Red Bull X-Alps 2017 – Episode 3 Aschau

Day four started high in an Austrian mountain hut a short walk from the main divide. Several other pilots had managed to fly further north the previous evening, but as the day turned out I was quite happy to have started in the big mountains. It meant I could have a really early start and the big arc leading out and over Wilder Kaiser was unique among the other competitors and allowed me to catch them in Aschau. Oh, and I should mention that the scenery up there was spectacular.

Starting the main flight at 9am is a great way to make some progress but as expected, the going was tougher later in the smaller hills when I had to contend with the valley wind. The middle section had rolling grassy slopes and it was difficult to track down the lift, I had to sneak around and try a few different things. On the plus side the air was gentle and allowed plenty of time for social media.

Stuff article, instagram updates, facebook video reports

When the mountain east of Kitzbühel offered no lift, I pressed on to find convergence in the valley. Wild Kaiser, aside from being a spectacular limestone massif, didn’t quite work as well as I expected given its enormous south faces. There were strong climbs followed soon after by strong sink. The norwester was making it’s presence felt and I crossed over in the direction of Aschau at the next opportunity.

A few more climbs – I still wasn’t sure until the end – and I glided in to the turn point, landing a minute or two after Pal (HUN). Even though I’d done well to catch them up I was a little surprised that they’d made it as I’d expected them to have more problems with the valley wind from their direction.

It’s hard to have to land in the valley in the heat of the afternoon, but the rules required us to do this to sign our name at the Aschau turn point. My mind was on getting back in the air as soon as possible.

In an ideal world I’d like to explore new terrain on every flight. It was interesting hearing the Chrigel interview, I felt vindicated when I heard him talking about seeing a place with “fresh eyes”. But the previous day I’d retraced my steps to Mallnitz because the Greifenburg was shaded out. So again it was a little boring to head back towards the Wilder Kaiser again. Anything is better than scratching along shady foothills though, and it meant I could fly new terrain to the north of the Inn valley. It also meant a much shorter walk from the turn point and it proved to be the best option.

Again the video can tell the story (I added subtitles so turn them on):

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About sharemyjoys

Nick Neynens
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