31 May 2005

Not the office - Les Cornettes de Bise

In the spirit of keeping working weeks to four days, I decided to take Tuesday off. That was a good decision as it rained quite heavily on Monday.

There were still a lot of clouds sticking to the sides of the valleys on Tuesday, but the forecast was for good weather, and we took the direction of Vacheresse in Alex car.

We leave the car and start walking at Bise, as group of chalets used exculsively during summer, as the road isn't cleared in winter, and the cows don't graze snow ;-)
The climb is pretty steep at first, allowing us to gain altitude quite fast. We're in the shade, so the air is rather fresh, and we can enjoy the sunshine on the opposite side of the valley.
panoramic - Bise
Alex speeds up ahead, and I lose sight of him, he's in a training phase and I have no will to follow him.

Shortly after the pass, as the climb gets steeper, I come accross a troup of Chamois, our local wild mountain goats. Chamois - 17As I start to snap a few pics, the camera shuts down: the temperature is too low for the batteries. So I take them out, warm them up (no, I did not insert the batteries _there_, I just put them under my armpit). I take a few pics, then have to warm up the batteries again, and so on for about twenty minutes. After a while, the models are tired of this game, and I resume the climb.
Chamois - 19
There are places where the snow is frozen solid. We are reaching altitudes where the temperature was well below zero a few hours ago. I progress cautiously, a fall would not be fun, too quick to enjoy without a good wing overhead.

I finaly reach the top, after two hours climb (I'm trying to remember if last year's time with Maryse was two hours or twho hours and fifteen minutes). Alex is sitting at the top. I guess his time was just over an hour. We're at 2432m altitude, the sun is beating and very warm. As always, we take in the breathtaking view.
panoramique Mt Blanc

The valley where we left the car is completely filled with a thick cloud layer, so we decide to wait and see if it's going to lift. In the meantime, I take a nap. Napping - 75

Time marches on and there's no sign of the cloud layer lifting above Bise, so we decide to fly in the Abondance valley,
In Flight - 86 we know we're going to get some stong valley wind, but at least we'll see the ground before we touch it.

There is a breeze coming from the East, that's perpendicular to our take off zone, but it's gentle enough, and there are regular thermal bubbles wafting up in front of us, so we're failry confident that take off won't be a problem.

We lay out, get ready, and soon we're airborne. The air is very calm, we're having a good flight. The panorama is amazing.
In Flight - 87We fly side by side, and soon circle over Abondance. The plan is to land on the soccer field, but as we get a bit closer, I realise I'm about 10 meters too low, and with a wind that strong, I'm not going to make it. So I turn around, whizz out of the village downwind at high speed and find a nice field on the other side of the houses. The wind is so strong that I don't make any headway. It's a very slow vertical landing with a gentle touchdown.

In Flight - 88

Another good day spent much better than going to the office...

Technical data: Flight duration 0:20, Take-off altitude: 2400, Maximum altitude reached: 2400, Total climb during flight: 200, Max rate of climb: +3.4m/s, Max descent rate: -4.2m/s, Landing altitude: 800m (to be checked).


Post a Comment

<< Home