Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hike and Fly Season 2013-2014

Grim weather conditions on launch
Except for a couple of months in the heat of the summer, all my flights here start with a hike up to launch. But in the depths of winter, the hiking becomes more important than the flying. I go for a hike up, hoping to fly down, rather than a flight where I have to hike up. Equipment weight becomes more important than performance. Stable conditions and low winds become desirable, rather than a problem.

This has been easily the best hike and fly year since I've been here with lots of low winds, sun and very little snow. I've had lots of standard hike and flies - a lovely hike, a big run to get airborne, no vario beeps and an equally big run on landing. But I've also had soaring flights where I've just managed to stay up - either with ridge lift or thermals - and eventually had to land when I got too cold.

Today was a lovely day and firmly in the second category. I had a nice hike up with Merlin, Carol and Nigel and just managed to stay airborne before landing with frozen fingers.
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

The church at Vergons

Vergons is a little village - almost a hamlet - a couple of hours walk from St Andre. I had a snowy hike there and back today. It was a Sunday and the church (l'├ęglise paroissiale Notre-Dame de l’Assomption) was open but deserted. Absolutely stunning, a real gem!