Cross Country April 2021

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
incredible journeys

When Benjamin Jordan got in touch to explain to me what he’d been up to last year, I struggled to understand the scope of his journey. “You went from where to where?” I asked. “For how long?” Even when he started to post to social media at the start of this year I still didn’t get it. Only when he sent me his article, and shared his massive selection of images, which we run over 10 pages in this issue, starting on p50, did I properly begin to appreciate the scale of his project. To go from the southern border of the USA to the northern one, from Mexico to Canada, by foot and flying. In the end he spent 150 days – five months! – out there in the deserts, mountains…

1 min

Jacques Paul-Stefani’s paragliding photography has graced the covers of numerous paragliding magazines in France and Japan since he started flying in the early 1990s. An inveterate traveller, he lives and flies in Corsica with his family and their dog Plume, French for Feather. He’s in this issue’s Gallery – p16 Ben Horton is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer and host of the Nat Geo TV series Extreme China. His work has taken him from the tropical seas to the Arctic Ocean. Most recently it took him into his own backyard – flying in the famous Owens Valley – see p66 “I WAS STANDING THERE SAYING NO, WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE GLASS-OFF!” Ben Horton on flying on the edge of the Gobi, p66 Bastienne Wentzel braved the cold January North Sea…

1 min
what you will hear as preconceived ideas about littlecloud

1-LCs are Miniwing! Bear in mind that we don’t have our own metric system, 1m2 from LittleCloud=1m2 from any other brands... We produce MiniWings AND Paragliders from 7m2 to 38m2 2-Unsafe because not certified! Safety has nothing to do with Certification... A lot of pilots have accidents with certified gliders, the only difference is that we assume the responsibility of the behavior of our wings. This seems to work pretty good, as in the last 11 years we’ve released not less than 100 models/sizes without any problems or recalls for safety reasons. This is not only by luck... 3-LC don’t have performance! Well if you compare the good old 2009 Spiruline to a regular size glider, yes, there is a lack of performance on the LC side. However you should compare apples to apples! In our…

4 min
how to get ready for spring

Spring is arriving in the northern hemisphere, and with it come some of the biggest days. If you want to make the most of them, then you need to be ready. Here’s a 10-point plan to help. 1. Get your gear ready. Yep, we know that it’s said every year, but there is nothing worse than finding out you need to service your glider / pack your reserve / replace your gloves / upgrade your instruments the day before you need to go flying. Or worse, on the hill as others are taking off and skying out. Get organised ahead of time. 2. Know the rules. This year it’s important to know where and when you can fly. Lots of countries have restrictions and lots of sites, chairlifts and cable cars are…

3 min
the naked pilot urs haari

I grew up in a mountain village in Switzerland, it was paradise. We went hiking, skiing, climbing and motorbiking. But ever since I was young I dreamt of flying. At 17 I started to fly a sailplane, that was my biggest passion. I was on the airfield all the time but the summer flying season was short. My older brothers were flying paragliders. I laughed at them, flying straight down close to the hill. But ‘87-’88 was a bad winter with almost no snow for skiing, so my brother showed me how to fly. There were some thermals and the nine-cell paraglider was moving like crazy. I was so scared! I immediately liked the concept of being independent. I got my licence and we went to Verbier to fly. I got my…

4 min
insider’s guide: bordairrace 2021

The concept of the Bordairrace in Austria is simple: travel out-and-back as far as you can by foot and paraglider in 33 hours. There are three weekend events scheduled for this year, April, June and July. Simon Oberrauner has won the overall season three times in the event’s 14-year history. Simon, how many times have you done the Bordairrace now? The Bordairrace was my gateway into hike-and-fly comps. I did it in 2013, after flying about two years. I just gave it a try with a normal wing and way too much gear – I wasn’t ready for hike-and-fly races! I guess I’ve done it about 15 to 20 times now. How was the first time? I didn’t prepare physically so much, although I did a lot of research. But I didn’t have a…