Father-Son Team Circles the Summit of the Matterhorn
Young pilot, Basile Marclay, recently had an epic flight with his father, Vincent, and friends in Switzerland, around the summit of the Matterhorn. This was during the now famous Alpine heatwave of 2012, when over 100 pilots climbed above the summit of the Mt Blanc and more than 50 top-landed there (including another epic family flight, described here). Basile reports on one of his best days yet, in his own words:
“Sunday 19 August 2012: With scorching temperatures across the alps, we are off to the Breya above Champex with the intention to fly to the summit of Mont Blanc. My father, two friends and I, as well as dozens of other paragliders, attempt to decipher the conditions, which are not nearly as good as were forecast. After a long wait and a little reflection, we decided to fly to the Grand Combin (The three pilots accompanying me that day having already completed the Tour du Mont Blanc). We took off around 14:00, flew in the direction of Catogne, then transitioned to Combins where excellent thermals took us to an altitude of 5200m! From there, we followed the path of the Haute Route (between Chamonix-Zermatt), from where we could see the characteristic silhouette of the Matterhorn. My Ozone Geo 3 behaved perfectly in this universe of thermals, glaciers, and breathtaking cliffs and also during the long glide to reach the south face of the Matterhorn. After a few stressful minutes, we found a nice strong thermal and let out a euphoric cry as we passed the peak of this mythical mountain. Following this high point, we spent much time in thermals above 4000m and enjoyed a long glide along the Val d’Anniviers before landing in the Rhone valley after 17:30. It was a unique and memorable flight in the heart of the Swiss Alps.”
Congrats to Basile and Vincent both, and thanks so much for Flying Ozone! What an epic day!