X-Rid’Air Team: 1001 Alpine Kilometers
The X Rid’Air Team Strikes Again: Vol Bivouac for 1001 Alpine Kilometers!Alex Jofresa, Martin Bonis, and Fred Pieri, three young pilots from the French Alps (all aged 20), completed another amazing Vol Bivouac Adventure in 2008. This adventure was not their first: In 2007 the trio set off to the mountains of Kirghizstan, where they flew along the Tien Shen range for several weeks with the Geo II.
This year, Alex, Martin, and Fred decided to stay a little closer to home, and traverse the Alps in their entirety, from Slovenia all the way through Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France, over a period of 37 days of vol-bivouac flying. This time, the team chose the new Addict 2 to get them through their long journey. In their words:
We have just finished our trip ‘1001 Alpine Kilometers’. Thirty Seven days of extraordinary vol-biv flying, in all of the elements. It was an unforgettable trip!
Flying Highlights: In the beginning, we managed to leave Slovenia in one single XC flight. Also, we had amazing flights in the Austrian valleys and close to the Swiss glaciers, with the Eiger in the background, the Cervin, the Aletsch glacier, or also the Rhones, where we flew 200m from the ground. Then came the thermals of the red granite spires of the Mont Blanc Massif. And to finish, the Southern Alps during which we flew at an altitude of over 4000m with a high point of 4130m close to the Ecrins [a wild and famous mountain range near Briancon, France].
While on foot, we climbed 3000m peaks to arrive in the south of Austria, hiked in a heat wave near the Mediterranean Sea, and traveled along superb paths through the Slovenian forests and over the prairies of the northern Alps.
It wasn’t all easy, and every day presented new challenges and problems to solve. The adventure was high, and our group became even closer, leaning on each other in the hardest moments and solving issues with a smile and a joke.
And the people were wonderful. It is often difficult to leave new friends without heartbreak. We were always surprised and delighted by the warm welcome we received by people everywhere.
Finally, this Alpine massive, which we thought we knew well, surprised us with its splendor and diversity. Obviously after and adventure like this we are all 3 dreaming of discovering other mountain ranges in the same manner… till next time!
The Xrid’air Team:
Fred, Jojo and Martin