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The film is a perfect introduction to the sport for anyone who wants to find out more about learning to fly paragliders.
In German, it has English subtitles – click on the CC logo on the frame in YouTube to make the subtitles appear.

A typical flight on the first day

Pyrenees Hike & Fly (2012)

Learning in the UK

This adventure hopes to harness the pure spirit of Hike & Fly paragliding; that is, carrying a wing however far, to the next launch site with the promise that it will carry you in the air. The attempt will see two pilots who are also capable of long distance hiking tackle a much underestimated mountainous area; all within three weeks!

Aims

The adventure starts on the west coast of France in a place called Hendaye; traditionally the start of most cross Pyrenees adventures. Then travelling with the simple aim to traverse the Pyrenean Mountains from West to East using only a paraglider to fly and when it's not flyable to hike.

The chosen paraglider for both pilots will be NOVA's new ION2 LIGHT; an EN-B low-level glider made from lightweight materials. From a technical perspective, the wing is the "little brother" of their Mentor2; arguably the benchmark in EN-B wings at the moment. The ION2's strengths are similar to the Mentor2: Easy, usable performance with a high level of safety with the added benefit of light weight and small pack size.

The goal will to be arrive in Cadaques on the east of Spain within 18 days.

We intend to take photos and video images along the route to capture the essence of the adventure, bring them home and share it with other like-minded people.

You'll be able to track their progress as they'll be carrying Spot 2 locators and trying to Tweet whenever possible.

Itinerary

  • 21.08.12 – Arrive Bordeaux airport, then onward to Biarritz
  • 22.08.12 – Start Hiking from Hendaye towards the first possible launch site
  • 23.08.12 – 08.09.12 – Hiking and flying towards goal at Cadaques.
  • 09.09.12 – Depart Barcelona airport to return to UK

Resumes

DEAN CROSBY

Dean Crosby
  • D.O.B: 10/12/63
  • Born: Sheffield, UK
  • Occupation: Paragliding Instructor
  • Flying Hours: Loads

Follow Dean on TwitterDean's Facebook page

Dean is CFI of Active Edge Paragliding in the Yorkshire Dales. He is in his 30th year of free flight and during this time has captained both the British Hang Gliding and British Paragliding Teams.

Dean started rock & ice climbing from an early age and it seemed like a natural progression to move to flying. He learned and then taught hang gliding, and switched to paragliding when it became popular in the early 90s. Dean has flown extensively in Europe and throughout South Africa and Brazil. Dean won the British Paragliding Nationals in 1993 and came first in the British Paragliding Cross Country League in 1993 and 2006.

Dean focuses most of his time on Active Edge, teaching his student pilots in the UK and abroad, and getting some flights in himself whenever possible, either on the paraglider or in a sailplane.
When it's not flyable, Dean turns to his second passion, lightweight walking and backpacking.

After completing the Pennine Way at 14 years old, he's gone on to backpack many of the UK's wilder long distance trails.

STEVE NASH

Steve Nash
  • D.O.B: 18/11/62
  • Occupation: Electrical Engineer
  • Flying Hours: 1600hrs +

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Steve is a very experienced cross country, competition and adventure race pilot; predominantly flying in the mountains across the UK, Europe and Asia – started flying Aug 1990.

His paragliding highlight to date was to compete in the 2011 edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, a biennial adventure race traversing the length of the European Alps from Austria to Monaco. Athletes use paragliders to fly where possible, or run carrying their paragliders if it is not possible.

He has participated in a number of interesting expeditions; such as flying off Mount Elbrus in Russia, traversing a mountain range by paraglider in Mongolia and his highest foot launch from 6200m on Peak Lenin in Kyrgyzstan.

Steve also has a recognized background in adventure and ultra running, with events such as the Trans Alpine Run, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc CCC and numerous UK Mountain Marathons under his belt.

He has participated and benefited from regular SIV safety training courses ensuring that he is current and confident to fly in difficult and unpredictable mountain flying conditions.

Steve is an established part of the NOVA Pilots Team (Austrian Paraglider manufacturer)

Map of route

Pyrenees Map

Although we are not following any set route, it will be very similar to the well known GR routes that traverse this range of mountains. We will be driven by the weather in an attempt to maximise the flying opportunities.

Health & Safety

During this adventure we will consider our own health and safety as being just as important as the declared aims of this adventure. We are both full aware that this is a difficult undertaking, with some significant risks, but these will be mitigated by careful use of experience, equipment and information.