Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Dec 15-23 2019
For the Aspiring XC pilots
With a smaller class size and all day coaching from legendary XC pilots, the Master Class is for aspiring XC pilots who want to take their skills to the next level. For maximum pilot progression, class size is limited to three students per instructor. You’ll meet for breakfast to discuss the forecast and the game plan. After launching into the midday air, you and the coaches will work as a team to accomplish XC objectives, while our dedicated chase van provides support. After everybody has landed, you’ll debrief over lunch. If there’s time an energy, pilots can go for an evening soaring session and potential second XC flight. Indeed flying is the fastest way home and there’s nothing so sweet as a “double lake” day. For those keen to dig in deeper, track log review and further classroom happens before or during dinner.
is a two time national champion, World Cup Americas Champion and Vice Champion, finished on the World Cup Podium, 2 x US Team member, and has held numerous state records, as well as flown the furthest out of any American, twice, beating his own record two years ago in Brazil with a 422 km flight. He was the first American to break the coveted 200-mile foot launch record, he beat his past record for Nevada this year at 274 km, and was second in the Paragliding Nationals in Chelan this year. He’s flown in 35 countries, guided in Valle and France, and holds an advanced instructor and tandem instructor ratings from the USHPA where he also edits the magazine. Nick is one of the few sponsored paragliders in the world, so each participant in his tours will get a goodie bag of swag! Nick has competed and flown in Valle for 15 years! He can eat up to 6 tacos in one sitting! [For reference, Calef can’t comfortably eat more than 3]
If you’ve yet to hear about Henzi, he’s a Sky-Jedi from Oregon. Check out his track logs, Henzi sends it. He is a super talented racer (just won the first day at the World’s in China!) and he’s one of the most insightful PG instructors we’ve met- SIV coach, XC coach, race pilot… he’s the real deal. Henzi’s known for his super chill radio voice that delivers nuggets of wisdom just when you need it the most. We’re stoked to have Henzi on the team.
Valle de Bravo, Mexico is a world class soaring destination with equally epic food. This charming mountain town, often described as the Aspen of Mexico, sits along the shores of Lake Avándaro, just 2 hours west of the capital city. Every year paragliders and hang gliders converge on this region between December and February. There are two launch destinations– La Torre and El Penon. La Torre is located just above town, it's slopes rising up from the lake. This ridge soaring site has little thermal opportunity, so it's primarily used by Valle's many commercial tandem pilots. The El Penon launch is outside of town about forty five minutes south of Valle de Bravo. The typical goal flying from El Penon back to the "Lake LZ"– 9 miles- will be just the start for the Master Class and for those who are keen we can explore more challenging and distant objectives.
Where we stay
"Charlie's Place" is local posada (Mexican version of a B&B), whose guests are exclusively PG pilots and their companions. With welcoming hosts that are also pilots and an ideal location (convenient to the road to launch, just 100 yards from the lake LZ, and with excellent nearby food options), Charlie's Place books up months in advance. Having stayed at Charlie's place for a dozen years, PGNE now has a standing reservation for the entire Posada for Dec 1-18. The accommodations are simple but clean, comfortable, and safe. The Master Class will have single and double occupancy with private bathrooms enough to accommodate 12 pilots at a time.
Flights are to arrive in Mexico City before 4pm. After clearing customs our private mini bus will take us on the 2-3 hour drive to Valle de Bravo. For day to day flying, we have our own van and driver that is a pilot familiar with all the various launches and landing zones. Local cabs are plentiful, extremely cheap and often used by XC pilots who "land out" away from designated LZ options. Travel throughout town is typically done by foot. As with arrival, transport back to Mexico City is through a private charter. Flights are to depart no earlier than 12 noon.
$3,000. Please pay a $500 deposit due at booking, balance before trip.
8 nights lodging
Private shuttle to-from Mexico City airport
Comprehensive pre-trip briefing and strategy session via online meeting
Personalized instruction and XC guiding with master instructors
Nightly video review of launches and track log analysis
Flights to Mexico City (Dec 15, arriving before 4pm and departing Dec 23rd after 12:30)
Food ($15-35 per day)
Travel insurance HERE for acceptable policies that cover Paragliding.
Peñon Club fee. ($40)