Magazine issues, News

Beyond Billing: Alexey Druzhinin’s Himalayan Vol-Biv

Tuesday 17 September, 2013
Alexey Druzhinin in the Indian Himalaya

Alexey Druzhinin in the Indian Himalaya

October in Billing, north India, sees hundreds of pilots converge on the small Tibetan refugee village of Bir to take advantage of the superb flying weather that sets up here each season.

Accessible, adventurous and hugely exciting, flying here for many is a once in a lifetime experience and they return satisfied simply to have had the privilege of flying the classic route, along the main range to Dharamsala and back.

Some however take it further.

Last year Alexey Druzhinin did just that when he set off for the wild semi-arid mountains and valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.

I soared 20km to the pass and cleared it with a bang and jump at 5,400m. The growing wet clouds were left behind. Below me now were just sharp rocks and lots of snow. There were yellow-red mountains ahead, the clouds were not so thick, and the air was dryer. I’d done it, “I’m in Spiti!”

Flying at up to 7,000m over eight days, sleeping out as temperatures plunged to -18C and covering distances of up to 100km a day he completed a 400+km circuit that took him from Bir all the way around the Great Himalayan National Park, towards the Tibetan Plateau and back again.

The full story about Alexey’s incredible flight is in issue 149 of Cross Country magazine, out now.

• Got news? Send it to us at news@xccontent.local

Buy and sell gear on


Never miss an issue

Our subscribers receive 10 issues a year, the annual Travel Guide and exclusive access to competitions and offers

Subscribe today
Back to Magazine issues News
Back to Magazine issues News

Got a story?

If you have news, great images or a story, let us know

Get in touch

Join the family

By subscribing, you support the only worldwide paragliding, paramotoring and hang gliding magazine and you get:

  • Ten issues delivered to your door through the year
  • A 100+ page Travel Guide to the world’s best flying sites delivered with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Plus: Win a paraglider in our annual subscribers’ draw each January
  • Pay annually or monthly with paypal or credit card
Subscribe today

Subscribe and never miss an issue

Digital edition

per month

  • Ten packed issues delivered via Zinio
  • Travel Guide with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Read offline on iPad, laptop or phone
  • Exactly the same magazines as print

Print edition

per month

  • Ten packed issues airmailed to you
  • Travel Guide with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Perfect-bound journals, high quality production
  • Chance to win two new wings in exclusive draws

Print and digital

per month

  • All the benefits of print and digital!
  • Plus exclusive discount vouchers for books and products
News and special offers. No spam ever