High Hopes in the French Alps

AFC Paragliding Season 2016

A condensed review of our Summer season 2016! There were quite a few more pics I could have used, but had to try to keep it to a reasonable length!


December 11, 2016 Posted by | Flying, General | Leave a comment

Day of Advancement…

The weather has been exceptionally accommodating of late, meaning that it has been consistently flyable for most of them!

The other day, we were fortunate enough  to try out a few of the recent Advance gliders.

We had the Omega X Alps, the Pi 2, and the Alpha 6 to fly. For Dennis he could fly all of them seeings he conveniently falls into the weight range of all the gliders, for me I was restricted to just the Pi 2. So I was more than happy to fly that for the day.

This time of year, the thermals are all but gone, so no real thermalling just a hint of the autumn passing, and the winter en route to settling in, but there was a minor amount of temperature difference to allow a taste of very weak thermals, which was very sweet in fact. Dennis managed to momentarily scrape above launch, which was better than the rest of us! He flew the Alpha 6, and was most impressed with it, the development, construction and additional extras to the wing, in comparison to the Alpha 5. I didn’t fly it so cannot comment. He also had the enviable opportunity to fly the Omega X Alps, which I coveted to fly, but my weight denied me access, dag nabbit!  My description, a beautiful swan of a wing, what more can I say!

And finally, I flew the Pi 2. As I already have the Pi and ‘Easiness’ combination for hike and fly, I am more than happy with that combination, but the Pi 1 does have it’s limitations. However, with the Pi 2, all of those limitations have been eradicated, and the Pi 2, has developed into a flying wing, and not just a descent wing. It thermals like an Alpha, so climbs lovely, has an instant connection to the pilot as soon as airborne, and is as sweet as a nut. Ok, so it doesn’t have a great glide as such, but the fun of flying it, the confidence offered in flying a lightweight rig, that handles like a ‘proper’ grown up, with workable risers and regular break handles, that are and not all string and flimsy, is just such great fun! It is not just a lightweight, it is a full-grown lightweight. Very cleaver construction within the cross band in that regular sections have been cut-out for lightness, which undoubtedly adds to the whole stability feeling of the wing. All in all, the best lightweight rig, I’ve flown!

17th November 066

Dennis on Omega X-Alps

November 19, 2015 Posted by | Flying, General | Leave a comment

First Flight on Advance Alpha 5

Inflating the Alpha 5

So this morning, the majority trapsed up to Chamonix, it was looking windy, so it was not going to be an XC day, as the winds have steadily been increasing. I decided not to go to Chamonix this morning, and would prefer another day when it would be possible to XC without getting thrashed about! so I gave it a miss.


Dennis was meeting Gavin down at Bois du Bouchet to take possession of another recent acquisition for the ‘school’ a brand new Advance Alpha 5, – 26. Which I’d be able to fly, although I’d be on the light end as usual. Anyway, Dennis flew it in Chamonix, and had fun on it, so I was on the phone wondering what was taking them so long to come down here to meet me at Chedde, so I could give it a go.

I drove down to Chedde, where Hugh had been waiting patiently for us to drive up to Plaine Joux, but he said that after waiting for some time, not one person got above launch, and that it was so still, flat and stable he decided it wasn’t worth it so he went back to Annecy. Meanwhile I was quite excited to fly a new glider, and after altering my Kama Sutra, by taking off the pod, and re-attaching the stirrup, to make it an easy to play harness instead of investing in another harness purely for fun flying and fly downs after work 😉  I  decided to keep it for this purpose. I’ve sold my Kanibal Race, because it was just too heavy to carry! It was lovely to fly though, and I miss it…

Anyway, I attached my Kama Sutra to the once flown (by Dennis) Alpha 5, and prepared to have a swift flight. But what a lovely glider! I was so surprised, not expecting much of a glide for an EN-A (DHV-1) but it was as sweet as a nut! Beautiful climb characteristics, and a glide that I did not expect at all! It was just a delight to fly. It launched with ease, and I was up, off and above launch in no time.. (the first one, all day apparently). It’s so nice to fly light, with just a helmet vario, and no other instruments.  I had a delightful flight, on the new school wing, and remembered all about ‘fun!’ It felt just so solid, I may end up flying this a bit more than I expect! It leaves me feeling a bit reluctant to want to let a new student give it any rough treatment! It’s such a sweet natured thing…

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Flying, General, Guiding | Leave a comment

Couple of Nice Days

Plan d’Aguille launch

We have enjoyed a couple of nice days, but today it’s all turned in again…. 😦

Chamonix Valley

Dennis has been busy with Stewart, Luke and now Ian. They had a trip out to Annecy which turned out to be a really good day, and Dennis met Stefan there, the lovely chap who organises the Belgian Open, I’d like to meet up with him again, the Belgian Open is on next week, and we have a client who is based in Annecy at the same time, so me may well get to meet up.  It’ll be a heaving mass of busyness I should imagine! Unfortunately, we had to pull out from this years competition, due to having to make a living! so our competitive experiences this year are what we make up ourselves.

