Take to the Sky - Ski Armadillo

Looking for an extra dose of adrenaline? If so paragliding, known locally as “parapenting”, is an experience like no other. Take to the sky and soar over the snow-capped mountain peaks before gliding to the bottom of the valley, whilst in the safe hands of your tandem paraglider instructors from Verbier Summits. No experience or level fitness required…. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

We caught up with twin brothers Stu and Mike Belbas for a quick Q&A session… and here’s what they had to say;

Q. How long have you lived in Verbier? And Why Verbier?
A. Having grown up in the Caribbean, both Stu and I were looking for a change of scenery and the Alps seemed like a fun idea. In 1997, we decided to visit Verbier, purely based on its reputation as one of the best free flying sites in the world…. we were not disappointed! 20 years on and we’re still enjoying life in our favourite place in the World!

Q. What’s so special about paragliding?
A. Experiencing the thrilling sensation of soaring like a bird with a tandem paragliding flight over Verbier is an activity not to miss! Whether looking to view the resort from a fabulous new perspective, face your fear of heights or feel a rush of adrenaline with one of our aerobatic flights, there is something for everyone.

Both Stu and I have been in the flying industry for more than 20 years, with over 16,000 flying hours between us! We like to think we’re true professionals and have worked in every aspect of the paragliding industry, including working as stunt pilots. With recommendations from Bill Gates, Bear Grylls, Conde Nast magazine and many more, you could not be in more experienced hands! We’re waiting to share our passion with you.

Q. What makes Verbier so special for paragliding?
A. Collectively we have flown all over the world from Africa to South Polynesia, from Alaska to the Alps, and Verbier is without a doubt one of the best flying sites we’ve ever flown. Verbier has a perfect South facing bowl which not only develops perfect thermalling conditions but is also beautifully sheltered from strong prevailing winds making it fantastic flying site. In summer it’s a perfect starting point for Cross Country flights where we make use of our high thermals and prevailing Westerlies and on a good day we can fly well over 100km from here.

Q. What was your most memorable flight (good or bad)
A. Travelling the world with our gliders is something we love to do and we have had many wonderful experiences. My most memorable flight (good) is flying from the summit of Mont Blanc. Launching from the roof of Europe was a true privilege. Most memorable flight (not so good) would be landing by a lake in Mozambique only to find it surrounded with crocodiles! Half in awe, half petrified, I decided it was best to make a speedy exit!

Q. Do you have any ‘top tips’ for our guests?
A. Not only is Verbier an amazing skiing destination, but it’s also one of the top flying destination in the world. There’s no better way of getting an alternative view of the stunning mountain views. If this is something you have ever wished to do, Verbier really is the place to experience it and this holiday is the time to make that dream a reality…. We look forward to seeing you in the air!

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To book a flight with Stu and Mike, head to www.verbier-summits.com

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