Sure, that is how we all started slope soaring/para-gliding back in the mid 1980s. I did my first few student flights under a PD 260 skydiving canopy. There are two disadvantages to using skydiving gear for slope soaring. First of all, dragging canopies through the weeds soon results in small holes and tears that are expensive to repair. Secondly exposure to sunlight rapidly deteriorates parachute fabric in a manner that is impossible to repair. Thirdly, after your first dozen or two dozen flights, you will long for a canopy with a slower rate of descent and flatter glide. All these technical issues have been addressed by para-gliding manufacturers. Their fabric is more durable and includes UV inhibitors. They also get into really exotic elliptically tapered canopies that glide very flat and can catch the weakest lift. The disadvantage is that para-gliding canopies require special techniques to reinflate after stalls. Read a book on para-gliding before you try running down a slope with you skydiving canopy and I strongly encourage you to pay a cetified para-gliding instructor for a half day of instruction. Yes, leave the brakes unset for all para-gliding flights. Finally, You might want to look at web sites for the United States Hang Gliding Association and similar organisations and manufacturers. Have fun! I did!
Yes, that is the way we all started slope soaring/para-gliding back in the mid 1980s. My first few para-gliding flights were under a PD 260 skydiving canopy. Just a caution, dragging a skydiving canopy down a ski slope and leaving it laying in the sun will quickly wear it out. Leave the brakes unset. Read a book on para-gliding before you try launching off any hill. Pay a certified para-gliding instructor for a half-day's instruction. Have fun! I did!
Yo Swede,, I was thinking of the same thing,, off of Mt. Ranier in Washington state,, no weeds,, 14,410 MSL,, steep slopes and ideally a light wind,, sounds possible and beats the hike down that ruins my knee,,what ya'll think?? I was curios ta glide slope and decsent rate, chute size at that alt etc.. I looked into some paragliding schools and the cost is prohibitive,, well, more like a lot of skydives and a good used rig ta get that setup & training,, so if ya decide ta do this let me know how it goes otay!! Billy
By the way I don't recommend this unless you talk to someone with experience like Rob says, and I have never done this myself.
On the Chronicles 3 video Olav jumps out of a little plane above a ski slope, he carves onto the slope where there are air blades set down the slope, and he basically slaloms his small eliptical down the course. This is called Blade running and it is gaining popularity close to ski slopes.
It looks like a lot of fun....but it also looks like you better plan all your outs in case you miss a turn, or miss a landing area, because it looks congested and you probably build up some speed in parts of the slopes. You are flying a parachute and not a paraglider (parapente) in these things so you are going down the whole time.
"beats the hike down that ruins my knee" That is the same reason that lazy French mountain climbers invented para-gliding. Just one caution about starting at 14,000' up Mt. Rainer" the air is thin. Your lungs will work overtime when you run and the canopy will fly faster. You will probably want to start with a canopy several sizes larger than you would jump at a sea-level DZ. Just think about how hard a Stiletto too tiny will land at 14,000.' As to your question about glide ratios ... skydiving canopies are trimmed steeply nose down. They are trimmed nose down for two reasons. Primarily this allows them to recover from any stall by simply releasing the brake toggles. Secondly, skydivers seem to enjoy all the extra forward speed that ground-hungry canopies produce. P.S. Yesterday I saw Mt. Ranier as we exited a Cessna at 10,000' over Pitt Meadows.
Rob, Ramon, Thanks for the input,, it won't be happening this year as far as I can see,, only have 43 jumps and ain't ina hurry to get throttled ya know,, blade runnin sounds exciting but not even gonna go there,, and ya the conditions would have ta be perfect,, climbed Ranier years back on the first attempt then failed twice after that,,weather moves in quick up there!! was thinkin of bringin up them silly really short short skis so I wouldn't have ta run at all,, just point'em down and haul ass!! definately a larger chute for the LZ's also would be 5500-6000 ft,, so Rob ya out at Kapowsin?? Pitt Meadows?? And Ramon congrats on your teams recent finish,, Thanks again,, Billy