Why I chose the Kliff 2 ...
David GOETTLER, professional mountaineer and "The North Face" athlete, tells us about his history with paragliding and why he chose the Kliff II.
"Back in the air!
I started paragliding in 1994, when I was 16. I was fascinated by the idea of being able to fly down from a peak after a climb. But at the time it was complicated; equipment was so heavy that there was little fun, so after a few years I gave up.
Fast forward to 2016. Based in Chamonix during the winters, I started to see more and more friends with incredibly light flying equipment, and my climbing and flying plans suddenly seemed more realistic. So I started paragliding again. It was strange to get back into this activity after such a long break. I knew I was a beginner again and had no idea how much had changed over the years. Gradually I learned about the new material that was out there. Someone told me about an ultra-light harness Kliff that could be combined with a climbing harness and I realised that this was exactly what I needed. So I went straight to the Kortel Design office and they were kind enough to show me the harness. I remember laughing when I tried to put the shoulders on, not realising that this harness didn't have any! Boom! Welcome to the world of free flight in 2016!
"Once I got used to this innovative harness, I was surprised at how comfortable a few pieces of string and fabric could be. Kortel Design came up with the idea of being able to use a climbing harness instead of the standard chest strap, and to fold down the leg straps to allow comfortable walking with the harness in place. The idea is to get in the harness in the morning and keep it on all day. To be honest, this system never really worked for me; I find it easier to use a climbing harness for climbing, and put the flying harness for flying (as it is of course possible to use it without a harness). I guess I wasn't alone in preferring this configuration, as the Kliff II is a pure flying harness. They also got rid of all the metal buckles, and added thin elastic straps to keep the back in place during take-off. These small but significant changes have made the new Kliff II my favourite ultra-light harness for combining trail running and flying. With a weight of 190g ready to fly, there is no need for carabiners to connect the harness to the wing: the anchor point opens thanks to the "Konnect" system and allows to connect the risers directly. On my first flight with the Kliff III was immediately blown away by its comfort, and now that I've used it a lot in combo climbing and flying, I'm won over by all the features I described above. Many of these new features are actually things that have been removed! Like the buckle for tightening the chest strap... it's completely gone as it's no longer needed. Just put it on like a harness, slip the elastic straps over your shoulders and you're ready to take off in complete safety. Despite the extreme lightness, you feel safe. The fact that there are only a few adjustment options minimizes possible mistakes... and most importantly: it is so comfortable! Every time I fly, I am amazed at the level of comfort achieved for such a light harness!"
David also had the opportunity to use the Kliff II at high altitude, as he took off in the vicinity of Nanga Parbat on his last expedition. To transport his equipment in this demanding world, David chose the sak K40.
"For me it was a first! It was incredible to be able to take my light wing and harness with me Kliff II on an expedition. I have not been able to fly from Nanga Parbat itself, but this dream remains for the future. Nevertheless, I was able to fly on days when it was not possible to climb Nanga Parbat, taking off from the mountains surrounding our base camp, which was just wonderful, fun and great training! Being in the air in front of such a giant, flying in that winter scenery, seeing our base camp from the sky ... these are moments I will never forget.