Today's forecast wasn't great but, when the first soarable day of the year falls on a Saturday, some flying is in order. I could have flown at St Andre, but flying here in winter is a pretty lonely activity (the road is blocked by snow, so only lunatics that walk up get to fly). So instead I headed to Greolieres, where I expected to see a bunch of Nice based pilots.
Something seemed to be wrong with my logic. Conditions seemed good if a little weak but I arrived at a spookily deserted launch. What does everyone else know that I don't? I'm re-evaluating my flying gear, and was flying with an old wing and harness, so I did some kiting to get used to it again. Shortly afterwards pilots started arriving, and I took to the air.
It was pretty easy to stay up, but it took a long time to build any altitude. I slowly got higher as more and more pilots launched. I eventually got level with the summit ridge (around 600m above launch) but, just as I was hoping for a mini-XC, conditions started weakening, and there was a long, slow flush cycle. The skies slowly emptied and the LZ filled up.
I managed to stay in the air long enough for the cycle to pass but I never got back to the same height. After about 1.5 hours I was too cold to pretend it was fun so I landed. I enjoyed flying with my old gear, especially with a non-pod harness (much simpler and more direct, if a little chillier). All in all, a nice relaxed start to the flying year.