Euro 2011 - Day 5 - Switzerland including Bernina up close

Follow our flight with the photo journal below, to see what Dan got up to today, click on his diary
We launched onto the north side of the valley and slowly ground up to the peaks. An hour later we were ready and set off north into the Engadin

Conditions were much better with higher cloudbase (12,500') and some really good lift where the sun and wind coincided

We routed up to the east of the Engadin, near Livigno
Taking an OK climb off the back of Nuna, the local hotspot

To the east it was still rather congested and showery, so we headed west into the Rhine valley, towards Chur and Andermatt

The northern side still had cloud well below the peaks, so we continued west along the south
Bases were around 9-10,000', getting slightly higher as we approached the Oberalp pass
Looking north towards Liechtenstein it was soarable but rather scrappy and low
It went a bit blue in the Andermatt area, with associated weak lift, so we dived into the Ambri valley to get a rather rough wind shadow climb
We popped back into Switzerland and went about 15Km past Muenster, until deciding to turn around as it was getting blue and ragged again
We ran the Italian side back along the northern side of the lakes, past Ambri and Lodri, arriving back in the Engadin, where Mt. Bernina was standing clear
We approached the flanks
Then ran along the crest, having climbed up just in front
Bernina Video
We didn't see any climbers, unlike our previous visit
The snow was still fairly pristine
With some incredible hanging glaciers
We did a run along the whole northern flank of the massif
We passed the long snow ridges leading up the mountain
We spotted some footprints!
Then ran further east
All the way along
Until we got
To the far end
With spectacular high bowls and bergschrunds
We dipped the wing down the glacier on the north side, with the runway at Samaden just visible in the main valley
We pushed further east, past Bormio
Passing many beautiful lakes and alpine pastures
There was a dry spot with cloubase going over 14,000'
We turned close to Bolzano, then headed back home via the Stelvio national park. We climbed up in the valley behind the Ortles then over the top towards Sondrio
The thermals were dying off, even though the clouds were still looking good, so we called it a day and let down in to Sondrio
Passing over Berbenno where we were staying
Dan took this as we landed.. we wondered what he'd been up to today
We managed, through use of optics, to put the glider rigged in the trailer for the night