June 25, 2012

Vol Libre

Afternoon flight over the Bosson Glacier. Dylan Taylor Photo

It's not everyday that you get passed mid-air by a guy in a big white wing suit. But on my third flight of the day yesterday, I heard a swoosh, looked out and saw a big white human squirrel about 200 feet in front of me, tracking out into the Chamonix Valley. Wow. I didn't see the launch, but I guess he jumped from the Brevent. I didn't see the landing either so I imagine he hung a hard right and cruised down valley and might still be flying.

Since getting out here at the end of May, I've been spending almost all my free time practicing Vol Libre at the valley's spots. There's been a lot of sled rides, but it's still pretty engaging for a rookie pilot - especially in the stronger afternoon conditions! I've gotten SERVED a few times trying to launch in conditions beyond my skill level and I can say that there's nothing quite like getting dragged around by a giant piece of space-age fabric while hundreds of people watch in disbelief from the Aiguille Du Midi. Seriously, everyone should experience this at least once per lifetime.

Climbers on the summit of the Mont Blanc Du Tacul. Mt. Blanc in the distance.

Looking out at the Mont Blanc Massif.

Dylan got real close for this shot. 

Ian C - a good friend from the college years - made an appearance in Chamonix for a few days!

 Ian and I rallied a day trip to Annecy and managed 3 fun flights. I was fortunate enough to accomplish my first landing in a random farmers field. Of course, I was warned that this could happen if I strayed in back of the launch without significant height, but you know - what is good advice if you actually listen to it?  

DDT cruising downtown Chamonix.

Wish I could say that I took this in flight.

This one too.

Looking down at the Chamonix Valley.

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