In June 1981 I was working as a wilderness ranger in the Sandia Mountains just outside Albuquerque. Two hang gliders were preparing to take off as a thunderstorm built up. We warned them not to go, but they didn’t listen. One of them got taken up to 40,000 feet and landed in a tree frozen solid 10 miles away.
We watched Chris fly down the front face of the mountains. He was obviously scared and stayed just above the rocks, to keep out of the updraft. We also saw Bob disappear in the clouds.
New Mexico gets lots of hail because of the frequent summer thunderstorms which top out at high altitudes.
Hail ranks as the most frequent type of severe weather in New Mexico, and it is responsible for a considerable percentage of property and crop damage.
h/t to T.O.O.