An awful August in the Alps

While traveling through the Alps my suspicions were confirmed through various sources – this has been the worst summer weather in years! Nevertheless, you should never describe the Alps as having a reliable climate, and one must roll with the punches. I managed to cobble together some great flights as I travelled across and around Switzerland, through new and familiar places. My travelling blog describes the road trip with my brother and walking trip with my mates, here I’ll show a few more flying photos and talk about the weather.

Bernese Oberland from over the Grimselpass

Bernese Oberland from over the Grimselpass

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X-pyr – the race across the Pyrenees

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Last night before the race

Over six days I completed X-pyr, racing across the Pyrenees with my Ozone LM5 paraglider and Advance lightness harness from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Once we got away from the humid Basque coast we had some great flying days where we covered the majority of the course in the air. Nevertheless an important part of the race was by foot, and I was impressed at the pace necessary to keep up with the leaders. Although the first day knocked me around a bit I thoroughly enjoyed the week, viewing amazing scenery, enjoying interesting flying, and even enjoying the odd walk.

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Pyrenees reconnaissance for X-pyr

For the last few months I’ve been looking forward to the upcoming X-pyr race, crossing the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Here are some photos, maps, and thoughts about the race, following the road trip with my Aussie mates last month. The adventure starts on July 13th – the same day Holland will win the World Cup!

Over Collorada (TP 3) looking east

Over Collorada (TP 3) looking east

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Flying Mestia, Svaneti, in the high Georgian Caucasus

I had been watching the forecast for weeks, waiting for an opportunity to go out to the highest mountains of the Caucasus in the Svaneti region of Georgia. Even so on arrival everything was very damp and it was another couple of days until I was treated to some fantastic flying in big mountains. Mestia was a pleasant town to stay in readiness for the right conditions in the unstable spring (late May) weather patterns.

Looking south (Mestia hidden) from slopes of Ushba

Looking south (Mestia hidden) from slopes of Ushba

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Flying over Lagodekhi in Georgia’s northeast

After returning from Kazbegi the unsettled spring weather returned and after several days getting myself far too comfortable in Tbilisi I thought I better return to the mountains to restore some sense of credibility! Just a short overnight trip but a good stretch of the legs to get from the plain right up to the peaks, as well as a nice flight on each day to enhance the experience.

The Caucasus mountains near the Russian and Azerbaijan border from Lagodekhi

The Caucasus mountains near the Russian and Azerbaijan border from Lagodekhi

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