Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chur to Meiringen

A shortcut through snowy mountains?

We woke to heavy rain in Chur in eastern Switzerland, with a forecast of sunshine and strong winds later. After the obligitory jokes about there being "some flying opportunities" today we explored the route along the Upper Rhine Valley to the Oberalppass and Andermatt. Both the Furka and the Grimsel passes are still closed (there's been a huge amount of snow this winter), so we drove north through the heart of Switzerland to arrive in Meiringen. Some sun was starting to peek through the low clouds, but the wind was still strong.

Here we dropped in to visit Birdwing Paragliding, meeting Hans Nagel and Roger Christian (Roger is supporting Max Mittleman as part of Team GER3). Hans happily informed us that conditions looked good for a quick flight and so we rushed up to a local take off where Phil was just about to launch.

The conditions in the air were a bit sporty, with a low cloudbase and the Bise wind crashing through the Brünig Pass just to our right. Still, the mix of sun, cloud, and mountain made for some spectacular views and a chance to check out this part of the route from the air.

This morning we caught up with the exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable Phillippe Arn of Ozone Switzerland who kindly shared his huge XC knowledge of the area over a coffee. Right now, we're heading to turnpoint six, the Amisbühl take off above Interlaken.

Phil sharing his detailled knowledge

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