Whitetracks - Winter Activities and Snow Sports

Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding flights from Meribel, Three Vallees, France

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Winter Activities & Snow Sports


Hang Gliding

£118 / person

Flying a hang glider gives an unparalleled sense of freedom, feeling the movements of the air across your body by using only the wind's force to stay aloft. For 15 minutes Experience the pure flying sensation, that is hang-gliding........

 0930HRS - 1600HRS

Hang Gliding is a daytime flying mountain activity this means that Hang Gliding can only operate when the weather conditions are right for flying and during ski lift opening and closing times. The first flight is around 0930hrs allowing time to catch the first lift in order to get to the departure site on time. With the last flight around 1600hrs allowing enough time to get back to Meribel after the flight has finished.


 Hang Gliding - location
 Summit de la Vizelle
 Altitude 2700m

Hang Gliding departs from the Summit De La Vizelle, the mountain connected the Saulire from an altitude of 2700m

How to get there from Meribel
  • SKI

From La Chaudanne Meribel's main lift area you will need to travel up the Burgin Saulire bubble lift (cable car) to the top station. Once out of the bubble you will walk down the the rubber matted slope to where everyone puts their skis on. From here you will need to put your skis or snowboard on to ski the ridge between the Saulire and La Vizelle. You will see La Vizelle by looking directly in front of you - it is the mountain with two chair lift stations and one bubble station on the top.


 Hang Gliding - OPERATION / LEVELS / DURATION / format
 5-10 minutes brief and organisation of equipment
 10 minute flight
 5-10 minutes sorting equipment and returning to takeoff point via lift

You should arrive to meet the pilot 5-10 minutes before the requested time. The pilot might keep you waiting but PLEASE do not keep them waiting. If you need to catch lifts to in order to get to the meeting point please allow time for lift queues and time to travel up on the lift.

When you first arrive the pilot will provide you with the harness, he will then put it on you making sure that it is all fitted correctly. Once you are in the harness he will collect the Hang Glider and place it in its take off position on the edge of the run next to the steep slope, he will then call you over. Carrying your skis or snow board he will put you in the correct position you will then need to put your skis or snowboard on. The pilot will then attach your harness to his and the Hang Glider ready for takeoff.

After a short brief you put your left arm around the waist of the pilot and put your right hand across your body holding onto the pilots right elbow. The pilot will then pick up the Hang Glider, when ready you will both edge forward until you start heading down the steep slope in front of you. After a few meters traveled you and the Hang Glider will lift off the ground and will be airborne.

Once airborne, the pilot holds the base bar and controls the glider by moving his body weight relative to the glider. Moving to the left initiates a left hand turn and vice-versa. Speed is varied by pulling the pilot's weight forwards to go faster and backwards to slow down. The pilot will cater the flight to the passenger needs providing a gentle flight for the nervous client and an exciting flight for the thrill seekers amongst you.

When landing, the pilot will push forward on the base bar which in turn moves both of your bodies weight backwards opening up the glider above you forcing it to push against the wind causing the hang glider to be slowed to the point where it comes to a complete stop as the pilot reaches the ground.


 Hang Gliding - RESTRICTIONS
 Nervous > Thrill Seeker - gentle flight > acrobatic flight
 Maximum weight - 95kg (15 stone)
 Epilepsy, fits, Heart deficiencies , Vertebral problems or Pregnant women

The pilot will adapt each flight to the excitement threshold of each individual passenger. If you are confident the pilot may perform some aerobatics - if not just ask.


 'NO' Helmet supplied

The Hang Gliding pilot / instructor will supply a harness and will make sure that it is fitted correctly for you before you take part in the Hang Gliding activity. For some reason you are not supplied with a helmet - If you wish to wear one PLEASE bring a ski helmet with you to take part.


 Ski Clothing - Jacket, Ski pants, gloves, sunglasses / Goggles
 'NO' ski poles

Due to the Hang Gliding being a daytime mountain activity you should already be correctly dressed to take part. Unfortunately if you are on skis you will need to leave your poles at the top of the mountain at the takeoff point. If you are skiing with friends and don't wish to come back up the mountain to collect your poles it is advisable to get a friend to ski down to the bottom with your poles. If a friend takes your poles to the bottom you will be free to continue skiing from where you landed without the need to go back to the takeoff site this gives you the flexibility to be able to ski somewhere different for the rest of the day.


 Hang Gliding - NUMBERS
 One passenger per Glider

Tandem Hang Gliders are only able to carry one passenger at a time. Unfortunately, there is only one available pilot / instructor in Meribel or the three valleys. If there is a small group of you wishing to take part in the activity at the same time it is impossible. For a small group to take part we would need you to go one after the other.



Base bar: the bar which the pilot holds in flight.

Battens: aluminum "ribs" inserted into the hang glider sail to give shape to the wing.

Flare: the manoeuvre performed to land a hang glider when the wing is deliberately stalled to halt all forward motion as the pilot reaches the ground.

Variometer/Vario: instrument measuring rate of climb or descent. It has a visual display, but also an audio function so the pilot does not need to see the dial. The pitch of the tone increases with the climb rate.

Wave: this phenomenon occurs only in certain conditions when the wind is forced upwards over a hill or mountain and is then amplified by the next mountain setting up a standing wave. Large height gains are possible in wave conditions.

A hang glider allows the pilot to fly around in ridge lift on a hill, take the occasional thermal to gain height or leave the hill and fly cross-country. A hang glider's speed and performance allow many hours of air time and big distances to be flown.



  • The British Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association


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