In this week's Get Out, CBS 11 News goes to the ski runs of Alyeska resort to get a taste of man's version of soaring through the skies. CBS 11 News was on top of Alyeska with Arctic Air Walkers. It was an ideal paragliding afternoon: sunny skies, light winds, and warm temperatures. And we just couldn't beat the gorgeous scenery!
But before we could take to the skies and soak up all that scenery, we had to watch a short instructional video and fill out some paper work. Then it was time to step into the harness. My tandem instructor helped me get suited up and explained what I needed to do, so we could get off the ground.
"You want to be leaning forward and running.
A couple of people launched before me, so I had a chance to see how it's done. Getting everything in position was the easy part; the trickier part was waiting until a strong enough breeze came up the slope of the mountain. Once it did, we charged forward; and we were off!
When it was finally my turn to soar, it was an awesome sensation. Gliding at 20 miles per hour, we dropped about 2,000 feet in 10 minutes. It's as close to soaring like an eagle as I can imagine.
As soon as we landed, I was ready to do it again.
"I could come out every morning. Just come out every morning and do that just to kind of wake up. Some people need a cup of coffee; I could just do that," said Gautreau.
For the instructors, it's always a thrill to fly with a first-timer.
"As an instructor, I like to share that experience with people who normally wouldn't get it. It's kind of gratifying, taking someone out who, most likely, wouldn't do it in their lifetime," said Gautreau.
"I think each of us have a value, in our deep-lying soul, to fly like a bird. It's about as close as you can get. And sometimes we do fly with the birds," said paraglider, Laddie Shaw.
It was just an awesome, awesome sight once you come out over the valley. If you get a chance, it's a good time to get out and see Alaska from a different perspective.
If you have any ideas for the Get Out series that you'd like to share, you can give me a call on the Get Out Hotline at 273-3118.