Monday, July 1, 2013

Our route to Fuschl

After several days of stowing stuff in our Duracell provided campervan, finally on Saturday we were ready for the off.  With a better forecast in the western alps than in Austria we headed for Fiesch. 

Sunday morning, however, dawned damp with low cloud, well below Fiesch take off. So instead we headed up and over the Furka pass.  Up in the high mountains cloud base was higher and with almost nil wind on the pass I took off on the east side.  Although it was early conditions were surprisingly good and a short but very technical flight got me to just a couple of kilometres short of the top of the Oberalp pass. A quick lunch and I tried the same trick heading towards Chur but with a low base and strong valley wind I was soon defeated, so we gave up and headed for the Dachstein in Austria.

Our plan was to check out the paths up the south side of the Dachstein on Monday morning, fearing that the via Ferrata's could still be blocked by snow.  In fact, it was worse than we expected, even the access to the via ferrata's was deep in snow and avalanches and rock falls were regularly tumbling down the slopes as the sun warmed the snow.  Walkers coming through the col at Tor told of thigh deep snow even there.  This will be an interesting discussion in the route and safety briefing as I cannot see all this snow going in a few days time!

Thwarted in our efforts to ascend the Dachstein on foot, but having achieved what we came to do, I launched below the Sudwandhutte.  From there I climbed straight out in a powerful 3m/s climb.  The day was good with cloud base at 2500m (later it went up to 3000m) so I decided to head west along the route.  The only problem was a strong headwind (10-15km/h at base), but I made it to Mittersill, just short of the Wildkogel turnpoint before turning and flying most of the way back with the wind pushing me along!

Now we are in the race HQ at Fuschl, ready to start some of the admin work tomorrow morning when the race office opens.

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