The Dolomites group is famous mostly for the snow sport activities. However, here in Trentino of Alto Adige in northern Italy, among slopes, peaks and valleys, one sport is very popular, paragliding. Paragliding is one of the few sports here, that can be practiced throughout the year.
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Paragliding in Chelan Butte Launch, Wenatchee, Washington USA
Chelan Butte Launch is located close to Chelan Lake, at about forty minutes away from Wenathee. This spot is known world wide for it’s premier thermal winds and the long distance potential. This is the location where National and International Paragliding World Cups take place.
The best flying season is during Spring, Fall and Summer where katabatic flow funnels come out of the Cascade Mountains and down to Lake Chelan. The launch site elevation is at 3300 ft/1005 m and the LZ elevation is at 600 ft/182 m. Chelan Butte is suitable for all skill levels para-gliders. However, during summer, the mid day thermals are suitable for experienced pilots only.
You will fly over Columbia River and Lake Chelan, where a big flat section of land with soft soil, provides with perfect landing conditions. The views from up there are magnificent and you can climb up to 1000 to 1500 ft/304-457 m per minute in a good day. Para-gliders should be careful of dust devils on launch area.
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