Cross country hang gliding takes the sport and pushes it a little further. The activity generally involves gliding for long distances without using any electronic propulsion. Hang gliding has been around in one form or another since the 1890s. And for most of its history, the concept was to start from a high position and then descend naturally through the air. But pilots started learning methods propel themselves using rising air. Usually the rising air comes from thermal columns _ where the sun heats the ground, which warms the air above. But there are other methods including ridge lift and mountain waves..