22 Jun 03

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A well-known mountain, this afternoon

"Oh, it just gets better and better..."
(Motty(?), BBC Sport, Germany 1 England 5, 2001)

Again the forecast was for 'trés, trés bonnes conditions' in the high mountains and the competition was set a task of 460km into the Maurienne. The Brits launched after the grid into excellent conditions (base 10,500ft locally) and all set off northwards.

John reached Bardonecchia and then carried on to the col de Carro where low clouds streamed across the pass. The base of the active cumulus at this point was over 14,000ft and later in the day reports were received of cloudbases up to 16,000ft.

Good cumulus lay to the north of Aosta and John edged his way towards the Matterhorn, eventually finding himself in the position of being able to fly around its distinctive peak. Conditions to the north looked more blue but still active and it would have been possible (for someone who knew what they were doing) to carry on beyond the Simplon Pass. John, aware of his limitations, called it a day and visited Mont Blanc to take those pictures he promised last week.

His return was via La Meije, les Deux Alps and Obiou, to the north of the pic de Bure.  

See here for map and logger file.

Matterhorn, north face

Clouds boiling  up from the Italian plain

Col de Carro

Ariane Writes...

What a day for the rest of us! The cloudbase was so high that we were able to discover some new places. Andrew went for the first time to the Modane valley, while David will be claiming Gold Height (3140m gain) as reward for his trip to the lac Cenis. Clare flew to the Pic de Bure and then south and had a lovely day while Robert went well up north. For me it was another very good day: I managed to go touring around Pelvoux, La Meije, Mont Thabor, tiptoe my wing into Italy above Bardonecchia and then with such good cloud streets returned to play in the ridges around Valdgaudemar before proceeding west into the Vercors. I turned at Die to come back to Sisteron where the smile on my face on landing said it all....

Mont Blanc

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