XPYRIENCE Day Four

The vultures are soaring

Day 4 stats

The vultures are soaring. In any normal person's story, a sign of dread. But for me, joy!

I had gambled on it being flyable by not gliding down to the valley for a morning of drudgery on the road. There was a lot of cloud overnight and it was misty at 8 but then the sun broke through and the birds began to swoop through the wisps.

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XPYRIENCE Day Five

Water: the essence of Life

Day 5 stats

Most of the trip, I'd been pleasantly surprised by plentiful fast flowing streams that looked OK to drink from. So I had been carrying less and less water, because it's damn heavy.

But then I had that killer ascent in blistering heat, and despite taking my full 4L my water ran low.

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XPYRIENCE Day Six

Mountain high

Day 6 stats

Life is full of contrasts; it gives good things an extra shine, when you've suffered the dark moments.

Bivi flying seems to heighten the intensity of things. Yesterday was extremely bad. Diarrhoea, fatigue, packing up and walking down from an almost flyable cliff, stumbling about in the cloud.

Day 6 was extremely good.

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XPYRIENCE Day Seven

Escape from the Deep

Day 7 stats

I woke with a smile. That's a good way to welcome fortune, I find.

But now I didn't need to intend the smile; it was fixed in place from the evening before, when I had crawled into my tent, too tired to wash, too smelly to care, and too elated at what I'd experienced that I didn't know how to contain my joy, except to lie on my back and spread my spirit out wide across the night sky.

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XPYRIENCE Exit

A civilized man

Totals

The bus from Jaca whisked me off to somewhere new yesterday: Zaragoza.

Approaching the city at 21h00 on Friday I guessed I'd best spend the night and aim for Barcelona the next day. All good, my flight out was on Saturday evening.

After a moment of rerouting neurons that were primed to look for grass beside rivers, I found the way that works in the civilized world: Google maps!

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XPYRIENCE Gear review

Bivi kit: what worked (and didn’t)

gear

 

What worked

 

Advance Iota: simple, and lightweight for a standard production glider. Performed well in a wide range of conditions. Next time I'll get an even lighter wing, it's really worth it for bivi flying to reduce weight wherever possible.

Kolibri harness: swallowed up all gear and had room to spare.

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XPYRIENCE: A volbiv adventure

What's it like taking on the mountains with nothing but an aircraft that runs on air?

Greg Hamerton attempts a solo traverse of the Pyrenees via paraglider and discovers the magnitude and magic of a road less travelled.

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XC Secrets: Cloudsuck

XC Secrets: Cloudsuck

In the UK we fly near to clouds a lot, because the airmass is usually moist and the cloudbase is low. Small cumulus clouds can be fun, but large ones can become a problem. How can you tell the difference? Greg Hamerton analyses a recent XC flight that became a little too lifty…

Also available in LARGE SCREEN PDF >

Cloudsuck: convergence forecast

The day had a good flying forecast showing light winds from the NW, with an obvious line of sea air pushing in from the coast.

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XC Secrets: Cloudsuck

In the UK we often fly near clouds, because the airmass is usually moist and the cloudbase is low. Small cumulus clouds can be fun, but large ones can become a problem.

How can you tell the difference?

Greg Hamerton analyses a recent XC flight that became a little too lifty. 

Read the LARGE SCREEN PDF > 
or for small screens choose
STANDARD WEB VERSION >

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