High Hopes in the French Alps

Putting the Fun back into Flying!

..bit of soaring, and a view across the valley to home..

We knew the weather was on the downturn, and for me after checking the forecasts knew that yesterday was the better day, was determined to have a fly today.

However, there were three Megève balloons doing the rounds this morning and landing across the way, and there was a double wammy of lenticulars over the mountain, but on checking the wind strength it wasn’t bad lower down, and Varan was looking like a distinct possibility.

As Richard, arrived here in his 4×4 he was more than willing to take a drive up. We havent’ been  to Varan for ages, but it made for a nice change, and the launch area is just so lovely, with views across the valley back home it was great to have a site change.

We were one of the first up there, then the rest arrived! Yes, most of the Plaine Joux schools all turned up too, having the same idea. It was a merry little gathering. We waited for awhile and it was already working quite early. The sky was full of high wind and broken up cumulus so I didn’t feel I wanted to go too high. The day itself did look glorious though. Most of the students were up and off, and from our crew, Richard was off first, then Marcia and finally me.

Richard struggled to get a climb out, Marcia flew just a bit too far out into the valley, beyond the thermal line and I took off, flying the little school Alpha, but this time with my own harness and hung around ridge soaring for a while, which I love doing as we don’t get to do that very often! Then eventually caught a climb up as high as I wanted…. I was getting a bit concerned feeling the effects of the wind so didn’t want to venture too high.

...just crossing the road..

I saw Marcia, head towards Chedde where she radioed in saying she’d landed and Richard landed a while later. Meanwhile, Dennis was driving down, and back home to change vehicles and I decided I’d take a fly across the valley and go home. On the radio to Dennis, I said that I’d probably be back before him, but as it happend it was so lifty in the valley, we both arrived at more of less the same time. It was a lovely glide across the valley… and I’d forgotten how much fun the little Alpha was!

We changed the vehicles, and both drove to Chedde, so we could all fly this time. Back up at launch in Plaine Joux, where the rest of the schools were again… we were all following each other around today! Richard, and Marcia were off, then Dennis and me. Again, I had a lovely climb out almost immediately, on the sweet little Alpha, and was climbing out with an R.10.2! Imagine, the little DHV 1 school glider climbing out with an R.10, that was fun! Suddenly, I realised wow this little glider has put the fun back into my flying!!!

Marcia, Richard and Dennis had landed and I was still having a hoot up there, swooping about, tight 360ing bordering on spiraling, nice wingovers, more fun and a low save over the landing field! Then becoming responsible, as the weather was changing as expected, so decided to land, as we’d got to pick up the other vehicle and Richard, and Marcia managed to squeeze one more flight in, in the ever greying skies.

It turned out a good days flying… because we flew!

July 16, 2011 - Posted by | Flying, Tuition

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