The pair flew every day they were in Nepal, Vince said, mostly from Pokhara. They would drive to a vantage point at 1500 metres, do pre-flight checks and fly off looking for thermals. These updrafts of warm air wafted them higher so they could make it over mountain ranges. Look for the next thermals, catch them and make it over another line of mountains. Sometimes they reached 3000 metres. Vince said they did several major cross-country flights. The longest was 40km from Sirkot to Pokhara flying by the Annapurna mountains.
What did they do when they couldn’t spot a thermal to help them over the next mountains? No good screaming Mummmeee! “You look for a valley with a road in it and houses,” Vince said. “You land as close to the houses as you can. In Nepal wires seem to be everywhere, so you are watching for those. Once my glider got caught on landing in a wire I hadn’t seen. I had to yank the wire down to recover the glider. Thankfully, it was not electric.”
Steve and Vince are both stalwarts of the Hong Kong Paragliding Association. Steve works as general manager of Insomnia, a Lan Kwai Fong restaurant, while Vince has his own investment and marketing company.
Watch the video. If flying pulls at your heart, you’ll enjoy the views as Vince does S-turns to lose height as he approaches the drop zone. Over the lake he’s careful not to go too far out. “You don’t want to land in water under a paraglider. The risers may trap you. You’ll drown.”
Lessons are available from the instructors of the Hong Kong
Vince and Steve catch thermals to float by Nepal mountains