Saturday, August 06, 2011

Annecy Day Two: Something to Write Home About

Today started with dead calm wind and sunny skies, and two hot air balloons high above Talloires, as we had breakfast and coffee on our lanai, overlooking a book of paradise that had not yet been written. Soon the high overcast and moderate clouds began to arrive, as the weather man predicted, so not looking for epic proportions on today's flight.

We took a late start to let the Earth heat up a bit in the semi overcast skies now prevailing, driving up to Plan Fait above Talloires and arriving at 1:30 PM. I slowly prepared for the day's scratching adventure to unfold, launching into the masses and dodging all the colorful wings scratching hard to get up! Zigzagging and weaving til I finally went off to the side low, and got a thermal all to myself, up and away but yet so very slowly … topping above the Dents Lanfon at 6,500' I chose a new path today towards Annecy and the ridge of Mont Veyrier above our apartment. Scratching hard over there, I finally gave up and went on glide back to Plan Fait, arriving above launch no problem.

Now again for round two: I scratched back up to the top of the Dents Lanfon, in a vicious climbing circle with three other pilots battling wing to wing as we turned just feet from each other. Making cloud base, I again went on glide back to Mont Veyrier, but this time arriving much higher and running the whole length of the ridge. Staying up in light thermic activity for 30 minutes, I wandered Veyrier til I finally got very low behind the beach on the lake where La Peste was offering herself to the sun gods.

Back on glide to Talloires I returned very low, but not low enough to land, so I ventured to the ridge of Plan Fait well below the rock face and practiced my scratching low save ability, which paid off with a quick bullet back to launch height. After two short triangles of Plan Fait/Dents du Lanfon/Veyrier, and climbing well above launch again, and a good start to halfway up the Dents, I radioed Jeannine of my intentions to go into the Talloires LZ for a beer and browse the shops while I waited for my lovely lady to retrieve me. A successful two and a half hour, hard, light and thermic adventure, to a ridge I have never been to before: fun, fun, fun!

Still eager to learn and do my homework for the ultimate XC adventure flight from Annecy to Passy Valley and Chamonix, I went into Passagers du Vent and talked one on one with Pierre Naville. He took me into his back shop classroom and showed me a couple different routes to Chamonix on a big contour map. I also picked his brain and asked many questions to keep myself prepared for the task at hand. He also told me that last year he made this flight in 1:40!!! I'll be happy just to get there on the same day!

Back at our apartment in Annecy le Vieux, we enjoyed sweet cold sunset bevies on the lanai, then a quick chat with Alex as he skyped us. Thanks, Big Al, it was fun to chat about the day and show you the view from the lanai. Well, that's it for now, til the next coffee read.

Aloha from Annecy, France!

Mad Dog et La Peste

1 comment:

Thom said...

Mad Dog, Thanks for the read. Your writting is getting better or you have the same editor I do.
I love the pictures, right now you are all we got in the air. My coffee reads have been relying on you and your editor.
I can't wait to read the Big story, we are all enviously pulling for you.
Go Get Some