Friday, February 15, 2019

Wallowa Paragliding

Two people tandem paragliding high over Wallowa Lake
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. 

The launch point is 7,950-feet above sea level on the north side of Mt. Howard. After riding up the mountain on the Wallowa Lake Tramway, it's an easy half-mile hike to the launch point. Todd will provide the necessary instructions, then, if wind conditions are right, he will get the two of you strapped in, and off you go. It takes about twelve minutes to glide over the evergreen forests, 3,550 vertical feet down to the lakeside landing zone.

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.


Eagle Cap Paragliding Club -