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Col de Vars, April 2013


During April I managed to squeeze in a couple of weeks at Sisteron, having abandoned the rain-lashed UK intent on kick-starting my season. When I arrived at the swamp-laden airfield I rather wondered if I was on a fool's errand but fortunately the weather improved and I was able to enjoy some excellent flights that took in Queyras, Ecrins and Mercantour ranges.

This photo was taken while I was working thermals from St Crepin towards the Barcelonette valley, during which I found myself under a large cumulus that hung just above the mountain peaks to the east of the col de Vars. Pushing into the light westerly wind, a couple of knots of wave appeared which gradually took me to 15,000ft amsl. The snow-laden panorama combined with cloud shadows and a lowering sun gave me spectacular and unforgettable views of the Ecrins and Queyras National Parks.