Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paragliding pilot breaks record from Baldy to Montana

Gavin McClurg travels 240 Miles


    Paragliding pilot Gavin McClurg took off from Bald Mountain at 11:07 a.m. and flew 34 miles farther than any previous attempt in North America.  
    The flight lasted just over 7½ hours to eclipse the previous record, set by Nick Greece from Jackson Hole, Wyo. just last year at 204 miles.  
    McClurg’s route crossed several of the largest mountain ranges in the American West, with peaks over 13,000 feet, including the Boulders, Pioneers, Big Lost, Lemhi’s and the Continental Divide.  
    The pilot landed just after 6 p.m. at the edge of Canyon Ferry Lake, just outside of Helena, Mont.  The average speed of the flight was over 52 kilometers per hour and gained altitudes of 18,000 feet.  
    “I had no intention of flying that day,” McClurg said.  “A friend of mine, Nate Scales and I had a huge flight to near Bozeman the day before. I landed just 5 km short of the Idaho distance record (319 km) on the Madison River. We didn’t get home until 0330 in the morning.  I was pretty tired out!”
    But when McClurg woke up the next day the conditions looked even better.
    “I raced to the store, bought some food, borrowed a canister of oxygen from a friend and headed up the hill,” McClurg said.  
    As pilots who fly in this area often reach altitudes where you can easily become hypoxic, they recommend flying with supplemental oxygen.  
    McClurg, 41, started flying in 2006. He started competing last year, flying in his first World Cup event in Sun Valley last August.  He was the captain of a kitesurfing expedition sailboat from 1999 through 2011.  
    “As soon as we were done sailing, my every thought is about flying.  I’ve flown in India, all across the Alps, in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, in South and Central America, and in many places in Africa,” McClurg added. “I moved to Sun Valley last year because in my opinion it’s the best mountain site on Earth.  It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s often pretty intense, but there’s nowhere better for huge distance.”  
    “I left three hours on the table on this flight.  I landed when the thermals were still working really well.  But I had some pretty serious weather to my south and too much westerly wind to head north.  I basically ran out of places to go.  But on the right day, someone will fly over 500 kilometers from here, easy.”




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.