Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spring has come early to the Alps

Despite being January the weekend has felt like March - spring-like conditions have allowed some welcome flying.  Saturday I only managed time for a quick run up the Saleve and a flight down but the real treat was in store for today, Sunday.

Together with Tom Payne, Damien De Baenst and Martin Dockrill we walked from the Tailloires landing field up to the Col Des Frettes, next to the Dents de Lanfon in Annecy.  Here we are on our way up through the forest with, R-L, Damien, myself and Tom.

 Arrinving at take off...

 On launch with Herve - supporter for the FRA2 X-Alps team
And finally airborne!

What I'd expected to be just a short fly down turned into much more, firstly it was dynamically soarable on take off - allowing a little bit of height over launch.  From their I worked across towards the Lanfonette, and found some weak thermals which allowed me to get there without loosing much height.  On the South end of the Lanfonette there was a soarable bowl which took me about 3/4 of the way up where I managed to connect with some more weak climbs, finally climbing in a 1.5m/s up to around 2000m.  I hadn't expected this at all so, as you can see in the above picture, I pushed across to the slopes of La Tournette with a view to soaring up, but the magic was gone - I could just about maintain on La Tournette, but I wasn't climbing so I turned and glided back to Tailloires to join the others who were just landing.  What a magic day - a fantastic walk up a great little flight.

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