Alptitude!

High Hopes in the French Alps

X-Alps! 2015

The X-Alps, is well underway, and has been for the last week! The most spectacular, and testing, race on the planet, (excluding perhaps some other marathonic (if that is a word?!) races that are set in deserts, or such-like, not sure, but as far as I know, this is the best! and no other competition comes close…

We have been glued to our screens, as and when we can, between clients and flying, and are perhaps hoping to catch Maurer, as he heads over our way! We’ll be keeping a look out!

Meanwhile, yesterday we were in Annecy, with a small group of pilots who enjoyed some good flying, and I caught this pic of the X-alps, Turnpoint, sign-in board, awaiting it’s first signature..

http://www.redbullxalps.com/live-tracking.html

X-Alps Board awaiting first signature! Perhaps today!

X-Alps Board awaiting first signature! Perhaps today!

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July 11, 2015 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Kuik II, Carerras and Cut Short Entertainment!

We’ve had a few days off, and not before time! – We haven’t stopped since March, so it has been a very welcome few days! We were hoping to go somewhere, but just recuperating after the winter driving season, then switching straight into para-instructing/teaching, has been continuous.

Dennis is now in the midst of trying out the Kortel Kuik II harness, (pod version) which he seems to be enjoying. It is certainly, a far-cry from the heavy but comfortable ‘armchair’ design of the KS, that we have both flown for years, but the much lighter material, boosted by the excellently positioned integral flight deck, is causing me much covetousness!

He has also, upgraded his Carerra to a Carrera Plus with the line and riser change, he seems to be enjoying the difference, although he does like to try many configurations i.e. harnesses, weight etc. but thus far, he’s very pleased with the upgrade.  He flew my ‘unaltered’ Carerra, for comparison, and I don’t think my Carerra is a threat in any way to the new version! As mine is the XS, it is taking longer for the revised and new line set to be produced, as with all ‘smaller’ versions it’s a waiting game, meanwhile here’s hoping we can get some of our own flying in over the next couple of days, as it is difficult to squeeze a reasonable flight in sometimes.

We were unfortunate with the foehn wind having arrived to mess it all up! Today was taken up with other things that get neglected, and we had threatening skies around 15:00hrs.

Here are a couple of pics of one of the locals, ‘thinking’ about it?! Then deciding better of it… there were a couple of dust devils thrown into the mix, just to add to it…. he did say he’d reimburse us all as the entertainment was cut short!

really neat!

really neat!

it aint gonna happen!

it aint gonna happen

very skilled wall building  considering the crazy wind!

very skilled wall building
considering the crazy wind!

 

 

June 1, 2015 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Flying Again!

The Unmissable BGD – Adam

So we’ve been in a bit of hibernation over winter, except when we were out skiing… But all that is pretty much over now… Which means…? Yes, the flying season is yet again upon us! Okay, so it’s been here for a while now, and there have been some excellent flights already achieved in and around the area, some great flights out of Chamonix, and the area.

So we’ve had a number of ‘beginner’ clients that have already ‘passed’ through our doors, and are on their way to becoming pilots, and now we are working with an American, called Carter! great name, wasn’t there a film named after him?

Hopefully, he will get his maiden flight tomorrow morning, it was just a tad too thermic for his first flight this morning, as the cloud was clinging to launch, for most of the morning, and when it cleared, it brought with it strongish thermic activity, so hopefully we won’t be delayed with the cloud cling, tomorrow.

Recently, we had the pleasure of the company of Bruce Goldsmith, who stayed with us en route, through the region, where Dennis managed to have a fly on his ‘Beginner’ A classified – Adam, glider, (very bright!), and the ‘B’ Classified – Wasp, which he flew this morning, I can’t comment on the handling or performance, but Dennis may, do a write up at some time.

The Hovering BGD - Wasp!

The Hovering BGD – Wasp!

So we had the usual fun and games with one of the students, in the tree (not ours, I hasten to add!). So yep, the season, is pretty much getting going, hopefully, I’ll get a chance to fly tomorrow… Haven’t quite got my teeth into it yet!

Yep. it's the new season alright!

Yep. it’s the new season alright!

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Clouded Slopes

Skiing Inbetween the Cloud Layers!

Skiing Inbetween the Cloud Layers!

We finally got to get out on the slopes! It took some encouragement, as the cloud was low, and a heavy grey/white so we were expecting poor visibility.  It had snowed so we decided that even if it was a bit of a white out the snow should be good, so headed out to Les Houches.

As it turned out, even though it all looked a bit flat in places, the snow condition was the best we’d had all season, so it was really worth going out, and was so glad we did. I finally managed to find my ski feet again, after all the scrappy, scrapey stuff, earlier in the season and it turned out the best so far.  It looked like we made the right choice as from Les Houches we could see that most if not all of the Chamonix slopes were covered in cloud, we somehow managed to find a clear level between the two layers.

We enjoyed a good few hours skiing!

January 22, 2015 Posted by | Skiing | Leave a comment

Snow Wonder, it’s Only January!

13th January 2015 – slopes almost bare!

