Paraglider Rescued By Helicopter After Crashing Into Mountain in Utah

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A paraglider in Utah is reportedly in critical condition after they crashed into a mountain in the morning hours on Sunday (September 25th). 

According to KSL5, the paraglider was life-flighted to the University of Utah hospital after they crashed into the middle of Grandeur Peak mountain. The accident occurred around 11:25 a.m. The rescue crews were able to make contact with the person at about 12:25 p.m. That was when medics determined the paraglider was in critical condition. 

The media outlet also shared that further information about the crash was not immediately available and the paraglider’s identity has not been disclosed. 

The incident in Utah happened less than a month after a paraglider died in the Breckenridge, Colorado area. He was later identified as Zacharia Bolster of Arvada, Colorado. He was a former U.S. Navy Seal. Bolster died in the accident after launching himself from the top of a peak. His plan was to land on the Copper Mountain side of the Tensile Range. Prior to the accident, Bolster had launched with his speed wing. This is similar to paragliding. However, its dives are considered more intense. 

Upon landing, Bolster’s paraglider friend tried to get in contact with him, since he landed sooner. He was discovered unresponsive. Officials were able to locate him during a fly-over. Unfortunately, Bolster passed away with his speed wing in a nearby tree. It still remains unknown exactly what caused the accident. 

Powered Paragliding is Now Banned at Lake Powell 

Earlier this spring, it was announced that powered paragliding is now banned at Lake Powell. KSL reports it is now prohibited for paragliders to use this form of paragliding “in proximately to developed and high visitor use areas.” This is all within the Glen Powell Dam Recreation Areas. 

Officials announced in May, “This use [of paragliding] is also prohibited between the Glen Canyon Dam and the downstream river boundary between Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park near Lees Ferry.” 

The park’s compendium also reads, “Powered paragliding and ultralight aircraft are inherently dangerous to participants and other visitors. Areas of higher visitor demand such as developed areas and Horseshoe Bend place visitors in undue danger in the event of an uncontrolled failure of an aircraft.”

The National Park Service also shares information about powered paragliding, paramotor, and ultralight aircraft. “Aircraft of this size, configuration, and movement are known to frighten and disturb wildlife,” the website states. “Use of these devices is new and therefore additional impacts remain unknown.”

The National Park Service further states that the aircrafts may possess qualities that impacts additional park resources.  “The Glen Canyon Dam is a high-security area,” the website explains. “And vital infrastructure with hazards that encompass the area and the canyon below. Powered paragliding (PPG) and ultralight aircraft are inherently dangerous to participants and other visitors.”