Paragliding in Western Colorado

Summer Bounty

We’re excited to have our first paragliding event over this weekend. The turnout has been better than we’d hoped. Pilots are able to participate in the event in three ways. They can just enjoy free flying over the beautiful landscape catching rides up to launch and retrieves from where they land in the Dry Fork and Kimball Valleys. Or they can participate in 2 styles of competitions. One is the Vol Bivy or Hike and Fly competition or there are waypoint collection competitions.

The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event

Both competitions rely on waypoints with differing point values attached to them. Waypoints are mapped and each pilot has a personal GPS recording their flight track. To collect the points you must travel within a cylinder around the defined latitude/longitude points. Cylinders are 400 meters in diameter extending from the ground up to but not including 18,000 feet. Waypoints may be collected by foot or in air and within a set daily time window. All tracks must be submitted by the end of that window.

The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event

Vol Bivy or Hike and Fly consists of pilots leaving at the same time, hiking up to launch, flying and collecting as many waypoints as possible, camping rough overnight, and launching the next morning from where you landed. On the final race day each participant must be landed and within the goal cylinder by the designated time. For The High Lonesome Fly-in event, the two top scoring participants will be awarded prizes at the awards dinner which is included in their registration purchase. All participants will be scored individually, however team flying and group camping is allowed and encouraged.

The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event

Daily competitions and awards through a waypoint collection style competition provide the final participation option. Pilots strategize their flight plans to maximize points. Strategies must incorporate all the skills of paragliding across meteorological knowledge, understanding the terrain and how it affects flight, knowledge of the waypoint locations and their point values, and an ability to adjust with the changing air currents. Once again tracks must be collected and submitted within a set time window and prizes will be given out around the campfire in the evenings.

The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event

Over the course of the event participants and their guests also get to enjoy horseback rides with Rhyne Horses, a variety of food trucks, The High Lonesome swimming pool, cozy campfire, and signature cocktails mixed by our own in-house mixologist and distilled spirits expert. One of Colorado’s Front Range based pilots will have a presentation and has designed the event tee shirts folks can order and stylishly support the fly-in. A huge shout out to Brian Greeson for organizing this and spreading the word so we get to share this incredible venue with almost 100 pilots. And a sneak peek for next month’s newsletter is a huge thank you to our new Landscape & Maintenance Supervisor, Aidan Strader, who has had his work cut out with getting the roads and water situations sorted following last months flash floods and debris flows.

The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event
The High Lonesome Ranch Paragliding Event

On that note, experiencing further debris flows and flash floods as a result of heavy rains over Pine Gulch burn scar the importance of regenerative ranching practices and making informed consumer choices for responsibly raised and sourced products has never felt more relevant and close to home. For me, it’s been a journey learning more about products I use and enjoy every day.

Bradi's Kitchen at The High Lonesome Ranch

I’ve given up certain things I enjoyed because they weren’t healthy for the planet and ultimately me or those I care about. Much of that was done through research at home in a town. Now considering if I’m going to be able to get back to my cabin across what is normally a creek if it rains and knowing that that worry is a result of less sustainable agricultural practices and clearing vegetation that was needed to keep water in the earth and water tables I’m glad to share what Dakota and Melissa and many more farmers and ranchers are doing on The Land to restore and protect it for us and future generations.

Whether you’re buying HLR beef or sourcing from your neighborhood csa or farmer’s market we appreciate your support in these endeavors. And we’ve been having so much fun sharing our shenanigans with all of our guests so far this season.
Best wishes,

Ariel Riccardi

Ranch Services Director

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