Domancy and Chamonix Valley - May 1st
The weather and Skiing now flying:
It's been sometime since I updated this page, sorry for those you have been visiting: we were busy enjoying the skiing up to early March, then the weather took a turn for the better and the flying started.
The weather throughout March and April up until a week ago had been very springlike, if not similar to early summer, with temperatures into the mid 20's and good thermic days. Then a few days ago it all changed and winter has returned, though hopefully not for long.
Today is last day of piste skiing available in the Chamonix valley and Les Grands Montets, the last resort to stay open, closes.
The flying throughout most of March and April up until a few days ago, has been excellent, with local pilots making good distances around the area.
Our local site of Plaine Joux was closed nearly all of April for a complete face lift. It now looks great with its 'Astro-turf' surface and increased area. See the picture of me launching the new Advance Sigma 10...
With the closure of PJ we travelled a bit more out and about and we had some really good days flying at Annecy and Samoens with clients
Check out the new Plaine Joux from it's webcam WebCam
All in all it has been a very good year. 245 flyable days from last December to the finish of October, though the winter months December, January and February are very much playing months with skiing and flying rather than training days.
The summer tally from March to the finish of October gave us an average of 24 flyable days a month throughout. In 20 years of keeping this record, as seen below, the monthly average of flyable days throughout the summer really hasn't changed...
We are taking bookings for 2017: don't delay if you would like to reserve some dates! Check out our 'Availability' page.
We run Beginner and thermalling courses and fly guiding from March to November!
• Intermediates - Post CPC courses: includes Introduction to the Mountains, Refresher and Thermalling..
• Advanced - Thermalling/XC Courses for those you want to go up. (The best months are in April and May).
• Flying guiding for those who are looking to go further..
• Check out Gillian's blog for the latest news...Blog pages.
From early January to mid March is our winter flying period and we offer fly guiding in the mountains for all pilots wanting to experience the beautiful high flights within the spectacular winter surroundings!. If required we can teach you to Ski launch too! Check out our Winter Flying page.
We offer paragliding tandem flying all the year, especially during the winter. If you are in the area skiing and have friends that would like to take flight over these spectacular mountains, then please give us a call!
We are a BHPA Registered School:
We are a BHPA registered school offering EPC and CPC course with Personal one-to-one Instruction.
Personal one-to-one Instruction is a great way for the beginner pilot to train all the way to CPC as results happen quickly. The training includes all the BHPA tasks plus we add a number of mountain and thermalling tasks into the course, ensuring the new pilot is ready for mountain flying in the high Alps.
On average it takes a new pilot around 8 or 9 days to completes their EPC and CPC ratings and the training concludes with a number of hours of airtime, plenty of soaring and some long thermalling flights.
This form of training means you have your own instructor exclusively and it costs only 220 Euros a day, plus 40 Euros a day for glider/harness rental, if required.
SIGMA 10 - Epic XC The SIGMA 10 continues the story of the legendary SIGMA Series. With an aspect ratio of 6.16 and 66 cells the new ADVANCE XC flagship is positioned at the centre of the EN/LTF C class. The high-tech sportster combines outstanding performance with sporty dynamic and distinguished colours. The best starting point for epic cross country experiences.
Click on the picture to see more details on the New Sigma.
The Advance Epsilon 8 A classic sparkling low/mid EN-B rated glider with the latest technical features, a growth in performance and a plus in handling precision. With the EPSILON 8 you get a good feeling straightaway - ideal for a talented beginner or experienced leisure flyer.
It's a pleasure and lots of fun to fly. It has extremely good handling, in all respects, it climbs well and has a very nice glide, especially into wind! We also like it as it's light and easy to pack down. Click on the picture to see more details on the Epsilon.
Advance Iota: We also fly the Iota their high end 'B' rated and love it. It's perfect for cross country flying and great fun to fly. It's a pretty wing, it's light in weight, inflates well, it's very responsive in the air, it has a wicked glide, especially into wind, and has a good turn of speed.
Here's Gillian launching at Plaine Joux opposite Mont Blanc. Gillian really loves this glider.
Click on the picture to see more details on the Iota!
Advance Alpha 6: We use this excellent EN-A rated wing in the school to train new pilots from day one.
It's easy to launch, handles beautifully in the air, it has very good performance and a light and very effective speed bar. It's a definate for the newly qualified pilot and a great glider for ocassional pilots looking for safety and performance! Click on the picture to see more details of the Alpha 6!
We have kept a record of all the flying days we've had in this area since 1996 and you can see on the chart below the number of flying days doesn't change much each year. The mid winter flying window is around 2-3 hours extending to 11 hours in the spring and summer. Some mid summer days have strong thermic periods where pilots become grounded for a few hours, otherwise the annual flying conditions are very good. It has to be said that not all the days produce fantastic flying conditions but it's not bad here and realistically we fly for about 65% of the year: the chart speaks for itself.