Tuesday, July 20, 2010

St Andre

A couple of days ago now my Dad took my up to the Hang gliding launch up above St Andre called Chalvet. It was a special day as I rarely get the opertunity to fly with my Dad. Conditions looked great, launch was easy. Lets go ! We were flying with a buddy of my Dads. Ron had launched earlier and was hanging around for us. The plan was to go north and return south to the Chammette. I followed Dad north, Ron was struggling a little, Dad and I found nothing but sink to the north. I went out into the valley and got hammered down to 4k, Dad worked the burbles up to near Ron, who was now skying out. I found a climb that took my nice and high and went "over the back" only I went over a different back than Dad and Ron. I headed for the Chamette, almost completely the wrong way. A bunch of other pilots were flying the Chamette also which I beleive to be Dad and Ron. Half way along the ridge and lower Ron said "Chamette - no thats the wrong way, we went north". Meantime Dad was landing and everyone around me was sinking out. I found a burble to work with some guy flying a laminar. We worked back up nice and high and I head back to Launch. I snuck around the side, and got to launch about 600ft below. Not bad at all. I worked my way back up, the day had turned on properly now and getting to 8000ft, I had where my Dad landed on glide (Thorame-Basse). I headed that way and got another climb back to 8000ft (no sense in passing that up) Dad suggested I explore Cheval Blanc a bit. A neat mountain, the ground around there is really ripped up. Cheval Blanc stands about 8000ft and I'd gotten to 9000ft Both Ron and Dad were now packed up, Dad suggested I head back to St. Andre, thats the way home and its a nice run. Why not? The day had mellowed out climbs were easier and softer but going just as high. Getting back to launch was easy. I was snapping away with the camera and taking in the scenery.
took another climb to the Chamette flew around a bit and decided it was time to land. The Aerogliss field has a reputation for switchy winds, but it was well behaved on this occasion. A flawless landing was narrowly avoided by me forgetting about the visor, which makes you think you are skimming the ground when in actuallity you are 6 feet up. I started to do my usual half assed flared and run out when I noticed my feet weren't on the ground. Whoops glad the litespeed lands so easily, I stalled and ran in a turn. Must remember that visor next time.

Castellane and Trigance

The local town here, Castellane, has lots of history and neat architecture. It sits on the Verdon river, which a number of rafting company use as a put in for the famous gorge run. It has a chaple up on top of the iconic rock. It is a typically medievel town with narrow streets, and lots of nooks and crannies. I will explore it more later. What a great town to call home. My parents also took me on a ride from the mouth of the Verdon gorge to Trigance.
Another medievil town in Haute Provence. The squares are exceedingly pleasant to hang out in.
And so folks do socialize outside in the evening, what great ambience. A little refreshment before the ride back. Mum surprized me by going for it down a pretty steep and lose ancient road.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick trip to St Andre and back.

My Dad had an excuse to for a quick ride upto St Andre : show me a few Landing options.

Off to Nice, France.

After the usual mayhem of trying to remember what to pack and what needs taking care of while I am away for 2 months, Tracey dropped me and my short packed Glider at SFO. I arrived at Nice via Frankfurt about the same time the next day (-4 hours local time). I was a little concerned about baggage transfer as there was not enough space to park the plane in Frankfurt, and having the glider as baggage is pretty nerve racking. In the end I got to Nice 4 hours early. No luggage though. Spent 3 hours trying to track it down. Waited for the next scheduled flight from Frankfurt... Nothing... Next flight was at Midnight. I was told that everything should show up then. My parents were waiting also and we went to the beach. The water was georgeous swimming temperature. We waited. My glider and clothes showed up 12:30am. Eventually got to the chalet 2:30am long day! s? Great to be here though.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tracey has a new bike

On the way back from Reno, the plan was to ride the famous Tahoe flume trail (one of my favourites). However with the altitude and our schedule, we decided to do it at a time we could enjoy it more.
We settled for a ride around Spooner Lake (or 4).
Its a short but pretty ride, and only recently opened for bike riding on a trial basis.
It winds its way around the lake through Aspen trees, and Pondarosa pines.
A couple of weeks ago, Tracey showed me a ride around the local "Water Dog Lake" Park I was impressed by the trails, most park trails are beneign and graded so that park vehicles can use them. Not this one...
Interesting how wild it was too, right in the middle of the densist population I've ridden in. After a couple of hours of exillirating trails and lots of uphill, Tracey took a dive. Having breezed through a number of technical and difficult decents, she came off in a calm section of trail next to a deep concrete culvert. Taking the bike with her, she landed up-side-down on her shoulder. Ouch. I checked her over for a minute or so, and banned her from riding her bike more. We walked out of the park. I got the car and we went and got xrays. Partially torn ligament in the shoulder... Damn - that's going to take some time to heal.