I crossed the main chain of the Alps!!!
Gerolf, Anton and Artur too :)
Finally! When we didn't expect much from the weather conditions (the forecast promised thunderstorms again) and therefore were not really ambitious, all of a sudden the ceiling was 3100-3400 meters, wind was from South-West and there were no thunderstorms on the course line, only to the side. It only took a second of thought before we all headed out to the Gastein valley on the other side of the main Alpine chain.
And...what can I say. There is almost nothing as great as flying over those majestic mountains.
Last year I was intimidated and stressed flying adjacent to the main Alpine chain. I was afraid I wouldn't find next thermal and get stuck in those narrow valleys without landings. Funny how things change. Studying the mountains in Google Earth and in actual flights, working on low-save skills, watching how easy Gerolf flies very low and close to the rocks finally made me so confident with those peaks, plateaus and glaciers, that I was really enjoying flying close to the rocky slopes, finding the next light thermal and making it over this ridge and that peak and finally over the main chain.
Now it doesn't seem so hard anymore. After you made a new step and passed another yardstick it always seems to be not so hard anymore, right? But now I want more:) Flying over the highest peaks, exploring the most scenic mountains and passes from the air - everything is still ahead:)!
Anton near Ankogel
Gerolf crossing the main chain
I am just before the crossing
We all flew independently. We had a radio contact, but everyone wanted to fly it in his own way:) Lukas flew to the main chain, followed the main ridge for a while and then came back to Greifenburg. Anton went to the East and flew close to Ankogel. Gerolf, Artur and I crossed the main ridge in pretty much the same place, but after that Gerolf flew to the west to do some speedgliding over a nice grassy slope.
Here I am after the great flight, telling stories about how I was high and then low and then high again:)
Artur picked a field for landing, and it turned out to be an official landing field of the local hang gliding club:) Little club house had not only a very nice bathroom, but also fridge with drinks and piece of paper with the prices. That's putting a lot of faith in a pilots' honesty:)! We took the drinks and left the money. Thanks, Dorfgasteiner Thermikgeier!
And the biggest thanks to Gerolf for flying with us and showing us the beauty of Alpine mountains!