We're excited to present our new miniseries of mini-adventure vlogs—Flybubble Walk Climb Fly—with mountaineering instructor, paraglider pilot and guest filmmaker Rob Johnson of Filmuphigh.

Rob has been climbing and mountaineering for more than 25 years, making his living in the mountains professionally for the last 18, and only discovered paragliding two years ago. Each episode of this new Walk Climb Fly series will be filmed as part of a separate mountain journey, offering beautiful visuals and valuable insights, culminating in the flight.

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Flybubble Walk Climb Fly #1

Mini Hike & Fly adventure in North Wales.

In this first episode of we join Rob as he takes us on a mini Hike & Fly adventure from his front door in Snowdonia, North Wales. Pure and simple Paralpinism, UK style.

Whilst hiking up and flying back down, Rob looks at the attraction of the sport, how advances in equipment have opened up a new world for climbers, how to get into the sport as a beginner and plans for the future.

 

Being primarily a mountaineer, having only discovered paragliding two years ago, Rob is mainly interested in paragliding as a means to fly down after enjoying climbing up a mountain. He loves the climbing, as much as the flying. Therefore for his flying equipment he prioritises low weight, small pack volume and high safety over higher performance. For example, like many mountaineers, Rob chooses to fly a single-skin paraglider in this video. Although it is possible to soar, thermal and fly cross country on modern single-skin paragliders, they are best-suited to simpler, shorter flights--even the best and highest-performing ones, like the Niviuk Skin 3 P Rob flies here.

Like all branches of freeflight, the paragliding subactivity generally known as 'Hike & Fly' is actually many things to many people! Like paragliding itself, hike and fly is a far more varied activity than most realise! If you hike to fly with your portable wing, that's "hike and fly". The beauty is in the simplicity! After that, whether you simply fly down or go on more complex cross country flight is down to the wishes and abilities of the individual - and of course the limitations of the equipment, the environment, and the weather conditions.

Written, filmed and presented by Rob Johnson, Filmuphigh.

Flying gear: Niviuk Skin 3 P wing, Niviuk Roamer 2 harness.

Flybubble Walk Climb Fly #2

Paralpinism Dolmen Ridge Snowdonia.

In this second episode Rob climbs Dolmen Ridge, a grade 3 scramble in Snowdonia, with his mate Bryn. Together they then fly from the summit of the Glyderau to land by the car - if only the pub was open! Pure and simple Paralpinism, UK style.

 

The roots of paragliding can be traced back to the simple joy of walking to the top of a hill and flying back down. As equipment has progressed over the decades the emphasis has been on the flying and pilots have, on the whole, been able to avoid the walking element and just fly, catching thermals for height.

As gliders got ever lighter (as little as 1kg) climbers once again realised the potential for flying off the mountains having climbed a route to the top. In the French Alps the concept of Paralpinism was born with lightweight gliders being a fantastic way to avoid the slog of the walk down.

With: Rob Johnson and Bryn Williams
Wings: Niviuk Skin 3 P and Ozone Firefly
Route: Dolmen Ridge, Glyder Fach, Snowdonia

Flybubble Walk Climb Fly #3

The Crib Lem Spur Snowdonia.

Rob climbs The Crib Lem Spur, a grade one scramble on the Carneddau in Snowdonia, and then flies back down off the top.

The Crib Lem Spur is a beautiful ridge line set in the Northern Carneddau. As Rob climbs he negotiates the recent lambing snows and greasy rock whilst hoping the cloud will clear to allow a flight from the top.

 

With: Rob Johnson.
Flying gear: Niviuk Skin 3 P wing, Niviuk Roamer 2 harness.
Route: The Crib Lem Spur, Carnedd Dafydd, Snowdonia, North Wales, UK.

Flybubble Walk Climb Fly #4

Bristly Ridge Scramble & Fly.

Rob he climbs Bristly Ridge, a grade one scramble on the Glyderau at sunrise in Snowdonia, and then flies back down off the top. Pure and simple Paralpinism, UK style.

This episode called for an early start to enjoy the sun rising over the Ridge! Fine weather provided a beautiful morning and the early hour gave a quiet scramble followed by a wonderfully smooth flight from the summit to be back in time for breakfast!

 

With: Rob Johnson.
Flying gear: Niviuk Skin 3 P wing, Niviuk Roamer 2 harness.
Route: Bristly Ridge, Glyderau, Snowdonia, North Wales, UK.

Flybubble Walk Climb Fly #5

Clogwyn Y Person Arete.

This time Rob Johnson climbs the Clogwyn Y Person Arete, a grade 3 scramble on Garnedd Ugain to then fly back down.

To get smooth flying conditions Rob chooses an evening ascent of the ridge, taking the rock climbing start of the Parsons Nose and enjoying some lovely light as he gains height. For the flight down he opts for his Phi Viola and shares his experience of the difference between this paraglider and the single skin wings that he has flown in the earlier episodes. Will the Viola give him a better glide ratio and allow him to reach the village of Llanberis?

 

With: Rob Johnson.
Flying gear: Phi VIOLA wing, Niviuk Roamer P harness.
Route: Clogwyn Y Person Arete , Snowdonia, North Wales, UK.

 


Vlog: Video blog or video log.

Paralpinism: To climb up on foot and fly back down.

Brought to you by Flybubble

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