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St Crepin

Au Vache
Field landings in the Alps are not to be taken lightly. It's not like the UK, where there is invariably a suitable field within a few minutes flying time. Here in the mountains, particularly near the major mountain passes, it is not unusual for there to be only one possible landable field within 50km, and even that one might contain crop or some other serious hazard like cables and ditches. Add a dose of unpredictable local wind effects and rapidly changing weather and it is clear that knowing one's escape route is essential for a safe soaring experience.
Well-prepared pilots carry a Landout Guide in their gliders, and will have marked-up their maps with field locations and altitudes. The Guide is an indispensable manual containing maps, photographs, hazard warnings and other useful advice on over 50 fields in the southern French Alps; it should be available for purchase from your holiday club - highly recommended if you want to ease the stresses of mountain soaring.

The best landout option is to use an airfield. The advantages are obvious - airfields are generally flat, of suitable size, help is available and it is usually possible to negotiate a retrieve, using either a local tug or one from a nearby gliding club. There is almost always a considerable saving in time over a road retrieve, particularly if one has strayed over one or more major passes. And best of all, no money needs to be exchanged on the day - the final bill at your holiday club will be adjusted accordingly.