Friday, August 19, 2011

Flying the Dolomites - Incredible!

Carl, Jamie, Jem and I had 2 days flying in the Dolomites, launching from Col Rodella. Sadly, I lost my GoPro, so I have no footage of the most amazing flight I've ever done. I put it some pics I grabbed from the net. Here's the launch site:

Carl and I set up the plan to try to fly to the 3 Zinnen. After a dusty on take-off, we all were a bit impressed with the launch conditions and were expecting turbulent thermals. Indeed, my first thermal was quite rough, but once I got higher, things became nicer. Jem, Jamie and Carl launched as well and Carl got up from pretty low on Sella. I was a bit further and decided to join him there. That was our first real Dolomites experience. The question really is how close you dare to turn next to the rock face. The first time you fly towards it, it really scares you. But the thermals are glued to the rock face, so you go for it a bit more every time. What an impressive view! Here's a pic of the south face of Sella. We were right next to it:

Once we got cloud base, we flew on to Piz Boe, the highest point of Sella, which was a very busy place. Loads of tourists there. The valley leading to Col di Lana wasn't inviting (no nice landing places), but we went anyway. The climbs were strong and we headed in the direction of Cortina d'Ampezzo. But, when it was clear that Drei Zinnen was a bad choice, nothing but forest leading there, we turned around. The view there was incredible (Tofana, Drei Zinnen, Civetta). We headed for Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites, which still has a little glacier. Cloud base was just high enough to reach the top of it, so we played around a little, reaching cloud base, going for the top with the glacier, going back to the climb and going over the top again. What an experience!
After that, we flew over Langkofel and Rosengarten. Langkofel was special as well, climbing next to it and then we you reach the ridge height and start to soar it, you only see rock pinacles pointing right at you. No point in having a reserve chute there...
I will return to the Dolomites. This was my biggest flying experience until now!


  1. welcome in the dolomites, great adventure, I know that.........