Last 5am alarm-call, last switching on of trackers and GPS. My feet suffered a bit from smacking along tarmac for hours yesterday afternoon, and it’s the first day I’ve had to walk on blisters. Lucky me – most people have had to deal with that since the beginning. It’s a slippery slope, too. Once they start, they just get worse. A few people have dropped out because of it, and I don’t know how the X-Alps people manage two weeks like it. Continue reading “Airtour: the last day”
After yesterday’s disappointing and frustrating day, I’d hoped today would be extra good. The morning was sunny and cloudless, except for the pileus hat on Month Blanc, confirming the predicted strong northerly did exist.
“My day has gone from bad to worse. Wish I’d done what I’d wanted to. Now set myself back hours and hours of walking ☹ not fun any more”
Day three is over, so we are halfway through the Airtour, timewise if not distance-wise. The car is doubling up as a fairly ineffective drying room after last night’s downpour soaked everything, and is starting to smell like a cheese factory. Not sure if it’s the socks or the Camembert that is to blame for that.
After a night of thunder and rain we woke to a grey sky with the odd shower coming through but still the hope it would be flyable from the top of Colombier. Charlie was still in the company of Swiss tandem team Gabriel and Aude and the three of them set off at six am to make the ascent.
A long day, and rather light on the flying, heavy on the walking.
The Le Mans-style start involved the competitors lining up along the side of the takeoff mat, in their pilot number order, and their assistants lining up in the same order along the top of the mat, holding their pilot’s kit. As ‘go’ was shouted into the traffic cone-loudspeaker we all had to run around the mat to the top, get our bags from our assistants, and then run up past the bar and paragliding school, and off to wherever we were heading. Continue reading “More walking than flying”
Bleary eyed competitors gathered on the north launch at St Hilaire this morning for the start of the 2011 St Hil’Airtour.
I’m sat on a chair in the sun outside our tent, getting my blood caffeine levels back up to somewhere approaching normal after a day of enforced near-abstention. Mont Blanc is poking her head up through the clouds in the distance, and paragliders are still to-ing and fro-ing in front of takeoff at St Hilaire. Not a bad place to be!
Continue reading “Airtour – Practise day”
Sunday 19 June: heading north
Well, we’re about to leave for Grenoble, finally. “Handing over” to our team of very kind friends who have taken on the children for the week. No small task, and I’m very grateful to them all. Continue reading “Off to the Airtour”