High Hopes in the French Alps

Change of Scenery…

arriving at Plan d'Aguille - launch on the right.

The morning was forecast to be ok, but later to deteriorate. It was as forecast so we were out early and at Bois du Bouchet to meet Gavin and Rory for a flight from the Plan d’Aguille.

looking down to fairer skies - the big stuff was behind!

It was a nice change to go to Chamonix and enjoy the quieter season at the lift station, no queues!

It was looking ok, a bit of cloud build up but nothing too much. It was relatively quiet on the Plan d’Aguille launch with only a handful of pilots. John turned up laden with ice axe and crampons having been to the top and deciding it was too cloudy so retreated down to the lower level Plan.

Gavin was the first to go, then a couple more, Rory, me, John and Dennis. I could see Rory scraping about on the Brevant side, where I  joined him.. after a lovely half bar glide across the Chamonix valley. John was following and Dennis had caught up in no time. There was a lot of scraping about and significant cloud growth. We all managed to climb out although John decided it wasn’t such a safe bet considering he had an ice axe poking out the back of his harness and a pair of crampons stuffed in there so his plan was to land at Bois de Bouchet.

Meanwhile, Rory was ahead of me, and I took a line over Pormenaz where I caught another climb, but took it only partially up to base as there was a distinct straightening of the cloud formation and it was heading in my direction. So I held a regular bar and kept a safe distance. Dennis had taken a different tactic and chose the technical route around the front of Pormenaz at what looked to me quite a low altitude, but perspective can play tricks from certain angles.

We all made it with some fun and feisty moments, wrapped up in a couple of luxurious glides and thermalling with beautiful birds… what a wonder! Again, the day was sadly cut short by storm development both in Chamonix and our valley.

May 18, 2011 - Posted by | Flying


  1. I want to do Plan d’Aguille too!!!!

    Comment by Gary | May 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Maybe a chance..! but if you bomb out, you’ve got the car keys!!! 🙂 See you tomorrow!

      Comment by Gillian | May 19, 2011 | Reply

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