Freesteel Blog » Back to Austria

Back to Austria

Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at 7:34 am Written by:

I could spend ages reminiscing about the last three days of flying, but then I wouldn’t get any work done. I do now have a dozen gigabytes of video on the disk to be archived. Maybe it is something I will watch in real-time on a big screen when I am old and crumbly.

Here’s a nice edited video of Flight#2. More interesting than most as it was often close to terrain.

After this I walked back up the hill on foot to get the car. It took 2 hours.

Here are a few shots from Flight#1.
I waited on the take-off for about an hour for the tail-wind to abate. (Note the green flag by the restaurant. Also how everyone parks in front of the ramp.)

I chose the exact right moment because I reached cloudbase in less than 8 minutes.

Then headed over to Grundlesee lake where I was stuck for an hour trying to get up high on the one part of the mountain that always works, according to the locals. It repeatedly didn’t, so I crossed the lake anyway, and then things got better. abovegrundlesee
I was able to hop from cloud to cloud for the first time in my experience. (The trick is to spot where they are before you hit base and they are lost in the layer.) The south side of the valley with dark with something, including above the Grimming, which I got level with, but could not get above. (The video batteries had long since expired by now: usually a sign of a nice long flight.)

I bombed out in the biggest field near Bad Mittendorf, which turned out to be an unofficial landing field (there was a handy windsock on this shed). The shed owner showed up and started mowing his little patch of grass, even though I don’t think it really needed it. After a post-flight nap, I strolled into town in search of the police station. I had a plan.

Because the CUCC caving expo isn’t good enough on its own, Becka is going on a second much harder caving expedition in the middle of it. (See photo above of a noticeboard about the expedition which I found on a wall by the church. I’ve circled the photo of Becka taken last summer.) This other expedition is organized by an Austrian caver who has a job as a policeman. The Austrian cavers must have beer, but they can’t carry it up the mountain along with all their other stuff (rope, camping equipment, lights, helmets…), so they order a helicopter. (Our top-camp is pleased to have rain water.) I knew Becka was coming by later that evening to drop some stuff off for the helicopter. This is the first and only time I have gotten a retrieve from her and it will probably be deemed to have cost me the full brownie point quota, even though it was done at no inconvenience whatsoever and was just another crazy story you can’t believe is true.

Flight#3 was probably a mistake as there were thunderstorms in the area. I could see them filling the valley in the distance. I decided I was being incredibly stupid, and spiraled down, barely landing without crashing in very gusty conditions.
Take-off had been delayed by waiting for this row of motorbikes to bugger off. Everyone parks in front of the ramp these days in the way that they don’t in front of a drive-way.

Anyways, must get to work as it looks like an off-day. So much stuff to do.

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