Go flying over Lake Sammamish in upcoming courses

September 9, 2014

Washington State Parks offers a Safety in Flight Training course Sept. 10-17 and Sept. 26 through Oct. 1 at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road.

The flying is in the Sunset Beach area, all day.

The course involves experts towing paragliders behind a boat on the lake who instruct students on various safety maneuvers.

 

Sky riders — Tandem flights help everyone take wing

August 19, 2014

Seattle Paragliding teamed up with Project Airtime recently to give wings to those for whom flight seemed impossible.

“The overall goal of Project Airtime is to take everyone flying, no exclusions,” Project Airtime founder Chris Santacroce said.

By Rachel Osgood A tandem paragliding wing flies above Tiger Mountain, with the Issaquah Highlands’ Grand Ridge Plaza in the background, July 25 after being launched from Poo Poo Point during a three-day event organized by Project Airtime and Seattle Paragliding. The event gave people with disabilities the opportunity for free flight with pilots.

By Rachel Osgood
A tandem paragliding wing flies above Tiger Mountain, with the Issaquah Highlands’ Grand Ridge Plaza in the background, July 25 after being launched from Poo Poo Point during a three-day event organized by Project Airtime and Seattle Paragliding. The event gave people with disabilities the opportunity for free flight with pilots.

 

Marc Chirico, the owner of Seattle Paragliding, worked with Santacroce to give people with special needs the opportunity to fly tandem as co-pilots. Santacroce came from Salt Lake City to provide Seattle Paragliding with the necessary equipment to launch paraplegics and quadriplegics off Tiger Mountain from July 25-27.

“My favorite part about working with Project Airtime is the inspiration and perspective check that comes out of all Santacroce does,” Chirico said. “It is clearly a good spirited project.” Read more

USA Today spotlights Issaquah Alps trails

February 28, 2012

Issaquah Alps peaks and trails garnered national attention Feb. 21 after USA Today featured the Eastside mountains in a travel piece.

The feature outlines trails and points of interest on Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains — including the long-defunct Nike Ajax missile installation on Cougar Mountain and the paraglider launch site on Tiger Mountain.

“Hiking through Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, on to Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area and into Tiger Mountain State Forest adds mileage but provides a scenic route,” the guide notes.

Read more

USA Today spotlights Issaquah Alps hiking trails

February 22, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Feb. 22, 2012

Issaquah Alps peaks and trails garnered some national attention Tuesday after USA Today featured the Eastside mountains in a travel piece.

The piece outlines trails and points of interest on Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains — including the long-defunct Nike Ajax missile installation on Cougar Mountain and the paraglider launch site on Tiger Mountain.

“Hiking through Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, on to Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area and into Tiger Mountain State Forest adds mileage but provides a scenic route,” the guide notes.

The piece is the latest national recognition for the Issaquah Alps and the mountains’ namesake city.

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Issaquah earns spot on Outside magazine’s Best Towns list

September 20, 2011

Issaquah, long lauded in the Puget Sound region for trailheads and salmon, earned a spot on Outside magazine’s Best Towns 2011 list for abundant outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Adventure amenities make a lot of towns seem dreamy,” notes the article. “What sets these 19 burgs apart is their nod to reality: affordable homes, solid job prospects and vibrant nightlife. Start packing.”

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Issaquah earns spot on Outside magazine’s Best Towns list

September 13, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 13, 2011

Issaquah is among 19 cities nationwide on Outside magazine’s Best Towns 2011 list.

The city and others on the list earned plaudits for access to outdoor recreation — Issaquah is described as “a Seattle-area hang-gliding mecca” — and, perhaps, more mundane attributes.

“Adventure amenities make a lot of towns seem dreamy,” notes the article in the October issue. “What sets these 19 burgs apart is their nod to reality: affordable homes, solid job prospects and vibrant nightlife. Start packing.”

Issaquah’s proximity to Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains turned out to be a selling point.

