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Paragliding over Chamonix

Listed under Flying, Gliding & Ballooning in Chamonix, France.

  • Photo of Paragliding over Chamonix
  • Photo of Paragliding over Chamonix
  • Photo of Paragliding over Chamonix
  • Photo of Paragliding over Chamonix
Photo of Paragliding over Chamonix
Photo by flickr user Tim*A
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Europe's Top Tandem paragliding experiences:

The Chamonix Valley is one of the most spectacular locations in Europe where one can take a tandem flight. With Mt Blanc towering above, glaciers, and the classic alpine village’s dotted around, the view from a tandem paraglider will at all times, in any season, from any launch location, leave a lasting impression.

If time and money permits the grand daddy of all tandem flights is from the snow covered launch at the top of the 3800m (12,200ft) high Aguile du Midi (not available in mid summer – check operators for seasons and bookings). The cable car ride is already quite inspiring as it climbs the last, almost sheer, rock and ice face to the top. On exiting the safety of the building beyond the hoards of Kodak moments in the making, you begin to notice the altitude – and you are not even flying yet ! The nerve wracking and breath taking (literally) snow/ice hike with crampons along the spine to the launch area is an experience in itself for the first timer.

Once there and depending on the wind it will only be a matter of moments before you are part of the incredible scenery that the land bound visitors can only imagine and jealously see from a distance. The east wind version takes you over the20kms long Mare de Glace where superlative ice formations roll effortlessly under you. The glacier is in retreat like most of those on our planet, and the previous levels are easily seen from your aerial vantage point.

As you fly past the back of the aptly named Druids rock formation the scale of the area is difficult to comprehend. What looks like little picture book rocky mountain scenery and annually banded glacial ice patterns are in reality grand sized formations over a kilometre high or crevasse many tens of metres deep and wide. When the conditions are smooth you can fly quite close to the huge rock faces which allows for “spot the climber” games and puts things into perspective.

Some 30 minutes later as you exit the high alpine wonderland and enter the main valley at over 2000m, the town of Chamonix still looks quaintly small beneath you. The vista widens out as you cross the valley, and only then can you gauge the full extent of the roof of Europe you have just flown through. Once in the lower levels, small bubbles of warm air greet you as “bumps” in the sky until you set up on the landing approach just 500m from the “centre de ville” and reality kicks in again.

The west wind flight takes you along the Chamonix town side of Mt Blanc with many smaller glaciers creaking and groaning as gravity forces them down slope. The sight of tiny moving ants, are actually some of the many hikers who are sweating their way up to catch fleeting glimpses of your armchair view.

The other main more regular and cheaper flight options are from the mid stations of the Aguile du Midi and Brevent cable cars. Naturally they are shorter flights but don’t lack in wow factor one bit. The experience of quietly gliding over the valley in this amazing landscape is not to be missed if Chamonix is on your outdoor adventure itinery.

http://www.flyers-lodge.com/tandems2.html

http://www.chamonix-paragliding.com/

Written by  Godfrey Wenness.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

how much

how much is it to do this

1 Reply

Prices vary depending on the season, how experienced you are, if you need to go with a trainer, and how long you want to stay in the air.

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