Type: NOVA PHANTOM M,

Takeoff location:Hochfelln (DE / BY)

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Flight details

Points for the flight 291.55 (FAI triangle)
scoring distance 145.77 km
Speed 18.24 km/h
Duration 07:59:25
Scoring class FAI-3
Scoring start 08:52:01
Scoring end 17:01:38
Index: 100.0
Club Drachenfliegerclub Albatros Kampenwand e.V.
Date of claim 23.04.2019 07:10:56
state IGC-File: Flight:

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Comment

Third XC-day in a row and I have to admit: i felt a bit tired when I drove to Hochfelln. At launch, a pretty strong easterly wind expected a few dozen of XC-hungry pilots, including my NOVA Pilots Team mates Timon Weber, Alex Kepp, Hermann Klein, Tobi Ehrmann, Peter Ertle as well as Stefan Lauth and his wife Uli on their BION 2 tandem.

We all thought that it wouldn’t be really good due to the wind, but now we were there and decided to get the best out of this day. The first traverses to Hörndlwand, Dürrnbachhorn and then particularly over Winklmoosalm to Steinplatte were tricky: low base, weak thermals. Several pilots bombed out much earlier than they were hoping for – and I was almost one of them. After that, the wind got less and the base higher and we moved forward with swarm intelligence.

At Pass Thurn, the Valley wind met the now southeasterly and thermalling their was not what I would call comfortable. I was really happy to hang under m PHANTOM with its comfort and its high passive safety. However, I decided not to head west to Gerlos Pass, but turn east immediately. Flying the Pinzgau was nice and easy, now with a tail when flying higher than 2700 m. The traverse of Zeller See and the Dientener Berge were super cool: large thermals, strong thermals, and still nice thermals. In between the tailwind pushed me forward.

Approaching the steep, sunlit south faces of Hochkönig and Steinernes Meer, I thought that this should be even easier… I set my third turnpoint a few km to the west of Hochkönig and cheerfully moved on to the last leg. But somehow, I miraculously managed to circumnavigate all thermals, getting lower and lower. Near Saalfelden, I was so low that I stared thinking about were to land. Luckily, there are so many open fields, that I ignored this thought and focused on gaining altitude. Together with a green-white Skywalk wing, I finally found a thermal and we battled our way up to 3000+ meters.

In the beginning, I was thinking “OK, you are gaining 1 m/sec so it will take some 2000 seconds to be in the game again. 2000 seconds will be more than half an hour – but well: being patient is part of paragliding. Luckily, the thermal got stronger the higher we were and I was now super-motivated again.

Once above Steinernes Meer (“Sea of Rocks”), the Skywalk wing and me joined a bunch of other wings, including several mates of the NOVA Pilots Team. I was happy to join them because until now I was never able to close a triangle from Hochfelln. Before traversing towards Sonntagshorn, the last and mean obstacle to cross back into Germany, I tried to get as high as possible. But I didn’t get as high as I wanted to… No way of traversing straight, we needed to find a thermal above Heutal.

As the gaggle had left early, I watched carefully against trying to spot if somebody was gaining altitude. But they all hovering around searching – but not finding anything. Before reaching Peitingköpfl above Unken, I hit a thermal together with a green Advance wing. It was very, very weak, but it gave us some hope. However, we never got high enough to traverse to Bavaria. This miserable last chain!

So I headed west more into Heutal were I found another thermal above Heutal, to the south of Fischbachkopf. I still don’t know where it came from and why it was exactly there, but was the key to the door back to Bavaria. I was the first one to be high enough to slip through the bottleneck between Wildalphorn and Fischbachkopf.

Finding a thermal to the southeast of Rauschberg gave me sufficient altitude to fly to the northeast face of Unternberg above Ruhpolding. With a small gaggle we gained elevation by soaring in the Bavarian wind (from NNE). It was enough to now cross to the east ridge of Hochfelln, were we could soar up again. I almost closed the triangle, but the laminar wind was not strong enough to complete it. In the end I happily landed in Ruhpolding, where the first car I hitched gave me a lift back to Bergen.

Pilot

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