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The jagged ridges of the Lienz Dolomites are more than a climbing paradise, they are the starting terrain for paragliders. There are some inspiring flight options open to experienced aeronauts, in particular the extreme competition, the ‘Dolomitenmann’, has made the area well-known among „paralpinists“(Gernot Madritsch initiated this).
5-time Dolomitenmann winner Wendelin Ortner from the Blue Sky flight school provides expert advice about the starting and landing places, the flight and possible dangers in the Lienz Dolomites!
Grosse Gamswiesenspitze 2488 metres – summit start!
Steep turfed starting area in the centre of the Lienz Dolomites. Ascent: either via the usual path from Kerschbaumer Alm (bothy at 1902 metres) or from the east (Karlsbaderhütte or Marcher Stein round 2000 metres) to the access of the north wall of the Kleine Gamswiesenspitze via a gravel gully to the saddle between the Kleine and Grosse Gamswiesenspitze.
Hochstadel (2680 metres) - Hochstadelwiese (around 1820 metres)
The flight across the Hochstadel north face is just breath-taking. At around 1400 metres altitude it is the third highest rock face in the Eastern Alps. Flight across the north-facing wall only from the summit (2580 metres) or the eastern flank of the summit at 2500 metres = Dolomitenmann start area in 1997). Alternative start areas further below on the ridge of the Rudnig at around 2200 metres altitude, or easier from the Wiesenspitze at around 2200 metres (Stadelwiese = alpine inn area).
Spitzkofel (2718 metres)
Starting directly from the summit is too risky. Start at the foot of the summit structure at around 2400 metres in the steep slopes above Hallebachtal. This is also the starting point for paragliders at the annual Dolomitenmann event.
Laserzwand (2614 metres)
Overwhelming from Lienz and yet at the 1999 Dolomitenmann over 100 paragliders took the plunge. Fascinating flight experience with safe conditions; at its loveliest in the autumn.