More specifically, thru-paragliding the Colorado Trail (CT). Similar to thru-hiking, but the big difference is that flying the route will be the ultimate goal. In other words, vol-bivouac, but I like “thru-flying” or “thru-paragliding” much better since we’re cowboys here in the West; let’s give this type of adventure our own terminology.
Flying the 570-mile length of the CT has never been attempted before, and as far as I know, it’s never been talked about either. At work, I’m taking unpaid leave to give this project a crack and I plan to make a go of it this August and September- aiming for around 45 days. I will have my glider with me during the entire thru-hike, along with ultralight backpacking gear. When opportunities arise, like good weather and good terrain, I plan to fly as much as I can along the length of the CT, while aiming to stay within several miles of the trail and not taking major shortcuts. Weather and terrain are the biggest factors and once monsoon season subsides, I hope to fly as much of the trail as possible, while being aware of Wilderness Area restrictions. I’ll be taking the Durango-to-Denver route direction, to take advantage of the general synoptic winds aloft.
Planning has been extensive and the weight of such a task is mimicking a crescendo now that I’m only a few days away of beginning. I hope that I have the courage to fly, and the wisdom to dial it back, or up. In the end, it’ll be a game of constant decision-making, a game of getting enough calories, and a game of keeping the body healthy. Life dialed down.
So, in the final few weeks here, I query you to throw any and all advice my way- I’m open to it all. Further, if you’re in the Silverton, Lake City, Salida, Gunnison, Leadville, Copper/Breck, or Kenosha Pass area in August and September, ping me (970-903-1260) if you want to join for a segment, or drop me any food! I’ll be in the former locations early-mid August, and latter locations in late August and early-mid September. I’ll be on http://xcfind.paraglide.us/ and more info can be found here http://www.coloradotrail.org/
As the Safety Director for RMHPA, I will obviously be away for a few months so if anything comes up safety-related, be sure to contact any of the officers and/or bring it up at a meeting.
Lastly but not in any way the least, my wife, Lindsey, is the most patient, understanding, and overall bad-ass wife there is, so- thank you my best friend!
P.S. Next go, I’d like to do it for a cause, so if you do something cool, consider Kickstarting it for a good cause.