Monthly Archives: November 2017

Paragliding

Well, that’s true. Humans, however, have found alternatives to wings in many forms, one of them being paragliding. It is one of the adventure sports which has been enjoyed and loved by people for years. This activity is not only famous for adventure but is also well-known for its injuries and accidents. Though the rate of accidents has decreased to a large extent there are still many possibilities of getting hurt while performing this activity. Rate of injury decreases with experience. But to begin with, a person needs to follow proper guidelines in terms of safety.

Some Important Paragliding Tips

A parachute like canopy is required for the purpose of paragliding; and with the help of wind and gravity the person can keep sailing for a long time. But the take off and landing are considered to be the most difficult parts and thus cause the maximum number of accidents. Hence one needs to be trained before going for a glide. Following are some of the tips which if you keep in mind, can help you do this job perfectly and safely.
The best thing to begin with is to find out a good instructor who can teach you how to paraglide safely and perfectly. He should be a USHGA (United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association) Certified Basic or Advanced Paragliding Instructor or he must have done an equivalent course in the field of paragliding. Do not just start training without checking his experience and skill as these types of training can be dangerous.
You need to have the right equipment to fly. This will include wings, harness, variometer, radio and global positioning system, etc. You can consult your instructor for detailed information about the equipment and take his advice before buying any of them.
The next most important thing is the weather. You should never go for paragliding when it is raining or under any other bad weather conditions. It can be very dangerous. Never fly when the wind measures more than 25-30 mph speed-wise.
Look for the place where you will be practicing. If you are required to run on a slope to take off then observe it properly and speak to your instructor for any doubts. The slope should not be more than 15 degrees as more slope will create problems in controlling the balance. Find and clear up the obstructions so as to avoid accidents at the time of take off.
The landing site should be clear and accessible as most accidents are observed at the time of landing.
Do not forget to take all the safety gear in order to be safe at all times. Helmets are compulsory as a head injury can be fatal.

The Amazing History of Rock Climbing

Today, rock climbing is recognized as a sport where a participant has to climb a natural steep rocky formation or man-made rock walls. Rock climbing tests the agility and strength of the participant. A rock climber has to strike a balance between his body weight and his mental strength. This is a dangerous sport and one should have proper training and knowledge before making an attempt.
Historical Overview of Rock Climbing
Although initially rock climbing may have been taken up as a hobby, there are many evidences regarding the existence of climbing in earlier times. Take a look at a few historical instances.
One historical evidence is a Chinese watercolor belonging to 400 BC that depicts men climbing rocks.
In the 12th century, native Americans who lived in southwest Anasazi, had carved steps and drilled holes to hold post on the steep cliffs in Chaco Canyon.
In 1492, Antoine de Ville climbed Mont Aiguille, a rock tower in south of France. He used various skilled techniques to achieve this mission. Later, these same techniques were used to siege castles.
In 1695, ropes were used to climb rocks. It was first used by Martin of Scotland to climb St. Kilda.
Towards the close of the 18th century, Mont Blanc was ascended and it is said that the modern history of rock climbing and mountaineering started thereon.
During the 16th and the 17th century, rock climbing was considered part of Alpine mountaineering and rescue operations. It is only in the 19th century that it came to be recognized as a sporting activity.

Rock or mountain climbing became popular in many European countries during the late 19th century. The first European country to give importance to this activity was Germany.
In 1903, around five hundred enthusiasts climbed Elbe Sandstone Mountains. It was during this time, many clubs were formed.In England, around the same time, solo climbing was seen as a sport. Many solo climbers mounted complex and difficult cliff formations. Initially, there were no formal clubs for the rock climbers. However, people would meet informally in a common place to share and discuss their climbing experiences and also exchanged notes on climbing techniques.
Dolomite Mountains of Italy became the third greatest European rock climbing zone after a seventeen-year-old German student from Munich succeeded in climbing these dangerous mountains all by himself.
It became a separate sports activity in the United States in 1950s. Several mountaineering techniques were also used.
Various new techniques and styles were introduced as part of changes to this sport. The enthusiasm of rock climbers has transformed it from a hobby to a sport.
A new trend is indoor rock climbing many clubs in developed countries have facilities to install artificial rock ranges and cliffs as simulation landscape. Indoor climbing eliminates the risks of outdoor climbing and also provides an unforgettable experience to those residing in places where there are no natural cliffs.

