Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Flights and a Hike in Annecy

The first flight started from Planfait above Talloires on a heavy overcast moderate north day, and no one had flown for four days, so pilots were up and making the best of it, until I watched a launch and a negative spin into the trees below! The wind went fickle for half an hour, and when it came back to normal, I was the third person to launch.

In the waiting period, I met three pilots from Seattle that had met Alex at the Rat Race: Jabe, Dave and Sarah. With the wind back now, I launched into some squeamish turbulent air and got up 700' over launch, then went around the corner to try to get up on the Dents Lanfon, but to no avail. I headed back to launch and as I came around the corner with the whole ridge in sight, I saw another pilot spin negative, and when it surged he was facing the cliffs and smacked in hard! He luckily hit trees 10' above the rock face. I had enough of the rock and roll band that was playing bad music to my ears, and headed into Talloires to land, and even that was spooky. At the LZ, I found out it was one of the Seattle guys who spun and got the Heli rescue with moderate back pain.

Then Jeannine and I went for a short, one hour hike, to a beautiful waterfall above Talloires called Cascade Angon, and had a couple beers after the hike, relaxing while looking up to Dents Lanfon and the Lafonette, with pilots crossing everywhere in the darkening overcast.

The next day was pristine sunshine and no clouds, a cool crisp morning, so we packed up for the drive to Talloires and Planfait Launch. In the air at 1:30 PM, I scratched up to and above Dents Lanfon, and went on glide from 6000' upwind toward La Parmelan. I made it to the first part of the ridge way too low on the 5 mile glide, and landed in the small mountain village of Dingy Saint Clair. I packed up and in just under one hour I walked 2 blocks to the center of town, hitchhiked two rides from two hot French girls back to Talloires, and took the free shuttle bus back up to Plan Fait Launch in only 58 minutes!

Launching at 4 PM, the second time was much liftier with organized thermals. Getting up to only 5200', I crossed the lake on the start of my triangle to Rocs des Bouefs and climbed from there to 6000', then crossed back over to under Montmin/Col Forclaz. Hooking a low save up and over Montmin to 6000' again, I started my way back to Talloires with a nice 600 fpm thermal, and got way over Lanfonette at 6500'. I was treated to majestic views of the surrounding Alps and the Mont Blanc Massif, looming 50+ miles in the distance with not a cloud in the sky to be seen! Now la Peste came on the radio: "When are you coming in to land?" Now, honey, I answered as I went on glide forever …

Back at the Apartment in Annecy les Vieux, we had sunset cocktails on the lanai, with the sun still blazing at 8:30 PM, as we watched the hot air balloon rising above Talloires with the 3/4 moon in sync … what a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Now today is a replica of yesterday, so I guess I'm going to have to do it all over again! Life is good … til next time.

Aloha a Mad Dog et La Peste in Annecy …


Alex said...

We are loving the stories and pictures, Mad Dog! Keep them coming. Those of us who have been there can follow along perfectly, and those who haven't are making plans to get over there based on your accounts!

Thom said...


Well at least I know my radio is having a great vacation.

I know we are going to loose you communication wise soon but hopefully you will find internet somewhere to keep us updated.

I had to put my coffee in one of those liiitttle cups this morning just to get the feel.

Stay high and far.

Gravity said...

Awesome Maddog. I really wanted to jump over the back of Mt Min to the bigger peaks, will you do that for me?

I saw there's a resturant and potential re-launch if you don't make it.

Love the stories too as we all have been there and can live through you and your stories.

Keep us up to date on the Seattle pilot if you hear anything.

Have fun bro

PS Good job giving the wife equal time with you and your pg'ing...

Duck said...

Fly High! Go Far! Keep em coming Mad Dog! Great writeup, and great picts and vids!

I hope you make you bay crossing to Chamonix!!!

Mad Dog said...

Thanks everyone! Having a blast & yep Reaper yesterday I made it to the Huge Mnt behind Montmin but as I reached 500' from the peak these wild nuclear explosions came through & scared the Bjesus out of me so I left back to Lafonette with my tail between my legs. Man I thought my bump tolorance was high, but not in this big stuff so close to a 8K Peakof La Tournette. My first time there also,