Frequently Asked Questions
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No experience or training is required for you the passenger, however the pilots are fully qualified and experienced to ensure a safe and joyful flight. Before takeoff all passengers are given a short briefing by their pilot. Moments later you will be soaring through the air, seated comfortably, wondering why you were so nervous!
There are no age restrictions for being a tandem passenger. The oldest passenger so far was 96 and the youngest 2.5 years old. For those under the age of 16 we will require consent from a parent or guardian. In terms of physical fitness all that is required is the ability to take a few quick steps at takeoff. We can generally take passengers weighing up to 120kg (265lbs), though above 100kg (220lbs) we do need to assess the conditions carefully before deciding whether or not it is possible to take you.
Tandem paragliding has an excellent safety record, both within our company and throughout Switzerland. It is true that there are generally a number of serious accidents each year throughout the world involving mainly solo pilots, but obtaining a professional tandem licence in Switzerland is a very involved, lengthy, costly and rigorous process, which means that only the best pilots get through. In all of our combined years of tandem flying we have experienced a couple of grazed knees and a sprained ankle.
In winter, if you are on a skiing holiday, then your ski clothes are ideal. Be sure to bring your best gloves, a scarf or face warmer and some type of warm hat. Good boots are recommended as we may have to walk through some deeper snow. Bring your video or still camera with you. In winter though, make sure that the battery is fully charged as they tend to go flat very quickly during the flight due to the cold air. In the summer, shoes with good grip or hiking boots are preferable. Just wear comfortable clothing. We carry extra wind-proof overalls with us for you to use. If you are taller than 1.9m or size XL you should wear long trousers and a wind-proof jacket. It is fine to wear sunglasses or corrective glasses. Don't forget your Swissrail pass or half fare card for a discount on your lift ticket to the takeoff.
In the summer months we generally start flying between 8:00am and 8.30am and allow 1.5hours for each flight.
The Elite flight from Klein Matterhorn is only flown as the first flight of the day in the busy months of Summer and Winter. In summer we meet at our office at 7.30am for this flight.
The Classic High flight from Rothorn is available from 8am till approx.. 1.30pm in Summer, and all day in Winter.
The National flight from Blauherd, and the Scenic flight from Riffelberg are available from 10am onwards in the Summer months. Flight bookings for mid-afternoon may have to be cancelled at short notice if the valley wind gets too strong.During stable weather periods it is possible to fly a fantastic late afternoon/evening flight from Riffelberg. For this flight we take either the 5.12pm or 6.00pm Gornergrat train from town.
The prices listed on our website are for the flight only. Your pilot will accompany you to the ticket office and help you purchase your one-way ticket up the mountain. Prices vary of course depending on which flight you have chosen. Don't forget to bring along your Swisspass, or half fare rail card as you will receive a 50% discount on your ticket. For information on timetables and prices check out www.zermatt.ch or www.matterhornparadise.ch
Yes you can! Each pilot has a specially designed extendable pole with a wide angle camera mounted on it to take stunning shots of you and the panorama from all sorts of crazy angles. If time allows the pilot will also take a digital video of your flight. Your photos and video can be viewed in the office on a large screen after your flight. Our in-flight photo service is an optional extra and costs 30 SFr for which you will receive a minimum of 15 photos burnt onto an Alpine Adventures Paragliding CD. Visit the Alpine Adventures Paragliding Zermatt office for a preview.
We can make each flight as smooth or as crazy as you like, that is the beauty of paragliding! Although we can glide smoothly from takeoff to landing, most people are comfortable and curious enough to ask for a few "rollercoaster turns" later in their flight. During the flight your pilot will regularly check on how you are feeling as our goal is most definitely not to make you feel sick. The air can be a bit bumpy later in the day in spring and summer so our advice is not to fly on a full stomach.
Depending on the weather conditions and our booking schedule it may be possible to extend your flight. As paragliders need to circle in rising air currents (thermals) to stay up for longer, this is only possible from spring till mid autumn. Check with your pilot or with the Alpine Adventures Paragliding Zermatt office for costs. Extended flights must be arrange prior to takeoff.
How about a climb to a peak over 4000m followed by an amazing flight over the tumbling icefalls and seracs of several glaciers. The Breithorn Experience will put you into a very small and elite club indeed. This experience involves a guided climb of approximately two hours from Klein Matterhorn up to the peak of the Breithorn. After taking in the spectacular view of Switzerland and Italy we then launch from just below the summit, covering an altitude difference of around 2500m before landing close by the train station in Zermatt. This experience is not cheap, not for the faint hearted, nor the unfit. Enquire at the Alpine Adventures Paragliding Zermatt office or call us on +41 79 643 6808 for more details.
If you are unfamiliar with Zermatt we generally arrange to meet at our office. It is very easy to find, being located in the shopping centre opposite the main train station, in the same corridor as the COOP supermarket. If you can find your way about we can arrange to meet at the appropriate lift station, or up on the mountain. A popular combination in Summer is to take the Gornergrat train all the way to the top, check out the view and then walk down from Rotenboden station to Riffelberg for a flight back to Zermatt. This walk is called the "Riffelseeweg" and takes approximately an hour.
In general we meet passengers at our office or at a prearranged spot at a lift station or up on the mountain. Due to amount of people who wish to fly and the limited windows of good flying weather high in the alps we schedule our flights to maximise the number of people who get to fly each day. This means we won't have time to pick you up from your hotel. If you are unsure about finding our office please ask your hotel concierge to organise a taxi for you.
You need to allow about 1.5 hours for flights from Rothorn, Blauherd and Riffelberg and 2 hours for flights from Klein Matterhorn.
Weather conditions can change rapidly in the high alpine environment of Zermatt, but are generally more predictable in the mornings. Plan you flight for the earlier part of the day to minimize the risk of missing out.
Paragliders are non-rigid, crescent shaped wings made from nylon fabric. Air flows into openings at the front of the wing to inflate the glider and give its shape. The pilot and passenger are seated in comfortable harnesses and suspended below the wing on a number of high strength lines.
Paragliders, like any other type of glider, are non-powered and will always glide at a certain angle towards the ground. To stay up for longer the trick is to find rising air currents (thermals) and circle around in them to gain height, just like eagles do!
The material is high strength rip-stop nylon, each main line can hold 80-120 kg (12 per side) and the carabiners on each side can hold 2.6 tonnes. Gliders are load tested to six times their maximum weight limit. Strong enough for you?