Day 2, 15/7: Struggle, struggle …
Wagrain - Taxenbach
As this site was orientated West, I had to wait a little on take off. Not much happened in the morning. I met the local tandem pilot and he told me that nothing will be possible before 12 or even 1 o’clock! He said also that flying to Zell am Zee was very ambitious! To help me even more, the wind since the day before had turned from N to W and it was blowing quite strong (30-40km/h at 3000m). I took off and started to work hard to be able to find a place to climb. After an hour and a lot of different attempts, it was obvious that it would be difficult to escape from this place and to fly towards the W.
I tried a radical option by crossing to the South faces, and it worked … Full speed bar on, I had to be patient to fly against the wind. I eventually missed a glide and to avoid having to land I decided to give myself a chance to escape: I flew south - flying far from the direction where I wanted to go - and ended up 100m from the valley ground at 10km from the main valley! What a great decision that was!!!
I scratched hard over the trees and managed in 20 min to climb to the top of the mountains. Easy to say but, FUCK it has been tight … The bad news was that I couldn’t escape from this valley to go to the main valley again. The trick that I found was to go to a NE face that I soared up to almost the top and landed. I had to walk along the ridge for 40min and took off again. I just managed to glide to the next hill to the W and landed in between some trees half way from the top. I walked up to the top again, without finding any path this time and had to climb a super steep slope (in between a cliff and a grassy slope). At the top I decided to glide once again as far as I could to the W and crossed the valley to be ready on the S face for my take off next morning (near Taxenbach).
Started day on take off …
Took off at 12′40.
Finish day at 20′56
Total flying 4h30, 59km.
Total walking 2h, 650m up, 2.5km
Max altitude 3014m