Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I see my last post was back on April 6th.  Life has been somewhat busy, no actually, busy doesn't even come close to describe it.  Lets try some numbers instead.  According to, I have done 46hrs of training (running, walking and cycling) in the last 30 days.  In approximately the same period I have flown for over 30hrs, covering around 500km.  I'm still managing the full time job inbetween all that (which itself has required a number of business trips in that time).  And of course the above doesn't include logistics for getting to flying sites or the evenings spent studying the X-Alps route.  So, I feel justified in finding 'busy' entirely inadequate, and with that I am not going to apologise for not posting anything for the last 2 weeks!

Anyhow, a few highlights:
- A 40km walk with my glider on a day I though it was too windy to fly, turned out to be flyable - so I was on a mountain with a glider - what else was there to do? fly of course...!
- Walking up to the Tete de la Sallaz to start a long cross country from what has to be one of the most beautiful and perfectly positioned launches in Norther French Alps.  Of course it is barely ever used as most people don't consider walking 1hr 30mins up a mountain before an 8hr XC flight!.
- Hooking into a climb at tree top height pushing north along the Roc des Boeuf, which after 2 turns took me over the knife edge ridge and accelerated, rather like a formula one racing car, to a perfect 6.5m/s climb.  Seconds later I'm flying through the wispies... ahhh... it's for moments like this that we go flying...
- Realising after a harder than usual 6am run to work that I had in fact covered 35km on foot since leaving work the night before!

So I leave you with a picture taken by Tom Payne, the perfect flying companion, of me pushing south down the Aravis at the start of Saturday's epic flight.  We'd declared a 214km out and return, however, I hadn't done so well and was unable to make a key transition so settled with 'only' a 150km flat triangle.  Tom did amazingly, only failing to complete the flight by a few km's due to a huge area of spreadout cloud making the return impossible.

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