Some of the best conditions in the world for paragliding are located in Lake Chelan, Washington, so naturally it was host to one of the events of the Paragliding World Cup. Roughly 30 countries were represented at this week long event. The thermal updraft off of the Lake Chelan Butte creates the perfect launch zone to paraglide over the vast open spaces of Eastern Washington. Doug Stroop, the event organizer, explains that once the course line is chosen, they wait for the time of day when conditions are optimal. Invisible, warm columns of air that are moving up, known as thermals, are what allow the paragliders to spin in circles. Competitors are awarded points for flying the fastest on the course from Chelan Butte to Almira which is 90 miles east. There are Paragliding World Cup events held all over the world which culminate into a super final to determine the ultimate champion.