The thing that was and unattainable desire for our ancestors can today be fulfilled in many different ways. One of such things is paragliding. No other sport is closer to making the dream of having wings come true…
A paraglider is a type of glider with a soft lifting surface. It is steered the same way as a glider or a hang-glider. During flight, the forces of nature are employed to cover long distances without using even a drop of fuel. Professional pilots can fly even several hundred kilometres. A great advantage of a paraglider is its small size and light structure. It is probably the only glider that can fit in a backpack!
Like on wings
Learning how to fly a paraglider is not difficult, and the activity is safe as long as we comply with the rules. Of course, there are accidents, but most of them occur due to bravado. In the case of paragliding, flight safety is based on three pillars: weather conditions, equipment condition, and human approach. Whereas among some of the obstacles can be found unfavourable meteorological conditions, e.g. rain or too strong and gusty wind. In Poland, the best conditions for paragliding are, of course, in summer, with the paragliding season lasting from spring to mid-fall.
Where to soar?
Paragliders from Małopolska choose Beskid Wyspowy (the Island Beskids), which is a part of Beskid Zachodni (the Western Beskids), situated between Raba valley and Kotlina Sądecka. A characteristic feature of this region is the system of isolated, single peaks that resemble islands, hence the name. It is an extremely geographically attractive region for paragliders, with 15 take-off areas from which it is possible to fly in every direction. Unfortunat these places are accessible only on foot or by a 4×4 car. The most popular places among paragliders are Ciecień (829 m), Śnieżnica (1006 m), Spyrkowa Góra (711 m) and Szczebel (967 m). When starting an adventure with paragliding, it is worth choosing Ciecień or Śnieżnica (45-50 km from Kraków).
A peak in Beskid Wyspowy located in Wiśniowa municipality. It is recommended to fly east. In case of weak winds, it is possible to reach Śnieżyca or Łopień, and then other summits of Beskid Wyspowy.
It is best to reach the mountain from Kraków or Mszana Dolna. Due to the numerous requests of the residents of Wiśniowa, cars are recommended to be left at the car park near the old gas station next to the landing field.
Śnieżnica is one of the best paragliding peaks in Beskid Wyspowy. From the take-off area it is possible to see the north part of Ciecień, whereas on a sunny day Dobczyckie Lake and Kraków are visible. The northern slope is fairly steep. On good days, it is possible to fly to the Tatra Mountains and Slovakia. Śnieżnica can be reached by taking road No 28, and then turning on the section between Mszana Dolna and Limanowa to road No 964 leading to Dobczyce.
The parking is located next to the train station, 50 m from the ski lift. Paragliding is a fully ecological sport, requiring physical effort and harnessing the forces of nature. Flight safety is based on three pillars: weather conditions, equipment condition and human approach.
WHERE TO LEARN HOW TO FLY?
- Polska Kadra Paralotniowa, www.kadra-paralotniowa.pl
- Centrum Paralotniowe Beskid-Paragliding, www.beskid-paralotnie.pl
- Szkoła Latania Rekreacyjnego AEROKRAK, www.aerokrak.pl
- Szkoła Paralotniowa ALTI, www.alti-paralotnie.pl