Peter’s Paragliding Nomadness

Paragliding Annecy

September 24, 2007

From Coupe Icare, I headed over the Col de Amies to Annecy. As I arrived at Doussard, paragliders were dropping into the LZ all around me. Looks like I just missed a great flying day. After last year’s drenching rain, I was hoping for some flying here this year.

A German pilot gave me directions to a quiet lane through a farmer's field, where he had spent several peaceful nights wild camping. It sounded like just what I needed.

It was a great place to camp. The full moon shone throughout the night and morning dawned clear and peaceful. I was looking forward to a full day of flying before the forecast rain on Wednesday.

But the weather changed sooner than expected and soon it was pouring rain and the mountains were all in the clouds. Instead of flying, I headed to McDonald’s at Sevrier for a free WiFi connection and a chance to catch up on emails and news.

Wednesday was dreary. I headed to the Planfait launch above Talloires with some Canadians and a German. It looked possible, but not great. A local warned us off, saying that conditions were turbulent. I parked in the LZ for the night and took my reserve into Rip'Air for a repack.

Paragliding is a sport that requires great patience. The rains continued through Thursday and Friday. Finally on Saturday it began to look more promising.

Pierre Naville of Les Passagers du Vent lent me a demo Gradient Golden II wing to fly - should it become flyable, which he doubted. I teamed up with Bruce and Veronica from Calgary and we decided to go to Doussard. Not long after we saw some wings floating down from the Entrevernes launch, we were hiking up there and setting up for a short but pleasant flight.

Montmin Launch, Anncey.

Finally on Sunday, after hiking up to Montmin to find the wind from the south, I managed to get some flying with the demo wing from Planfait. After a short sledder on the first flight, and expecting another 5 minute flight, I launched again in shorts and T-shirt with no gloves. Of course, this guarantees the thermals will arrive, and it worked a charm. After an hour I was freezing and had to land just to warm up. But it was a good chance to play with the Golden II. Like many others, I loved the wing and I returned to the shop to talk about prices.

Over the next couple of days I managed some nice flights off Montmin, first with the demo glider, and on Tuesday afternoon, with my own brand new orange and silver, Gradient Golden II.

On to Chamonix

There are more pictures in the Photo Album

Peter Jennings