Laragne 2010

The travelling went well and the accomodation, hosts and guiding by Chris White were all fantastic too!

The 1st day we flew XC north to south from St Vincent almost to St Andre (around 38km) and up to 3106m asl (1870m above launch) max 7.9m per second best lift, 3 hour 39 minute flight in big scary mountains.

The 2nd day was blown out so pottered around for a bit and I cut my foot jumping into not very deep waterfall!  Lovely scenery though.

The 3rd day was a little windy still on launch at Chabre so we were all a bit jittery and did a lot of para waiting / procrastinating. Eventually after getting Martin off a few of us flew for some nice soaring / thermalling for 1 hour 19 minutes, then shot over the back to fly 7.5km back (almost) to our accomodation.  Then we all took off for a nice evening soaring flight at another site to the west and got another hours flighting.

The 4th day is looking like a good day to go from Chabre, so all up to the top for a warm up flight / top to bottom (nice 34 minutes for me).  Then back to the top for the main flight of the day. The planned route was to the north and off we went.  Everything went to plan for me, Bill and Simon (with Chris on the tandem with his son) and we landed 3 hours 7 minutes later at goal 45 km to the north at the pass. We had 7.1 m/s max lift today and up to 2618m asl in more big mountains. Then beers (landed conveniently next to a bar)!

The 5th day, new launch site again (top landable and much less stressy) all had test / play flights and top landed for lunch (29 minutes for me with a very poor top landing). Wind in the west today so we plan to fly east. Up up and away, then up and down for 1 hour 56 minutes before finally landing at goal at a place called Gap (27km). Noel was test flying one of those fancy new Ozone wings was first in goal today followed by me, Jamie, Ean on the tandem with chris and our lady retrieve driver (day off) with Simon and Giles landing not too far away either.  Only 6.9 m/s max lift for me today and 2384m asl. Hard flying in quite scratchy / patchy lift with some beatings thrown in for good measure !

Then off to another new site for some evening ridge soaring, very light and getting lighter all the time but still managed 32 minutes. Then to bar for tea and beers.

The 6th day, wind in the west again and the sky looking great. Took us west to the evening site for a daytime launch into lively conditions, heading east today back towards our accomodation. Fantastic flying again today saw Bill and I in goal with Martin and Chris on the tandem and followed by Rachael and Chris’s son on the other tandem (about 25-30km I think).  The rest of the guys were liberally sprinkled along the valley on the way.  1 hour 55 minutes for me today.  Could have probably flown much further today as all had masses of height over goal  but I think were all a bit fried and glad to make it.

BBQ night at the house to finish the week but not too mental as the lads were all up early the next day to get to the airport. Martin, Ean and I leaving early (ish) to to drive up to Annecy where they took in the view and the glider chaos and I managed one last flight “Le Petit Tour du Lac” and was back in Doussard 1 hour 33 minutes later. Then headed into town for a final French supper by the canals in old town Annecy.  Brilliant end to a brilliant weeks flying.  What can I say other than you should have come and that we should all definately go back next year as the possibilities in that area are endless! I need to see if I can beat 160 km + XC and 16 hours flying time on the next visit!