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Dave Kruglinski flies from Green Mountain, Glacier Peak behind. Photo © Lowell Skoog
 
  On a Wing and a Prayer  
  The Mountaineering Roots of Northwest Paragliding  
     
  by Lowell Skoog  

O erched high above the North Cascades Highway, I hold the paraglider of my friend Mark Dale as he launches from the mountainside. The lines of his pink canopy whistle faintly as he glides away from the slope where I am standing. Quietly, I watch Mark’s wing shrink to insignificance above the road winding through the forest. Alone now, I struggle to untangle my lines on the steep talus slope. Without a friend to hold my canopy in place, as I did for Mark, I anchor its leading edge using a few clothes pins and some string. With butterflies swirling in my stomach, I clip into the glider and make a final wind check. With a deep breath, a few powerful steps, and a glance at my wing overhead, I forgo my last chance to call the whole thing off. In an instant, I am flying.

   
  Continued
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