Defining a hike and fly is a little tricky for me. I hike up to launch for almost every flight, but today was my first "hike and fly" of the season. Normally, I fly, and hiking is just how I reach launch. Today I hiked with an efficient descent system in my backpack. My equipment and clothing was chosen for hiking, not flying.
The weather the last week or so has been beautiful in St Andre - sunny, dry, clear and very stable. Very warm in the sun and freezing in the shade. There has often been an inversion at launch height - no lift there - but bumpy, hard to exploit, lift lower down. Great weather for hiking, not really that good for flying. The pattern continued today and I made good use of it by hiking the Crete des Serres and flying back to St Andre.
The hike was lovely; once you climb up to the ridge you have wonderful 360 views. But, like many hike and fly sites here, launch is tricky. Not quite a cliff launch (the snow makes it one in winter) but almost. You have to find a spot to inflate your wing that isn't in the rotor and then kite it to the edge. The wind was strong and I kited my speed wing for 2 or 3 minutes before committing to the flight. On the ridge top, the wind was straight in, but once in the air it was very cross and not easily soarable. I didn't insist and instead enjoyed the flight out.
Almost 3 hours hiking for 10 minutes flying, but that's not the right way to look at it. A great hike and an enjoyable descent! A few pics.