Pyrenees Recce

Published on
16 June 2022

With only two weeks! Till the race you’ll be wanting to know how my trainings going for the race well some good some bad.

After the Bornes to fly my van decided to give up on me and I was stuck in Annecy, eventually I limped my way to the Pyrenees and Arbas where it was less that flyable so I continued on to Ainsa Under TP 3 Pena Montanesa where it went into the garage for a few days.
But not a moment was lost the next 3 days I spent walking the mountain to find Takeoff’s and get to see the area from the air on day 1 by the time I found a TO’s it was a clear flydown as I’d walked to the masts and up a gully with ropes tide into the mountain side it was a bad idea, but after taking off I looked left to a sweet flat plate of grass close to the top. That’s where I headed day 2, and to fly xc for the first time in the Pyrenees. It didn’t go to plan, all forcasts showed SW winds and when I took of I seemed to have wind from the east! Sweet I thought I’ll fly back along the course towards accous for but on crossing the valley I found major sink in -4.5 and I pretty much got drilled to the river bed.
I thinking I’ve got a lot to learn in flying these mountains, maybe I just rushed, need to settle on the hill first, so that what I did day 3 took off went left floated right and got a feel for the air. My flight plan was to head along the course line, with the SW winds I crossed to the next area of mountains to fly across landscapes I could imagine steep rocky face and mellow mountain bowls showing nothing but rock throw me into the air on a Roller coaster ride, checking my pitch and roll I moved north to the higher mian ridge with patches of snow scattered on them to look over into France and the low cloud coverd peaks not to day I thought but come race day I’ll be diving in a thought them to Arbas.
A right turn passing over a high mountain Col i travelled along the bottom of the X to El Corronco until I hit airspace I my head I knew I was ok it was Class G I was fine but my vario telling me I was violating it by the time I figured it out it was time to land as I got myself in a tricky spot. Well this is what recce’s are for I guess. School boy error!

On getting back to Ainsa I was told the van and my dream of continuing the recce was fixed! Happy days….. Unfortunately not and a bit of food poisoning floored me for the next 2 day. I said things have been bad!

Hmmm where to now Accous was my first thought but if you know me a plan can change at a moments notice and east to El Pont de Suert and TP 6 was the best choice. Only an hour 10 down the road and after 30 minutes it was clear the van wasn’t totally fix but I wasn’t going to get stuck in Ainsa over the weekend and miss more time, I made it.

Still feeling ill I had a slow walk up not to high under El Corronco where I have flown the passed 2 days, first day just flying along the ridges to the east but not crossing flying out and round back to The village.
Day 2 I planned to keep going east to Pic dels Moros and things were looking good high over the mountains I passed to the next and again over sort to the mountain with two antenna on here I climb up the SW face tp the top and made my way round always looking for the next place. Catching a strong thermal I started following it back as i thought but it left me and now I was low over the back battling with Lee slopes and trees and unfortunately lost as I soon landed in some sinking air. So close to going a good distance but I know I need to stop making these silly errors, focus is the name of the game.

Take off under El Corronco 

Roca de Corona 1623m

Fly high leaving El Corronco heading east. 

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