The Bungle Bungles

Did you know that the Bungle Bungles is a mountain range in Australia? Well, here are some interesting facts about this unique geographical wonder.

Believe It or Not!
The Bungle Bungles remained undetected until the 1980s! It was discovered in 1983 by a film crew from Perth.
Bungle Bungles is located 80 km away from the Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley region. Sounds quite accessible, isn’t it? However, it went undetected because one had to cross a slow dirt track before they could reach the park. This 80-km stretch is fairly inaccessible, which is the reason nobody had ventured close to the park.

The national park, although famous by the name of Bungle Bungles, is actually known as Purnululu National Park. The word ‘Purnululu’, from which the park derives its name, means sandstone in the language of the local Kija aboriginals. The name Bungle Bungles is the name given to the range of rounded rock formations of sandstone, that are lined with alternate black and orange stripes.
Fascinating Facts about the Bungle Bungles
The Bungle Bungles, located in Western Australia, is one of the most famous and fascinating geographical landmarks of the region. This Buzzle article brings to you some amazing facts about this mountain range, along with some general information about the park. So, let’s get started.
➦ The Bungle Bungles was formed more than 350 million years ago, during the Devonian period. The gradual weathering and erosion of the sandstone rock led to the formation of cliffs.
➦ The orange and black stripes that are seen on the rocks are due to orange silica and black lichen. The dark bands are of permeable rock, which allow water to seep through, leading to a thick and dense growth of algae, while the orange bands get their color from oxidized iron compounds.

➦ The ranges are home to many endemic species of flora and fauna, including some species of wallabies and beautiful palm trees.
➦ Thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans in Australia, the aboriginals had settled in the region that is now known as the Purnululu National Park.

Bungle Bungles Range
➦ The total area covered by the dome-shaped ranges of the Bungle Bungles, which rise from the bottom of the Piccaninny Gorge, is close to 450 square kilometers.

➦ You can stumble upon ancient aboriginal cave paintings in the caves and mountain caverns.
➦ The Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles ranges were declared a World Heritage site in July 2003.
➦ The Kimberley region, where the park is located, is the world’s single largest source of diamonds.

View of Sunlight on the Ranges
➦ Interestingly, these rock formations appear to glow at dusk.
➦ More number of people take an aerial tour of the park than those who choose to travel by land.
➦ The ‘National Park’ status was granted to the park in 1987.
➦ The average height of the rock formations is 200-300 meters. However, climbing is strictly prohibited.

The Acadia National Park

Situated on the rough and rugged Maine coast, the Acadia National Park in Maine is a glorious haven for all those who want to experience nature at its best. The pristine beauty of the park, where the sea, mountains, woodlands, lakes, ponds, and wildlife all come together for a grand spectacle, attracts thousands of visitors every year. The sculpted granite hilltops, the beauty of the fall foliage, the breathtaking view of the rocky coast of Maine, and the miles of historic carriage trails are some of the best attractions of this park.

Apart from its scenic beauty, the Acadia National Park also boasts of a rich human history, thanks to native Americans, early European settlers, and artists. Attracted by the beauty of this place, many affluent people of the century have flocked to these islands in search of recreational and social activities. Till date, it continues to be one of the most visited national parks east of Mississippi. Here are some interesting facts about Acadia National Park.
History of the Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park Map
● The first people to inhabit Mount Desert Island in the Acadia National Park were the Wabanaki.

● A Frenchman, Samuel de Champlain, who led an expedition that landed on Mount Desert Island in 1604, named these islands as ‘Isles des Monts Désert’.

● Many of the socially prominent families, such as the Rockefellers, built lavish summer cottages in Acadia. It was due to their private donations of the land that the beauty of Mount Desert Island and the national park remains preserved till date.

● In 1901, Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University, formed a public land trust to protect the island from uncontrolled development. Its creation was also strongly supported by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

● On July 8, 1916, 6,000 acres of land was set aside by President Woodrow Wilson for the ‘Sieur de Monts National Monument’.

● In 1919, President Wilson signed an act establishing the Lafayette National Park, which was later renamed Acadia National Park in 1929.
● It became the first national park east of the Mississippi.
● The man credited with establishing and conserving this national park was George B. Dorr, the national park’s first superintendent. An affluent person, who hailed from a highly regarded Boston family, George Dorr spent 43 years trying to protect and preserve Acadia for public use.

● In 1947, a major fire broke out on Mount Desert Island, burning for 10 days and destroying more than 17,000 acres of land, which also included a number of upscale summer cottages.