negotiate a tricky descent as well. Over the weekend, two climbers found a way to avoid that descent however, by paragliding off the summit, bypassing all the challenges of a traditional return to Base Camp.

On Saturday, 29-year old Babu Sunuwar and his partner Lakpa Tshering Sherpa, 35, climbed to the summit of Everest. Once there, they assembled their tandem paraglider, and starting it up, both men stepped out into the nothingness that surrounds the highest point on the planet. Rather than plummeting a thousand feet to their deaths however, they took off on what must have been a spectacular flight through one of the most scenic places in the world.

Sailing through the air, Babu and Lakpa passed snow capped mountains on their 42-minute flight, which eventually deposited them at Namche Bazaar, a village in the Khumbu Valley region. Reaching that point would normally take climbers returning from the summit a minimum of three days, but these two avoided a long hike and were soon resting in a comfortable teahouse I’m sure.

Their adventure is far from over however. Having reached the highest point on Earth, they are now headed toward sea level by kayak and bike. Their eco-friendly journey will eventually end in Bangladesh in a few weeks time.

At the moment, there have been no photos released from this epic flight through the Himalaya. I’m hoping that at some point we might see some video footage though, as I’m sure the view was amazing. I’m also guessing that there were more than few other climbers who were jealous of their method of descent after seeing them take off from the summit as well.

[Photo Credit: Babu Sunuwar]

Powered paragliding problem ends in cruise ship landing

A Brazilian man didn’t realize he was about to do something incredible. Making an emergency landing while engaging in powered paragliding is interesting enough, but he took it to “Top Gun” levels by doing it on a cruise ship. Holland America’s “Prinsendam” served as his aircraft carrier, in Portugal‘s Portimao port. The unusual landing was the necessary because of equipment problems.

According to The Portugal News Online:

After crash-landing on the vessel the man was immediately given medical assistance and taken to the local Barlavento Hospital. His equipment, which was caught on the top deck of the ship, was collected by the Maritime Police for inspection and to ascertain the cause of the incident.

[photo by pizzodisevo via Flickr]

New adventure festival celebrates South African explorers

What do you get when you mix the Banff Film Festival with TED Talks in a celebration of adventure and exploration? You get an all new adventure festival called FEAT that will make its debut in Johannesburg, South Africa later this year, promising us “1 night, 12 adventurers, Seven minutes each.”

FEAT, which stands for Fascinating Expeditions & Adventure Talks, is being billed as the ultimate armchair adventure experience, and with good reason. The festival will feature 12 outstanding explorers, all of which are from South Africa, who will have exactly seven minutes, no more and no less, to share an experience from a recent expedition. This format means that the speakers will have to stay on topic, remain focused on their message, and tell their tale quickly if they hope to share these important elements from one of their adventures. What they share is completely up to them. It could be something they learned about the world around them or even something they learned about themselves, but no matter what it is, they have just seven minutes to convey that experience through their own words and a some carefully selected photographs.

Some of the guests for the evening include Kyle Meenehan, who once circumnavigated South Africa on foot and Mandy Ramsden who is the first African woman to climb the Seven Summits. They’ll be joined on stage by Pierre Carter, who is hoping to paraglide from the top of the highest mountain on each continent and Riaan Manser, who has ridden his bike around the entire African continent and circumnavigated Madagascar in a kayak as well.

Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday, August 2nd, at Computicket. The actual event will take place on October 7th at the Wits Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, and if you’re going to be in the area in early October, I highly recommend you plan on taking part in the festivities. It seems like it is going to be a fun and fascinating evening.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk 010: Paragliding, Tijuana, USS Midway, Stone Brewery & surfing the Bruticus Maximus!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 10 – Click above to watch video after the jump
Travel Talk has hit double digits!! To celebrate, we have an incredible lineup of adventures from San Diego, California – including a short dash over the border to Tijuana, Mexico!

This week we talk about Kim Jong-Il as a fashion icon, a new great way to hail a cab in NYC, and share a book that covers how to travel by freight ship! We have an answer in the debate of whether or not sarcasm exists in every culture, and of course we’ll show you pictures of the disruptive Eyjafjallajökull (Icelandic Volcano) that has shut down flights throughout Europe this week.

Stick with us as we try paragliding for the first time, learn how to brew beer from the masters at Stone Brewery, and do our best to surf the Wave House’s Bruticus Maximus. We’ll also take a peek onboard the USS Midway and show you how tourism has affected Tijuana in the past 5 years. Enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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CabSense iPhone App – ‘the smartest way to find a cab’.
Amazing pictures of Eyjafjallajökull in action – Boston.com Big Picture.
Kim Jong-Il noted as world fashion icon.
Read the book! Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.
LiveScience article on sarcasm.
Interested in hang gliding?? Check out this movie about the history of the sport!

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guests: Ken Wright, Bill Liscomb, Bob Puetz, & Vern Jumper.
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Special Thanks:
Torrey Pines Gliderport/ Stone Brewery, Escondido / Wave House San Diego / USS Midway Museum



Stone Brewery
“Got it Made (Burn L.A.)
the Pacific

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