The other morning, Dennis and Luke went up to the Plan d’Aguille for a flight, which apparently turned out ok, although was not the best conditions. A bit slappy coming through the wind gradient…

Here, it’s been ok but the West wind has been a bit strong. The other evening we had some lovely flying but with the wind strength the forward movement was slow, the air was gorgeous though… like chenille silk, heavy but smooth. Everyone who flew were just inching along, so we were all hanging around almost motionless on occassion. It was lovely though.

By the time we’d all landed and driven back up to collect the other vehicle the front had moved in and completely changed the sky to a different animal all together.

Dennis had the camera so took some pics. makes a change!

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Flying, General, Tuition | Leave a comment


we’d just arrived, one of the Tandems flying

Pierre and Tandem

We flew today, and lovely it was too! That was before the congestus accumulated … we didn’t go out until around 2.30 and when we arrived, there were a couple of Tandems doing the business.

It was nice and quiet and we had a good afternoons float and fly around, playing with speed bar’s and checking out our glide differences… lots of fun, needless to say the heavier person, had the greater advantage, as always! Hopefully more of the same tomorrow 🙂 It did overdevelop though with the cloud thickening and darkening. We’re home now, just waiting for the storm to erupt… although it might all just turn out to be a bit of a lamb, and simply disperse…

Johan and Tandem

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Flying, General | Leave a comment

Sunday People

The last few days we’ve been taking advantage of the late flyable Autumn weather, out almost every day, but purely for ourselves! We’ve work to do on the house as we’re making changes and hoping to take delivery of a brand spanking new wood burner tomorrow, it’s a bit of a powerful beast and should heat up the whole house, no problem. There’s lots of preparation going on to accommodate the newly acquired heating appliance before the onslaught of winter, proper. We’ve had frosted windscreens, snow down to around 1300 meters, which receded again, fresh dustings of snow whenever the clouds have been around so the hints of winter are here, just not settled yet. The winter clothing is out now, and balaclavas are making a re-appearance on the para-fashion-scene.The temperature takes a distinctive drop in the evenings now, so it won’t be long before the landscape starts to take on a very different character.

It looks set to change for the next few days, so it’ll give us a chance to catch up on the indoor work that needs doing! Nice flying today, beautiful colours and equally as beautiful colourful and friendly people, it was a very jovial gathering today.

October 23, 2011 Posted by | Flying, General | Leave a comment

Empty Blue

It’s been a while since the last blog reason being… busy! We’ve had a pre CPC pilot with us for a while now, and we’re pleased to report a new CPC pilot joins the paragliding ranks. The week took us to Annecy a couple of times, and the rest of the time here.

Alex Rodriguez, incoming... after a flight of some perserverence!

Unfortunately, we didn’t make St. Hilaire as we were teaching, it sounded like a good gig this year though, with plenty of exhibitors, as well as the country being blessed with good weather so it sounded like it was an all round success. We had our own little successes in as much as managing to fly most days, although struggling in  cloudless expanses of lifeless air didn’t fare much for any flights of substance, but fun was had and it was perfect for the ‘L’ platers.

Most pilots have been doing speedriding, and acro… to alleviate the struggling lack of airtime, but at least we are flying. I’ve been spending some time Tandem flying which has been a new dimension for me, and most enjoyable, so will keep that up now for the time being.




October 3, 2011 Posted by | Flying, General, Tuition | Leave a comment

From Alpha to Omega

Interesting day today. We had a day off from clients and I was fortunate enough to have a fly on the Small Omega 8. From flying the Advance Alpha on the recent occassions it was nice to have a go on the new Advance Omega 8, completely different gliders but same manufacturer, strangely similar characteristics although worlds apart! I had a couple of really nice flights although will reserve my opinion until I’ve tried it with a bit more ballast. First flight was late morning and in gentle light conditions, second flight a bit more thermic with a tempered inversion. Nice glide though… Dennis had a fly on it but was quite heavy although he did manage to climb out very well considering the glider weight ratio. More fun tomorrow weather willing.

Some pics of me on Omega 8

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Flying, General | Leave a comment

Cameraquest Concluded

We were going to try to get to St. Hilaire for the Coupe Icare parafest but the weather has reverted to low cloud and rain leaving us with a drab miserable oppression that usually accompanies such conditions, just at the time when we’re client free too… so free to fly, but weather decided otherwise.

Anyway, am pleased to say I finally got my camera so the quest is now over, just going to take some time to figure out how to use it.

Dennis has acquired a gadget also in the shape of a new smartphone so we’re both pre-occupied with our instruction manuals and computers.

Here are a couple of close up shots of some flora. I took a couple of stills of  the neighbours borders earlier, when the rain stopped momentarily to give Tizzy her walk. Believe me they were the cheeriest thing to look at, given the gloomy sky!

Have put another video up on the video bar.  A taste of the Coupe Icare 2010 cinema offering. Just click on the mini video pic for activiation. Something to enjoy…

September 18, 2010 Posted by | Day to Day, General | Leave a comment