Paragliding over Wallowa Lake. Photo courtesy of wallowa paragliding, llc
If leaping off the edge of a mountain and soaring like a bird is on your bucket list, you can make it happen a few miles from Joseph, Oregon, with a tandem paragliding ride piloted by Todd Weigand, owner of Wallowa Paragliding, LLC.
It may sound like a crazy idea, but paragliding enthusiasts assert that the sport is about as safe as riding in a car. The flights operate in August and September, after the level of Wallowa Lake drops and the landing area at the Wallowa River delta becomes accessible. Todd's tandem rides don't require any previous experience or special equipment on the riders' part.
Todd has safely flown more than 5,000 tandem passengers on his paragliders and he's also exceeded some records during the past 22 years. He he holds the record for the longest and highest flights from Mt. Howard and he was the first pilot to glide across Hells Canyon. He has flown or competed in 18 countries around the world and guided numerous international paragliding trips to Chile, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Turkey.
If you are a seasoned and certified paraglider interested in the Mt. Howard launch, plan your visit by contacting the Eagle Cap Paragliding Club or Wallowa Paragliding for all the necessary information and updates on local conditions.
You're never too old to soar. The eldest woman paraglider on record is Peggy McAlpine, who took to the sky at the age of 104 from a 2,400-foot peak.