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Learning to Fly - Jason Kruk

 
Learning to Fly - Jason Kruk
Learning to Fly - Jason Kruk
Learning to Fly - Jason Kruk
 
December 17, 2011 - 
 

Greetings from Argentina!

Hayden and I were totally elated upon reaching the top of the uber-classic Exocet on Cerro Standhardt in Argentine Patagonia. Now all we have to do is get down, I thought to myself.

Rappelling in the mountains is one of my least favourite activities. It´s time consuming, and often dangerous. That´s why I´ve been learning to fly...

 

Before this trip to Patagonia I spent a month in the world-class paragliding venue of Valle de Bravo, Mexico, learning how to fly a paraglider. Unlike BASE jumping, which requires ideal conditions and STEEP terrain, paragliding is very conducive to mountain travel. Modern gear is way light, and you can take off in high winds and fly from point A to point B, how rad is that?

Valle is a charming Mexican village with steep cobbled streets and very friendly locals, and the flying is on almost every day of the year. There I met up with my good friend, and world-class pilet Jim Orava, and flew for hours every day. I progressed quickly, and was eventually piecing together amazing cross-country flights that lasted for several hours.

The highlight for me was eventually flying all the way back to town from the launch site. A task not unlike climbing Squamish´s Grand Wall for the first time - except I had a grin way bigger than the first time I climbed the Grand Wall. It lasted for days...

Valle is near some truly world class limestone sport climbing, so I could not resist visiting the mind-blowing Chonta cave near Taxco. Emailing for beta, my Swiss amiga Nina told me I wasn´t strong enough to climb there! Ha! Turns out you don´t need to be so strong when you are holding on to tufas bigger than yourself!

It´s going to be a while until I am competent enough to fly from Patagonian summits, but it´s the future. For now I guess I´ll have to rappell...

 

Hasta luego!

 

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