13 May 2005

Long week-end

Well, the French gummint wants us (workers) to work on Pentecost day, so I take the Monday AND Friday off, just to make a point. I'm not alone in making that point, and on Thursday night I get a message in my voicemail from Mickael, proposing to meet on the top parking lot at Le Môle. The weather forecast is not very good, and when I get up on Friday morning, the clouds are very low, rain is not far. I phone Mickael, checking that the plan is still on. He's already on the way to the landing area, where, together with his wife, he'll have a quick walk to the top parking lot. This way we'll have a car at the bottom for after the flight. Just before 10:00, I clear the last curve before the parking lot, and I see Mickael and Olivia waiting for me. They've just arrived there, and it takes a minute or so for me to lock up the truck and we're on the path. Gentiane bleue - 21It's a pleasant morning, the clouds are very low, but we can see it's a fairly thin layer and we should emerge in the sunshine above pretty quickly. It's a pleasant walk in the shade at first, and then it get harder as Olivia accelerates and we don't want to get left behind...
Mickael's analysis of the weather conditions is spot on. We break through in the sunshine, and we can see that the area at the South of the mountain is clearing. To the North, my colleagues are slaving under the cloud layer. Panorama - Mole I briefly experience a smug feeling ...
The climb is uneventful, Olivia and Mickael get to the top pretty quickly, with me a little less quickly. The view is breathtaking, with the Mont-Blanc in front of us. Contemplation - 25 There is only one person at the top, but we can see a troup of retirees at the bottom. This is a very popular walk, the climb is very easy, the view from here is beautiful and the access is very convenient.
We quickly set up for the flight, and in a few minutes we're ready... to wait. This is the sport that my instructor renamed "ParaWaiting". Parawaiting - 36The wind is not established yet, and the thermals are bubbling up the slope. We want to catch a few of those to get us as high as possible, but it's still early in the day, and the bottom of the valley has been in the shade of the cloud layer, so we don't expect too much.
The magic moment of take-off arrives soon enough, and we're off on a wonderful flight. Le Mole - 43
As suspected, there isn't much thermal activity, and it's a fairly quiet glide until we get to the turbulences as we reach the top of the cloud layer.Turbulence - 52 We flirt with that zone and soon we're through, looking for our landing spot, just behind the cemetary in Ayse. As I take that direction, following Mickael and Olivia in front of me, I feel a bit of lift on the right. I turn in that direction, and after a little bit of searching I gain enough height to play around for a bit, but the wind in strengthening, and after another few minutes I decide to join Olivia and Mickael that are waiting for me at the landing spot. Coming in to land - 70
Overall, this starts a good day, with a nice outing to a pleasant mountain, and a good 30 minutes flight to crown the morning.
The afternoon will bring us more flying in Orcier, but that's for a different entry...

Technical data: Flight duration 0:30, Take-off altitude: 1857m, Maximum altitude reached: 1895m, Total climb during flight: 637m, Max rate of climb: +3.4m/s, Max descent rate: -4.4m/s, Landing altitude: 460m.
If you want to see more photos (or the ones above in different sizes) go to Flickr: ParaScubaSailor's photos


Blogger Lori said...

Daniel, I am happy that you invite me to your blogs...your pictures are absolutely breathtaking...I am so envious of you and your friends for the great sports/hobbies(not sure what you call them) that you are able to have/do...in your country. It is so beautiful there. You are very lucky to have such a wonderufl playground. Keep me posted...I look forward to more pictures, as I can only dream of such beautiful places. Hope you have a great day. As always, I'll be thinking of you and hoping you stay safe. Love Lori.xoxo.


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