Haven’t had much to report of late, reason… No snow, or not enough decent stuff to enjoy skiing on, and too strong wind, to get the gliders out the bags! Having said that, I did have a birthday… on the 13th. Weird weather for the 13th January, have to say, as it was like an early spring day down valley, as the snow that we did have, had all but melted. The temperatures were far too warm to consider it one of those typical winter days! Certainly, a first for me this time of year.  So the entertainment was pretty sparse to say the least.  In the end, short of a trip to the bowling alley, we had a pleasant stroll ’round the lake, and an enjoyable meal out!

We have been occupied on the road, and bar the one day of crazy snow fall, that made the news, and had us caught out, everything has returned to relative normality! We managed a lovely day winter flying, in Les Houches, from both launch sites, and a flight from Plan Praz. Lovely silky smooth winter air, cold but oh, so bathing! for want of a better word!

We did some skiing, but the snow was packed, icy, fake or artificial should I say, and not very pleasant, decided to wait for more snow before heading for the slopes again. Which, amazingly enough has arrived, and that today, and it’s still arriving…. 🙂

snow is here, and still arriving, and not too soon either!

snow is here, and still arriving, and not too soon either!

 

 

January 17, 2015 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

CERN

Higgs Boson Monument

We’re having a little bit of time off at the moment, so the other day we ventured off to CERN in Geneva, and did the ‘tour’.  As it was out of season unfortunately, one of the areas was closed, as well as another of the museums. Not expecting too many people in the group, we were surprised to find that there were actually quite a few!

Very well presented, by the corduroy clad white haired typical, professor type of elderly knowledgeable gentleman. We were shown some impressive film, and old footage of CERNS beginnings, and saw the first HC in it’s original position. Thereafter, we walked to the the major ‘Giant’ ATLAS area where the main LHC is located. It was all very interesting, and I admit, I have wanted to visit CERN for ages, and have finally had some of my curiosity satisfied.  Even, though this most certainly is a feat of engineering, it seems to me, that within the descriptions of the ‘experiments’ and the ‘stepping out of the bounds’ of general ‘physics’ if I may put it like that, and taking the blind leap into the depths of Quantum physics, sounds to me ‘other dimensional’ however far fetched that may be interpreted, I do have my reasons!

After the ‘tour’ we ventured into the Globe of Science and Innovation where there was much more finger touch information on offer, within a ‘particle’ futuristic environment, where another short presentation commenced. All in all, very interesting to say the least….

Giant Atlas (of science) Control Room

P1070001

Globe of Science and Innovation

 

 

The Universe of Particles

There are a lot more impressive photos on the internet, unfortunately my photographic skills are somewhat limited!

November 20, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Ski-Flying!

As the weather is most definitely on the change, and we have had some snow settling on the Fiz, the Aravis, and of course Brevant, it shouldn’t be too long before the snow finally arrives and settles, so we will be donning our winter kegs, and sharpening up the skis!

This year, we have decided to include some ski-flying in our winter season!  If you quite fancy having a go at this please feel free to check it out on our website. Ski-Fly Paragliding, it saves trying to run off, and launch in the deep stuff!

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Flying, Guiding, Skiing | Leave a comment

Season’s Changing

It’s been a while since posting, we’ve been busy with flying clients quite late into the autumn, and are still occupied! Amazingly, the weather for early and late autumn has been phenomenal, in fact, it’s been more like late summer, and has only just changed. We’ve had some nice flying, and are still not quite done yet…

The snow has made an appearance, although probably will not stay for long, it’s a bit too warm still, and as the flying season, winds down somewhat, thoughts are turning towards skiing, and winter! We are in the middle of some grey weather at the moment, but by the weekend, it looks possible that we may well be flying again!

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Hu-Sky!

We’ve been keeping busy, of late, with more CPC completions, and a bit of fly guiding We had some recent nice flying in Annecy, and last night here was a lovely evening, beautiful, wide, soft thermals and not many people in the sky! Could have stayed up till the sun set, except I’d got to drive, so landed earlier than I would have liked.

The autumn, seems to be settling in now, with the tree tops showing colour changes, but the thermals are still working  well. No-one managed to get too high today, but it was flyable. It should be ok again tomorrow, after some sporadic rain, last week.

Here’s a pic of a husky tandem… just before launch, taken the other day…

Para-Husky

Para-Husky

September 23, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day | Leave a comment

Rescue Mission!

So yesterday, it was relatively quiet on launch, until….. this happened!

One of ‘the’ students very first flight, landed him up dangling in the trees… please take note this was one of ‘the’ students, not one of ‘ours’, I hasten to add!!

An hour later, the rescue arrived, they’d had busy morning, no idea what else was going on in the vicinity!

You can see the blue glider caught up in the trees as the rescue helicopter approaches. Incredibly, the chap that was in the glider, was back up on launch, how he got down, I’ll never know?!  but when the rescue arrived there was no-one to rescue! That’s about it, otherwise a normal working day, with another one to one student who is doing very, very well!

Rescue Mission Underway

Rescue Mission Underway

August 7, 2014 Posted by | Day to Day | 2 Comments