Posted by: 13rob | July 10, 2015

9 JUL 2015 – Escape at last…

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We took off from Sondrio, climbed up on the north side of the valley then set course westwards. The photo above is of the valley we went walking in two days previously.

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The visibility was much improved and the best run appeared to be just north of the Italian lakes, where it was mostly blue with an occasional cumulus coming off the bigger ridges and peaks.

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We faced a choice of going northwest into Switzerland or southwest round the back of Monte Rosa. We could see it was soarable on the southern side but couldn’t see any activity to the north, so climbed as high as possible and crept over some high cols into the Aosta valley.

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It then went blue but there was lift along the edge of the cloud to 11,000’. We pushed forward into the blue, expecting weak climbs but they got stronger and stronger, with one that peaked at 14kts then went smooth, indicating a transition into wave.

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The wind at 12,500’ was light and variable but was NW at 32kts by the time we reached 13,000’. We ran towards Mont Blanc in a mixture of wave and thermal.

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We climbed behind the peak to c.16,500’ with fantastic views over the whole alps.

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The top of Mont Blanc was ridge-soarable, so we had a happy half hour experimenting with different bits of the mountain. Rob’s camera battery ran out after about a 1,000 photos and numerous videos, of which we hope to publish a small selection in the next blog. We glid off 15,000’ over the next couple of hours to make 500km for the day and eventually landed at Grenoble Le Versoud, a mixed power/gliding site on the edge of the French Alps and received a warm welcome.

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Responses

  1. Ahhh, all those old familiar places…..have fun, keep posting the snaps.


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