26 Jun 06

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The Northern Ecrins

Glacier Blanc

Launching on 36

Most pilots visiting Sisteron are happy to soar as far north as Briancon or Bardonnecchia, using the St Crepin valley for safety. Today, another interesting route route presented itself. I managed to reach the Glacier Blanc and saw that the way further north of Plampinet offered lower cloudbases and limited opportunities. However, there were good clouds over the col du Galibier and points further west so I decided to fly along the valley towards Grenoble.  
I couldn't help noticing that Klaus Ohlmann's Gang, forging its way in the opposite direction, was now down to Three - the Darwin effect, perhaps? 

Using Grenoble Le Versoud as a safety airfield made the trip easy. Only a couple of climbs were needed near l'Alpe d'Huez and I was soon looking over the city of Grenoble from the mountains to the south. 

There were good cu all the way to the Vercors, but I decided to get back into the Ecrins via the Valgaudemar to offer Ariane a hand with a little pair-flying.

After that exercise was completed, I added a few kilometers by flying up to Bardonnecchia and then across the Queyras, into the Barcelonnette valley, across to Mt Pelat and the lac d'Allos, before flying home via the Serre Montdenier. As an exercise, I decided to fly back to Sisteron from 5000ft at the Vaumuse without using any thermalling turns. No height was lost on the Vaumuse as far as Authon, where two or three beats were enough to get me to 6500ft and home. 

Col Du Galibier

Near l'Alpe d'Huez