28 Jun 2012 2 comment Òscar Marín

Paragliding through the valley of Àger

It is difficult to describe the feeling of jumping off a cliff. We are told that nothing will happen, that the wide canopy resembling a parachute will lift us and sustain us. No time for second thoughts.  We start running, and we’re lifted off the ground, like magic. We’re flying! At our feet lies the Valley of Àger, a broad depression flanked by towering mountains belonging to the pre-Pyrenean region of Noguera.

Our hearts are pounding, but not for long.  Being in the air, surrounded by peace and quiet has a calming effect.  So, serenity takes over while we continue gliding over this marvelous sight.  They say paragliding provides the most similar sensation to the flight of a bird.  It could be.  If only for the lack of roads, tolls, busy lanes and engine noises.  It’s easy to feel like an eagle with spread wings scouting the forest of the mountains of Montsec below.

One can say that we are in the Catalan capital of paragliding.  Every day, brave visitors from all over the world come here, to the Valley of Àger, with the hopes to quench their thirst for adventure.  The breathtaking cliffs and plains make an ideal location to practice paragliding or powered paragliding, which includes a motor and a propeller. However, if you don’t feel like flying alone, companies like Entrenúvols offer two-seater flights. Pilot sits behind, so the passenger can enjoy the experience without the worries of controlling the paraglide.


Paragliding in the Mont-rebei narrow pass

Now, the question is, from where to jump? On the mountains of Montsec there are a few places you can do that. Although the most used spot is the hill of Ares. That’s from where we took off, all wrapped-up to protect us from the cold. Yes, despite the nice weather, when you are up there –we surpassed the 1,000-yard mark–, temperatures drop a few degrees.

One of the most beautiful places you can overfly is the ravine of Mont-rebei, a seven-mile long and five-hundred-yards deep wonder, carved on hard limestone through the ages by the Noguera Ribagorçana River. But, the intensity of the experience does not compare to exploring this wonder of nature on foot. Once you’ve landed and left the paraglider behind, we highly recommend hiking on the narrow path following the ravine. Be careful when you stop to admire the waters below. The same goes for when you check out the nests of vultures and other species miraculously glued to narrow cracks on those vertical walls. The last thing you want to do now is fly.


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