Sunday, September 5, 2010

More running than flying....

I decided to run to take off again, but this time by the path that comes up the West face.  To get there I had a 25 minute run round to Moniez, the village in front of take off, before I could set off up the mountain.  About 5 minutes up the mountain I passed a sign saying 1h 30mins to the summit.  The path was a bit steaper than the one on the south face, which suited me fine, but was also a bit more exposed with strong sun beating down.  30mins after passing the sign I popped out at the take off, chuffed at my speed and having thoroughly enjoyed the romp up the mountain.

Today's flying was to prove interesting - it was windy and the task had been set carefully with that in mind.  Personally I struggled a little, getting low and scratching back up in strong winds which were blowing thermals apart low down, but the conditions did not concern me greatly, even with a number of lenticular clouds around indicating storng winds high up too.  After a 5m/s climb out with Ruud Van de Heijden and around the middle fo the field I suddenly realised everyone was heading down to land.  My radio was down but the task had obviously been cancelled.  I continued in the direction of St Andre with the intent of flying back, whcih was certainly possible, but the route was not particularly friendly and I decided after a while that I'd land in the big field with the other 100 gliders at Thorame Haute.  Not far out from St Andre, I bundled my wing onto the back of the first bus and set off running back.  The run was pleasant enough (although slightly longer than I'd thought!) and was punctuated with firnedly beeps and waves from the mini bus drivers shuttling back and forth.  Despite the 16km I ran, I think I still made it back before the last bus!

So that ends three good days in St Andre.  X-Alps training is going well, I'm loving the running and walking up mountains as much as the flying.  Now I just need to get selected!

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