High Hopes in the French Alps

Flying Season is Here!

So yesterday, we were both on the road, working.

But looking up to Varan, en route to Geneva Airport, there were about 7 or 8 paragliders up above launch, and a couple on their way to base. Driving on towards Geneva, a single paraglider climbing in the blue, beneath a fluffy one, and on the Saleve, a host of others, on the ridge as well as out in the valley.

Unfortunately, for us, we were doing our out and returns in the vehicles, with passengers, and on the return leg, another glider overhead in the middle of the valley. Time to dust off the gear, and get the radios and varios on charge, not long now! 🙂



February 24, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day, Transfers | Leave a comment

Road Works and Cloud Streets

Montmin, almost empty compared to last week at the Belgian Open!

So this morning I had an airport transfer to do to Geneva, whilst Dennis had a bus load heading off to Annecy, the plan was for me to join them in Annecy after the drop off, but I decided not too. The road-works were horrific in St. Gervais, on the road up to Les Contamines, and I wish I’d taken the back road, anyway suffice to say it was not the most pleasant drive for me…

Plan Fait, clouds were much nicer en route back from Geneva.

Then the airport police were out in force and I ended up losing my ticket in the parking machine so had imaginings of being stranded there for the weekend. I was so unprepared and didn’t have any Swiss Francs! I just thought it was going to be an easy run, but not so. Anyway, the woman working in the kiosk at the airport bluntly told me that she couldn’t change the Euro’s I had so I ended up buying a Twix just to get some change. It turns out I ended up having to go to the office to get an ‘out’ ticket anyway, as mine had been eaten by the machine. It was one morning’s frustration, after another, and it was enough for me to just get home and have a cup of tea!

Driving home the clouds looked gorgeous. They looked like flat land clouds, the type you get in England… quite low and almost touchable, they were forming streets very early, and it just looked beautiful. I scoured the cloudscape to see if I could see any familiar parashapes under the clouds but not a one! – Finally when I got home, there were some high cirrus moving in but the flying looked great! Apparently in Annecy it turned out really busy, a typical busy day in Annecy… and the conditions were much better here than there as it turned out.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Flying, Guiding, Transfers | Leave a comment

Flaine & Les Carroz


So bit of an update… all in all, it’s been Airport Transfers and some lovely skiing… We decided to have a ski in the other valley, that being Flaine and Les Carroz,

on piste down to Les Carroz

and what a beautiful valley to ski in. Fabulous dynamic runs lovely and wide with some excellent alternative views along the way. We’ll certainly be returning sometime soonish. Glorious weather, with clean, fresh pristine air…. heavenly.

More pics here

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Skiing, Transfers | Leave a comment

Road Trippin’…

So apparently it was a great days flying yesterday… if you were fortunate enough to be up at at launch late morning! 3000 meters+ was the norm, so some distance was attained, before the heavy weather rolled in…

Sadly, I missed it…enough said…

We had a busy day on the road again… can’t believe how much work there is to do at the moment. On the road, in the chalet… etc. etc. am happily employed but recreationally frustrated, can’t be in two places at once I suppose. Geneva was interesting with a big RAF group to Transfer both ways, at least they were an entertaining group to Transfer, smiley faces in the rear view mirror!

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

Not a Cloud in the Sky

If you are a member of the ‘Cloud Appreciation Society’ and are against the ‘banality of blue sky thinking’, you might as well have not bothered getting up this morning!

Because that’s all it was all day… clear blue skies, with just a hint of the odd tiny wisp of cloud that appeared and disappeared without a trace, blink and you’d have missed it. Nope, not barely a cloud to be seen, not including the contrails though, there were a few of those.

Transfers again, so no flying. Of what I gathered, there were a few gliders around but stability beat them all it seems,  no-one seemed to be going anywhere. It was all very quiet… just one or two gliders in Chamonix just scraping above the Pump, but not much more than that.

Still we had  time to readjust our harnesses, and transfer the reserves and all, still a bit more setting up to do but nearly there.

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

What, Only an Hour?!

first ones on launch

We did manage to get out and fly first thing this morning. Unfortunately, we only had an hour before the driving commenced.  Taking off in virtual nil wind, then sudden  short fast surges of twisting thermals made launching a tad difficult… but after a couple of attempts all was well.

