I’m standing on Coronet Peak, 2,500 feet above a valley near Queenstown. It’s freezing, the sun attempting to break through and I feel surprisingly calm for someone who is about to run off a cliff.
My two flight choices: The Scenic Route or Living on the Edge. I chose Living on the Edge, get hooked into my glider and pilot and then wait… and wait… for the wind. The sun and blue sky finally appear along with a good gust of wind. I run as fast and hard as I can to the edge of the cliff until my feet no longer touch the ground.
My exhilaration increases exponentially as the earth gets smaller below me. Words like wicked cool, awesome, OMG, fantastic are the only words running through my head. As I’m completely overwhelmed with a sense of awe and wonder, my pilot hands me the control – a surge of adrenaline runs through my body as all I can think about it not crashing into the side of the mountain.
We find a thermal and surge the paraglider higher, soaring over the valley. Birds have it so good.