As tempting as it is to jump to the present, I won’t. I’ll tell the story from the beginning…
Once upon a time, a long two weeks ago, we arrived in Annecy. Sleep deprived and hungry, we were in no state for our first day of flying. This day was only ever intended to be used to get a feel for the place so we were still on track.
We met up with Gareth and Stu, and were later met by Pete and Steve Marks. We set up camp and agreed on Le Grand-Bornand as our first goal. I say agreed, but it may be more appropriate to say that nobody disagreed.
Not wanting to wear ourselves out too soon, we cauch a shuttle to launch. One by one, we all followed Pete. As is often the case, he abandoned us, overflew our goal and landed two thirds of the way to Chamonix.
Meanwhile, Mel and I were left battling difficult conditions in a horribly crowded sky. About a hundred pg’s, 5 hg’s and a swift. Conditions down low were stable, but up high over developing.
Failing to get high, we decided to take a punt and slide off the end of the ridge. It was a long shot and it didn’t work! At least we escaped the chaos.
The “slide” was an entertaining welcome (for Mel) into flushings and european valley winds. Something we would become accustomed to.
In high hopes, still cursing at the others, we hiked to Feverges for an ice cream and Fanta.
By this stage we’d heard Gareth and Stu were in the bomb out. Both had got up, but not enough to go over the top. They were hunting us down in their cars, hell bent on making us cheat. It wasn’t too hard to convince us that we hadn’t really started and off we went to a launch overlooking Marlens, about 6km away as the crow flies. We set up camp in the forest behind launch, convinced that the cars would become stranded on day 2.