New Zealand summer with Zalps

It’s been another amazing summer in New Zealand. Of course there has been plenty of “tramping weather”, but even a flight a week is well worth your while here. After some good flights before I arrived on 4 January, we saw record heat in January, with only receding glaciers in the mountains – it looked like April. February broke the drought with a snow dump, and then later in the month we had a visit from ex-tropical cyclone Gita. In between I enjoyed memorable flights over familiar country and also some new valleys and routes – it was especially great poking my nose over to the west of the main divide on three separate occasions. It was also a pleasure to take the Ozone Z-Alps two liner through its paces.

Flying along the main divide (Dart, 7 Feb 2018)

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Bull X-Alps 2017 – Episode 10 France

Another crucial glide: deep and pushing headwind, into France

Late on day 12 I finally crossed by air into France for the first time of the race. It was the last night of the race, but the adventures weren’t over yet.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red Bull X-Alps 2017 – Episode 9 Matterhorn

The main obstacle on day 12 was to cross over the highest part of the Alps and tag the iconic Matterhorn turn point on the way. Taking off early to ensure I was in the game, I had to land in the Matter tal (valley) and wait a little before having another go, carefully making sure I found a thermal to avoid the valley full of cables. Tagging the Matterhorn went well from there but I wasn’t lucky enough to cross the divide in the air, so Pal (HUN) and Basti (GER1) got a lead on me as I walked over flattish wet snow in the midday sun back to the Italian border. From there I was poised to fly back into France. 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red Bull X-Alps 2017 – Episode 8 Italian lakes

Day 10, hiking to regain the 1000 metres I’d just lost in the air

On day ten (yes, a rather long race this year), I needed to put some points on the board after the hit and miss diversion of my northern sojourn. I slept alone at a mountain hut, waking up in time to position myself to fly literally as the 6am curfew opened. I wasn’t waiting for thermals anymore, and in fact it felt quite good to be on the move.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Southeast Queensland and the NSW border ranges

Looking back to Lamington and Border ranges national parks

Ten years after learning to fly in Canungra and I’ve come back to the nest. Lately I’ve been spoilt by mountain flying and exploring new places, and I’ve turned my nose up at flying the same tired old sites over a rather flat country. But having a fresh look at the map, I’ve realised there is some interesting country around, and living in Sydney it is very accessible for me to nip up for a few days here and there between shifts. See the 8 minute video, triangle flight on xcontest, doarama

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments