Cross Country July 2019

Cross Country is the world’s leading voice for hang gliding, paragliding and paramotoring pilots. Ten times a year, our magazine content reflects our obsession with flying, and we express it by packing each issue with the most imaginative, inspirational photography and writing we can lay our hands on.

United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
rewilding in the sky

Some of my strongest memories from flying are of moments of interaction with birds. Tracking seagulls on improbably lifty lines over the sea on a cold winter’s day; tucking in tight and carefully alongside a wedge-tailed eagle in Australia; following a hovering kestrel up a trackless valley in Scotland; looking up to see a Himalayan griffon vulture surfing my leading edge on a perfect autumn day in Bir; thermalling lazily in a gaggle of drifting storks in southern Spain; somehow staying up in a less-than-zeroes meander by watching the urubus out of the corner of my eye in Brazil. In May I had another memory-bank moment, on a flatland flight in the UK. It was a tricky, high-pressure day, slow to start and slow to fly. I hadn’t seen a bird…

1 min

Laurent Boninfante is a Frenchman in the UK, where he works in digital marketing. He took up paragliding 18 months ago, finished his training in Spain, and has been chasing airtime ever since. He acted as our “willing volunteer” when we wanted to find out more about buying your second wing, p48 Fred Souchon works as a mountain guide and for the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM) mountain rescue service in Chamonix. An Advance ambassador, he is the perfect person to guide us round Mont Blanc this issue. Find him on p56 – and search for him on YouTube and Vimeo Lenka Žďánská learnt to fly in the Czech Republic in 2012, but now lives in Kiruna, Arctic Sweden, where she works as a mining surveyor. “I fell in love…

2 min
in the core

Maurer sets the bar Chrigel Maurer warmed up for the Red Bull X-Alps with an absolutely huge FAI triangle on 2 June – the best day the Alps has seen this year. He flew 343.49km (online contest distance), making it the biggest paragliding triangle in the Alps by far and beating Honorin Hamard’s ratified world record of 329.3km (FAI distance) from July 2016. Maurer’s flight took him from a 9.15am launch on the Niesen, a 2,362m peak in the Bernese Oberland, west along the Alps into France, before heading back east into and across the high Swiss Alps. His second turnpoint was a 3,487m peak on the Swiss/Italian border, from where he headed back north. His chosen weapon for the mission was an Ozone Enzo 3; climbs were 5m/s up to 4,000m. Maurer…

3 min
mixing it up

When we first saw this photo we thought it was fake news – but no, it’s real! “We came up with the idea over coffee in one of the indoor skydiving wind tunnels in Madrid,” says Víctor Rodríguez Santamarta, otherwise known as Moncho, the paramotor pilot in the photo. The other half of the “we” is wingsuit pilot Daniel Hernán-Pérez. “The idea was to mix in one image our two sports. But as soon as we came up with it we thought: How? Who? When? Where?” The plan quickly developed from a sketch literally on the back of a paper napkin to a concrete idea and a team. “We knew we’d need two trikes, one for the jumper and one for the photographer. We’d put one trike behind and above to give the wingsuit…

2 min
kössen’s super testival brushes off the snow

The response from most paraglider manufacturers at this year’s Super Paragliding Testival in Kössen, Austria when asked about their new wings was: “Well, it would have been here but we’ve been waiting for the weather.” The season in the Alps has struggled to get going this year after huge dumps of late-winter snow. But, despite the less than favourable forecast, the Kössen testival yet again saw some great flying, with hundreds of pilots enjoying the chance to fly and try lots of different wings. There seemed to be even more manufacturers on the field than previous years, with the trade tents now extending down a third side. Instrument-makers had their own “street”, with XC Tracer, SkyBean, Stodeus and SkyTraxx all present. The team from Flymaster had made the long journey from Portugal…

2 min
actions speak louder than words

In issue 198, at the end of an at times entertaining article (The Road to Macedonia), James Johnston wrote that the competition director of the 2018 New Zealand Paragliding Nationals bumped him out of third place by “...somehow [having] been awarded enough bonus points for landing for downed pilots”. I think you perhaps should have checked out this insinuation of anything less than fair play before publishing it. I’ll be generous and assume that James Johnston isn’t trying to present to readers a falsehood that the competition director, Mark Hardman, unfairly awarded himself points to win third place. Anyone who knows Mark would know that this is not just offensive but would just not happen. Mark knows the rules, he actually reads and writes them. I’ve often heard it said that…