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French Adventure


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So the rain finally stopped and I decided to go further a field from my first recce. I did a top to bottom first thing this morning from Col Forclaz, such a nice launch with its new astro turf carpet, I wanted to have a test against which to compare the Fusion while only paragliding. So from top to bottom (about 3000ft) I flew the Karma and looked at my glide and speed, nice n slow with 2 down showing consistenly on the vario. You forget how relaxing a simple top to bottom can be with nothing to think about but the view and the wind whistling through the lines.

Tomorrow I will do the same on the Fusion and just see if there is any difference.

So I decided to leave earlier today and was down my very own special launch field for 1700hrs, perfect 4 mph breeze coming along the field. Set up and usual pre flight checks (I have found I have been getting pretty thirsty once I get going so I bought a camelbak for "in flight" refreshements). Wing n engine all fine forward launch and away I go (this time on my own as family have now had there fill of watching me).

I am taking off less than 800m from the official PG launch so I do some circles of the landing field and wave to the PGs on finals (I notice I microlight down below which I figure might give me hassle)

Full tank of fuel so I head of towards Albertville where there is a massive mountain that I drive by and think how cool would it be to see it from above.

I suppose it must be about 15 miles away and I gun the engine in the hope by the time I arrive I should be on top of it looking on top. GPS showing I am cruising at 30mph trimmers full on, the ride is very smooth and I play spot the emergency landing field should it all go pete tong!!

I arrive looking half way up the mountain and I can clearly see the ravines where water rushes down and the occasional mountain hut tucked away. I eventually go over the top of it @ about 6000ft and as I am crossing I have a sudden realisation that I bet the wind is whistling up the slope and will be rough in about 2 seconds, 2 1 whooaahha up n down I go as I run through either rotor or the thermals kicking off the top (Morgy still nothing compared to the 10 ups over Guildford) of course as I am on my own and am now far away from my car this does make for an ass twitching time. Also 6000 ft is great but when the peak looks about a stones throw below you again that 6k counts for jack.

So I have a little whizz around and decide to head for home (flying for over an hour now) another hour back to the lake and I am still on top of most of the surrounding mountains. I kill the engine and drop down to about 1000ft and then fly along the lake watching the boats below.

Time to land, looking down I can see the microlight is still there which I bet spells trouble for me (only room in this town for one powered aviator) few spirals and I am down into my hidden field, only to see a jeep driving up and down clearly looking for someone or something. He stops sees me and comes across my field.

Lots of french "blah blah police blah blah house ............." I get the message bid my apologies and pack my gear up.

So launch one is now closed,

Tomorrow I find launch #2

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Hi Rob

I can see why you got some rough air!! looks like you were at the end of a vally with only one clean wind direction of sw.Everything else would have been liegh side winds put in some thurmals as well and you get very rough air!!! :lol: keeps you on your toes!! :acro:

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Well guys it looks like Mt Blanc will have to wait for next year, I set off at 0600hrs this morning with the intention of grabbing the cable car (Brevant) up to 2000m to give me a head start. I was the first in the queue this morning only to be told your not allowed engines in the tele cabin. I had read in Paramotor Mag ref a tandem team whom did a similar flight from the same station so not to be put off I went to the next window and asked again.

This time a bit more luck and she thought I could but I should ask the lift dudes to be doubly sure. On the way to ask them I got chatting to a PG Tandem guy whom crealy was working here. He informed me that yes I could take my motor up the lift and others had done, but Mt Blanc is a no fly zone in July and August and I would have to wait till September 1st before attempting it.

So I decided to Paraglide it instead and can say its probably one of my best flights (well descent, not much thermal activity @ 0900hrs)

Taken just after 2000m Launch


Making my way closer to the Big Un


You can see the sun starting to push its rays into the Chamonix Valley


Driving home tomorrow and the end of my French Adventure :<

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