The X-Alps / Day Ten

A high pressure system had set up over the Alps and was bound to stick around for a while. So this meant really good weather for this last days of the race to make it all the way to Monaco. But we had to hustle. We still had 300 kilometers to go, so Dave had to harness all his Jedi powers if he still wanted to reach the float.

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common Dave, sometimes you have to channel your inner Jedi Master in order to make Monaco

I met Dave on the Col de Forclaz where he took a quick sledder. It was more a fun flight, it did safe him approximately three minutes or so, but after that horrific day in the Wallis the Turner was jonesing for a flight, no matter how short.
Because it was such an ultra quicky the launch wasn’t the most perfect either and Dave lost one of his shoes.
I met him down at the bottom minutes later to walk up to the Col de Balme, a launch Eric and Dave had used in the preparation as well. Again we were a little behind schedule, the day had already started working. So we ran up quickly to get Dave in the air as fast as possible. Mood was good and Dave did some waggawagga-shenanigans on launch before he went off to pursue the athletes that were already flying just above Chamonix.

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eyes to the front, yo!

I ran back down to the car, it would take me a while to get to Annecy where Dave was bound to be quite soon. When conditions are good, you can make this flight relatively quick. But its a b*tch to drive. There isn’t really a direct road and no matter which road I’d take, it would again take me a couple of hours to get to Talloires at the lake of Annecy.

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Dave on speedbar above Cham. Photo by Vitek Ludvik.

When I went past Sallanches, I realised Dave had come short to connect with the beautiful chain de Aravis. My biggest concern with Dave’s flying is him being to impatient at times. And this would particularly show at larger valley crossings where he wouldn’t wait for enough height to cross and often arrive too low, possibly in the valley flow.
He had landed on the mountain and hiked up higher to get to a good launch. I hadn’t any contact with him, but I just waited below him to see if he’d be able to connect with a good thermal before I would drive all around the mountains to Annecy.
It seemed he caught one straight out of the gate and got propelled skywards, so I hit the road. Slowly, I started running out of gas, usually not an issue in these parts. Enough gas stations to choose from, but they were all unattended gas stations at which you could only pay with a credit card and mine didn’t work in these parts out of reasons that I’m too lazy to explain here. Anyway. I was a little stressed.
I thought that Dave would make it to Planfait with no issues whatsoever, as conditions were seemingly good, but he had landed in a Valley just a little north. Dave had our internet thingy so I had no connection to check the live tracking and my french mobile plan was absolutely worthless (whatever you do, don’t buy a prepaid Orange SIM card in France).
Anyway, things were not going very well and I was really starting to stress out. Also my car started running out of gas fast. I went to a gas station to get people to use their credit card for me and I would give them cash. Oh lord. Not an easy task. Things got out of hand. I must have looked like heroin addicted zombie or something, sleep deprived and completely loosing my sh*t. Finally some good souls showed mercy and I was able to continue.
Meanwhile, Dave had arrived at Planfait, last turnpoint before Monaco, launched and was flying above the Dents already. Because of the good beta that we got at the preparation he knew that at this time of the day it was a no brainer to cross the lake and just use the dynamic lift on those perfect cliffs on the other side.
Now there was no doubt that he’d reach the valley of Maurienne, gateway for the Col du Calibier.
I bought pizzas for the two of us to surprise Dave when he’d land and drove to where I suspected to where he’d fly. I reached him about a minute after he had landed, he was still clipped in. Oh man, was he pumped about that pizza. He wouldn’t even unclip to wolf that thing down.
That last flight had been a really good end for this stressful day, for him and for me. And he covered good distance which still left us with a chance to make Monaco.

This night we found a lonely kitten in the woods, that Dave named Maurice. I wanted to keep it, Dave said no.

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eat it or cuddle it.

 

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