“As Boeing’s and Microsoft’s fastest-growing bedroom community, the former lumber town (pop. 23,200) has experienced a surge in out-of-towners in the past few years,” the article continues. “And for good reason: a 20-minute drive can put you in downtown Seattle or the oyster flats on Puget Sound. An hour away, there’s skiing in the Cascades, kayaking and rafting on the Class IV Skykomish River, and access to a half-dozen steelhead streams.”

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Paraglider pilot plummets to death near Squak Mountain

August 9, 2011

A paraglider pilot plunged to his death Aug. 7 as he attempted to land in a pasture near Issaquah.

Renton resident Kenneth Blanchard, 53, completed hundreds of paraglider flights before the deadly accident.

Seattle Paragliding owner Marc Chirico said Blanchard launched from Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain a couple of hours earlier and planned to land near his home on a “postage stamp of a landing field” in a pasture.

Chirico said Blanchard completed about 300 flights before the accident.

The accident occurred at about 7 p.m. in the 12300 block of 202nd Place Southeast, near the intended landing site. Blanchard plummeted to the ground in the High Valley area southwest of Squak Mountain State Park, about three miles from the usual paraglider landing site along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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Paragliding prompts Issaquah author’s book to take flight

July 26, 2011

Issaquah author Clark McCann readily admits that lowering his sights helped him reach his goal of getting his first novel into print.

Issaquah author Clark McCann said when he was younger he used to write poetry for ‘little magazines’ that nobody read. By Tom Corrigan

“I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to try to create art,’” said McCann, who added he likes thrillers, is an avid paraglider pilot and has spent time in Mexico.

So his novel “Black Air,” published this spring by Black Rose Writing, is a fictional thriller about Tom Shepard, a combat veteran and paraglider pilot who travels to Mexico for an international paragliding event and ends up crossing paths with a local drug dealer. After being framed for murder, Shepard spends the rest of the novel hunting for the man who set him up and, as any good hero would, winning the girl he meets along the way.

McCann said that even though he wasn’t out to write the Great American Novel with “Black Air,” he took the time to carefully plot out the book before he started writing. McCann added he had tried to write novels in his youth, but often “wrote himself into a corner” or just gave up.

A seemingly young 68, McCann spent the largest part of his professional life writing in one way or another. He served as director of communications for the University of Washington Business School and while at The Boeing Co., wrote speeches for the firm’s corporate leaders, as well as creating things like annual reports. He also worked as Boeing’s corporate director of advertising.

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Tiger Mountain trails close for construction, timber sale

July 12, 2011

Tiger Mountain hikers and paragliding enthusiasts should expect trail closures and increased traffic on a forest road amid construction and a summer timber sale.

The timber harvest and road construction required the state Department of Natural Resources to close a 1.6-mile section of Tiger Mountain Trail from the Middle Tiger Trail junction south toward the West Side Road trail junction.

The activity could also require the agency to close a segment of the West Side Road, just west of the Iverson Railroad Grade Trail to allow road bridge construction across Holder Creek. (The creek joins Carey Creek to form Issaquah Creek.)

In addition, short-term closures of the west end of the Iverson Railroad Grade Trail could also be required during road bridge installation.

The closure is expected to continue through October and next summer as well. The timber sale activity in Tiger Mountain State Forest started June 24.

Hikers should use the Middle Tiger Trail and travel the West Side Road to bypass the closed Tiger Mountain Trail segment. Forest mangers reminded hikers to use caution near the timber sale site. The agency is also posting updates for hikers at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreationeducation.

Construction, timber sale affect Tiger Mountain trail access

July 5, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. July 5, 2011

Tiger Mountain hikers and paragliding enthusiasts should expect trail closures and increased traffic on a forest road amid construction and a summer timber sale.

The timber harvest and road construction required the state Department of Natural Resources to close a 1.6 mile section of Tiger Mountain Trail from the Middle Tiger Trail junction south toward the West Side Road trail junction.

The activity could also require the agency to close a segment of the West Side Road, just west of the Iverson Railroad Grade Trail to allow road bridge construction across Holder Creek. (The creek joins Carey Creek to form Issaquah Creek.)

Read more

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