They headed towards the Brenner Pass and caught a good climb, achieving the best height of the day (13,400'). With this in hand they turned Vipiteno(G) in Italy before heading north into the Oetztal. They topped up to just under 12,000' near Soelden, then had a 100Km final glide to land at Innsbruck at half past seven.
Robin and Roger launched at 1130 and slowly worked their way up to 8,500' and set off. Conditions were somewhat scrappy until they reached the Chur Valley but then improved, giving 5kts to 10,000'. Roger, an authority on all things Matterhorn, was hoping to go in that direction but it didn't look at all good further west, so a decision was made to cut and run towards the Arlberg and Austria.
Early thermals South of Mollis already showing sign of overcooking
By the time they have crossed into the Chur Valley, it is looking very soggy Westwards
Refreshed by a good night's sleep after a non-flying day, we got to the airfield early and perused the weather. The situation seemed similar to two days ago but with poor soaring forecast for the following couple. We decided to leave Mollis, go as far West as we could, then head east to end up somewhere in Austria.
Over Disentis(A) and rain - time to turn East and find drier air, hopefully.
The return was made on the northern side and they were rewarded with 5kts to 10,700' off the classic bowl above the lake at Zell. There followed a slow run towards the Innsbruck area, where they arrived at 6pm.
The magnificent Grossglockner at 12,461' the highest mountain in Austria
Evening cumulus over the Oetztal
Once in the area of the Arlberg Pass(B) conditions became much better, with good runs and climbs to over 11,000'. 13 met up with 527 (Dave S), 42 (Nick H) and N5 (Steve L) who were flying out of St. Johann that week and ran 70-80Km in company with them, looping to the Pass and back.
Crossing into Austria just South of Lichtenstein, the sky is looking much better
The flight continued east along the Inn Valley, stopping for a nice climb to 12,700' over the Nordkette(D), then headed for the Gerlos Pass(E). There followed a reasonable run past Zell-am-See(F) and the Grossglockner but as the climbs were getting weaker in this direction a turn back was made about 40Km east of Zell.
Meeting up with Steve Lynn in N5 for a short run together near Imst(C)
Looking Eastwards along the Inn Valley
Approaching the Gerlos Pass(E)
The flight was a fascinating tour through three countries with much variation in the soaring conditions. A distance of well over 700Km was flown in stunning alpine scenery and visibility. The team reunited at the airport and checked into a cosy hotel not far up the hill and reminisced over beer and Wiener Schnitzel (again).
Meeting up with Nick Hoare in 42 a few miles SW of Zell-am-See
Zell am See with the classic bowl just to the right, one of the most reliable thermal locations in that part of Austria