Paraponting

Takeoff

Paraponting (also called parapenting) is essentially launching yourself off the summit of a mountain and gliding back to earth in the valley below.  Whereas parachutes are designed for controlled descent such as skydiving or dropping cargo, paragliders are designed for ascending with the aid of thermals.  The skill of the pilot is finding these thermals.

Without thermals or upwards airflow (hence launching from a mountain slope), the paraglider will glide towards earth.  The rate of descent or glide ratio is inherent in the design of the glider wing be can be raised in a number of ways.

Typically, beginners or learners are strapped to the front of instructors but positions can be switched.

Paraponting

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Les Gets

Les Gets

Les Gets is a small town in the Portes du Soleil area of France. The transfer from Geneva airport only takes about 40 minutes. The town is situated at 1,200 metres above sea level and is a bustling ski resort in the winter. In conjunction with neighbouring Morzine, there are approximately 50 ski lifts dotted around. However, Les Gets in summer caters more for mountain biking.

Col du Ranfolly Panorama

We were in the area to do some walking. Using Les Gets as a base, there are loads of significant peaks within easy reach. From most if not all, there is a fine view of Mont Blanc with its permanent snow cap as it towers above everything else.  I’ve never seen so many grasshoppers and cicadas ever.  Good mountain weather is not guaranteed and it can get quite chilly if you’re not in direct sunshine but when it does settle down, it is really good.  We tackled the Adventure Park when it didn’t look too promising up high.  For those after something a little less energetic, there’s a golf course (which has fantastic views) and a swimming lake.

For getting around, make sure you look at acquiring a Multi-Pass.  It makes getting around so easy, you don’t really need a car.

Rally

While we were there, the 62nd Morzine – Avoriaz rally was on so we got some spot-on roadside seats to the action.  On our way there (you can either go over or around a mountain), we saw these guys paraponting.

Takeoff

We booked with Pure Mountain Holidays through the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), flying with Jet2 from Leeds Bradford Airport.

We’re Getting Wed!

Wedding planning is going to be a big part of our lives for the next 11 months. It’s an exciting time for us with lots of ideas floating around and I’d like to share some of that with you if I may.

I’ll start of with a little background. I met Vicky at a black tie do for the local Ramblers organisation and we started seeing each other about a month later. That was 8 months ago. You may think that that’s quick but when it feels right, what’s the point in hanging around going “Will I? Won’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” Life’s too short! Don’t get me wrong; we both have our moments but we’re adult enough to admit when we’re in the wrong and make amends.

We like the outdoors and so I had the bright idea of proposing on a mountain summit on a fantastic day with glorious views in all directions. How romantic is that!! Unfortunately, British Weather had other ideas. Every summit we were on was either blowing a whooley or a white out. Not what I’d envisaged at all so I kept putting it off until the next summit and then the next….

We went to Wales recently for the weekend and scared ourselves silly on Tryfan; another opportunity missed.

And so it was that on a cold and windy day, in a white out on the top of Snowdon, I finally popped the question. I didn’t get down on one knee simply because the ledge we were sheltering out of the wind on was far too narrow for that kind of thing. (It was quite funny at the time watching seagulls trying to regain some dignity after crash landing because of the swirling wind.)

So the idea behind this thread is to keep you up-to-date with how we’re getting on. Feel free to leave any suggestions, comments, etc. at any time. Friends got married recently so there’s an open invite to them to come around to ours, ostensibly for some food but we’re planning to bleed them dry of any useful info. or tips they may have for us.

So where are we today? Vicky (rather obviously) said “Yes!!”, the venue, wedding car, photographer and registrar are all booked. We’ve been ring shopping and it’s been short listed to 2 possibles. (I bought a token ring for the asking.) However, we’re going to browse for a little longer before deciding.

That’s about it at the moment. There are times when I feel we’re in good shape with preparations and others, when I look at the To-Do list, when I just think “Argh!!”