Ever look up and notice the paragliders floating peacefully around Mount Zion and wonder what that’s all about. Who are those people? How does it work? Is it dangerous?
We’ve pondered the same questions. Which is why we’re profiling Paraglide Tandem to uncover the mystery that is paragliding in Golden.
Who’s flying those things?
Since 2014, Paraglide Tandem has offered tandem paragliding flights in Golden. “We launch near the M,” says co-owner and pilot David Hach.
David Hach, Co-owner and Pilot, Paraglide Tandem
With Paraglide Tandem, you’re paired with an expert pilot so you can sit back and enjoy the flight. No experience is required, and anyone over 18 and under 225 pounds can fly.
“All instructors are highly trained and certified by the US Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association,” says Hach. “We only use the most modern, well-maintained equipment, and we carry a backup parachute in the extremely unlikely event of a gear failure or emergency.”
How long is the flight?
Flights last a minimum of 5 minutes, but usually last 15 minutes or more depending on wind conditions. Paragliders can fly to 10,000 feet or higher while covering huge distances if the conditions are favorable.
“Our pilots love to fly, and we try to make the flight as long as conditions allow,” says Hach.
How much does it cost?
Flights are $225 per person. You can add a $30 photo package or bring your own camera or GoPro to capture the fun.
Soar like a bird over Golden with a guided flight from Paraglide Tandem
What’s it like up there?
The most common reaction is that paragliding is surprisingly peaceful. “Paragliding is the closest thing to flying in your dreams,” says Hach. “Because we don’t have an engine, the only noise is the wind in your face. After we run 5-10 steps to take off, you can sit back and enjoy your ‘lawn chair’ in the sky.”
What months do you fly?
The tandem flying season is late April through October, 7 days a week.
What about safety?
Paraglide Tandem has a perfect safety record with no incidents to date.
In addition to using only expert pilots and modern equipment, Paraglide Tandem monitors the weather carefully and flies only when conditions allow for a safe and enjoyable experience. This occasionally means rescheduling flights if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
I bet the view is amazing.
Hach says flying high over Lookout Mountain is a unique perspective you can’t get anywhere else. “You can see from the eastern plains, north to the Flatirons, south to Red Rocks, and west all the way to the Continental Divide. There’s no better way to see Golden than from above.”
What else do I need to know?
The day before your flight, Paraglide Tandem will call to confirm your flight time based on weather conditions. Things generally kick off between 9:30–11:00am at the Chimney Gulch Trailhead off highway 6.
From there, you’ll be transported to the top of Lookout Mountain. Along the way, pilots will share everything you need to know about launching, flying, and landing the paraglider. After filling out some paperwork, there’s a 10-minute hike to the takeoff field and you’re ready to go.
At the launch area, your instructor will lay out the gear and strap you into your harness. You’ll then do a “practice launch” to simulate what the launch process feels like. Then you hook into the paraglider and go flying!
Your flight will end back at the Chimney Gulch Trailhead near your vehicle. The entire experience lasts about 90 minutes.
Paraglide Tandem flights last 15 minutes on average and cost $225 per person
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