8 July 2015
This is the day where some members of the family gets to experience the thrill of soaring above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We were to meet at the cafe in Lauterbrunnen where the Airtime Paragliding office was located at 9.30 AM. We had dropped by this cafe a couple of days earlier to make our bookings. Only the young and brave ones in the family would be doing the tandem paragliding. The staff confirmed that it was safe to fly even though there was some low clouds above the valley.
View of the Lauterbrunnen at the cafe where the Airtime Paragliding sales office was located.
A van soon took us (flyers and observers) to Stecheberg, located at the other end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We were here a couple of days earlier after our first hike in the Bernese Oberland.
From there, the flyers took the Schilthorn gondola up to Mürren. The launching point for the paragliding is at a cliff slightly above Mürren. The staff from Airtime were friendly and helpful. They briefed us on what to expect, when and where the flyers would be landing.
This field would be the landing zone for the paragliders.
While the flyers were making their way up, we (the anxious parents) spent some time exploring the area around Stecheberg. The Mürrenbach fall was just next to the gondola station. This is a free-falling waterfall, falling 417m down the cliff and hence is the highest waterfall in Switzerland. A placard describing the waterfall also explained how the Lauterbrunnen Valley was formed. The U-shaped Lauterbrunnen Valley, with almost vertical cliffs were formed by glacier. Standing at the green grass of the valley floor and looking at the steep rocky cliffs around me somehow reminded me of scenes from the cartoon/movie Land Before Time. A time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Before long we spotted the first paraglider in the sky above. It was hard to see if this is a member of our family since it was so high up. It was soon apparent that is is a solo flight and not a tandem paragliding.
There were some guys doing wing-suit base jumping from the cliff above.
Wing-suit base-jumper gliding down.
Deploying the parachute.
Shortly after, more paragliders were seen above. The 200mm telephoto lens of my Nikon DSLR were put to good use and I could spot 4 legs hanging below the canopy. The guys must be on their flight.
I took quite a lot of photos of the first tandem paraglider to land but it was not a member of my family.
I like this shot but unfortunately the subject was not a member of my family.
The next few photos shows Daniel coming in for his landing. They did a couple of acrobatic manoeuvre, just for thrills, before the final touch-down.
These were photos of Joanna’s flight.
She flew close to the Murrenbach Falls. Then U-turn back down along the cliff.
Once again, a few swaying left and right and acrobatic moves before coming in for the landing.
Photos of Samuel’s flight.
Once everyone had landed, we were given the option to purchase photos and videos shot during the flight using the Airtime staff’s go-pro camera.
These were some the photos shot during the flight using the Daniel’s go-pro.
At launching point above Murren. See the low clouds in the back, Any lower, the flight would be cancel!
Just after getting airborned. Murren can be seen in the background.
Just above the edge of the cliff. A bit of the river can be seen in the valley down below.
Getting a chance to take over the controls.
These were some the photos shot during the flight using the Joanna’s go-pro.
The canopy all laid out in preparation for the launch.
Just after lift off!
Close up look at the Murrenbach waterfall.
These were some the photos shot during Samuel’s flight.
Flying close to the cliff.
A chance to take over the control of the canopy.
Everyone enjoyed the flying and would want to do this again, given the chance and budget!