It was the first time, I’d actually flown in lumpy morning air for ages, we normally wait for the thermals to kick in, but didn’t have the time so had to take what we could. It was short and sweet, and our feathered friends were around and came to join me again! 🙂 this time I could see it was a Kite, with it’s distinct forked tail… I would have liked to have stayed up, it was certainly doable and good practice for bitty conditions, but alas I was summoned down.

On landing it was nice to see Caroline, Marie, Denis and Mathieu all amazed that we’d already flown!

It was interesting to hear Dennis’s comments on the radio having changed his harness. We both found a similiar experience inasmuch as the turning was much more of an effort, and it isn’t as precise as it could be with a different harness.  Anyway, we’ve decided to go for a harness change with the Delta, and keep the other ones for the Mantra’s. I’m hoping to get out and have a go tomorrow.

It will be nice to go ‘lighter’ for a while… instead of being so heavily ballasted up!

It turned out to be a very stable day, with no-one getting really high, as far as I know.

March 23, 2011 Posted by | Flying, Transfers | Leave a comment

Cloud Candy, Floss

Cloud Candy!!!

So I’ve been forced to start a new category! The one I’ve thought about before titled “Potentially Great Days Missed!” so this is the first entry… just thought it would be interesting to see how many we miss through the year…

For starters, yesterday and today. It did look kind of good yesterday, the sky had broken and the clouds were carrying potential! Had a look on the xc league later in the evening to see that Tom Payne had clocked a just short of 25k triangle here in the valley. Today, was another good looking day with candy floss early floating semi-transparent cloud forming on Varan.. didn’t want to look! Back home I could see a couple of gliders specking out en route towards Servoz.

Fortunately, the weather looks like it’s going to remain good for the next couple of days, and tomorrow… we should get out, here’s hoping…

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Potentially Great Day Missed!, Transfers | Leave a comment

It’s Not April Is It?…

You’d have thought so with all the showers of late. We’ve had lots of rain, with warmish temperatures so when the snow settles around 1600 meters the sun shines and it melts quite quickly it’s looking a bit slushy, and doesn’t really inspire much enthusiasm to want to hit the slopes.

...these guys are enjoying the thermals at least...

We’re still occupied with ‘roadworks!’ and the Transfers are keeping us busy. There was a bit of a break in the clouds although low, it did look ok to fly unfortunately time was again limited. There’s light at the end of the tunnel though, from next week the Transfers are calming down a bit so some free time is on the cards, and the week after then… well it’s looking like that could be our first free flying week!!

The weather here has been lousy it was pouring down all the way to Geneva and back today, with a glimpse of a rainbow at the Swiss border. They’re having some great weather in the UK, when it’s good there it’s usually not so good here…

March 19, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment

Just Watching..

..wonder where he's been?...

The hope was to maybe get to squeeze a flight in between all the other commitments, but unfortuantely it would have been cutting it all a bit too fine…  consequently we couldn’t get out. Someone had a great flight though, because by the time I’d got back home I could see one sole glider gently returning into the valley in the reflective  sunset gleaming on the mountain.

It must have been a good day….

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Chalet, Transfers | Leave a comment

Birds on the Wire… framed feeder

Busy Birds and Fresh Snow

Woke up to snow! Yes… 🙂 winter had returned. If there’s snow down here, which wasn’t forecast it should be great up high. Only problem being we had Transfers, and lacking vehicles. One was in for an MOT whilst the other needs some work doing, consequently no transport until later on.  We hoped to go to St. Gervais for some night  skiing, but this was not to be  due to arriving back a bit late and the night skiing only being open until 8pm, which is a bit early. No matter we’ve got tomorrow free!

With the new snow arrival, the birds were in abundance on the feeder, can’t be easy for them in this weather. It was a surprise to see the snow though, the telly gives a better forecast than anything else, not because of the forecasts but because the signal/reception starts breaking up when there’s any weather close by, the snow was forecast only to around 1000 meters so you can imagine our surprise when it was down to around 600!

Just as the snow arrived so did the message to say Dennis’s glider had been despatched… and more snow is forecast! Just as expected…

If you like birds, I’ve sorted out my camera settings now so it will be enlarged properly for a closer view.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Transfers | Leave a comment