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Story Last modified at 9:19 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A wing with a view

Alaska Star staff

About a half dozen paragliders from Eagle River and Anchorage made their way up Mount Baldy Saturday afternoon, drawn by the sunshine and spring conditions that they say make the sport a magical way to enjoy the outdoors.

Near the crest of the mountain, Anchorage's Allen Hansen glistened in sweat from the tedious climb through slick snowfields. He carried on his back his wing, which once spread out on the summit would serve, literally, as his wings to the bottom.

While clear conditions are best for paragliding, Hansen said the winds also have to be just right, and devout paragliders will follow those conditions – from Girdwood and South Anchorage to Eagle River and Hatcher Pass – to find the perfect conditions.

"There's nothing like it," said Hansen, as he spread his wing across the bare summit, waited for the perfect gust, and took off in flight.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.