Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Virgin flight September 9, 2011

Annecy being the home of the parasail (we call it parapente in this neck of the woods) and all, I figured that since my buddy Aurélien offered me to try out the feel I better take him up on the offer before he changes his mind…
We (he) decided that for additional interest we’d pick a line that he pioneered a couple of years ago. In 2009 he took off from the Crète des Tervelles; one because people said it couldn’t be done (no landing zone) and two, because it hadn’t ever been done. This is one line he got to open. I did ask him how he figured out the landing and he told me “Google earth”. OK, how? He just scanned the bottom of that valley till he found a field he felt was good enough for landing, went over to check it out, and declared it safe! Know that this field is just a bit over a couple of hundred meters (think yards more or less) minus the 20,000 volt power line that cuts it in half, the telephone line that follows the road not to mention the tree line. Once you’re done minusing it all you’re not left with a heck of lot square footage. Hence “everybody’s” assertion that it can’t be done. Anyhow not wanting to be the one whining about minor details like landing spots, I told him I could see his logic although I have to say that it takes a fair amount of squinting…
We got off a 6:30 am on the 9th, drove the 30 or so min. to the “hidden valley” and started the 3,500 or so feet hike up with equipment and all. We were up by 10:30 and messed with the sail and the winds almost for an hour before it was a go. Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):
For the scenery: Mt Blanc in the distance
Spread your wings
Ready or not...

Take off spot

Hanging by a thread (OK a few)

My favorite hiking boots
Room with a view

In our own shadow...

The landing strip
After "licking" the power line; land after it but before
the house... My car to the right on the ready.
On solid footing...

1 comment:

  1. pierre - outstanding. i want to do that on skis. keep up the good work. mike