Paragliding Guide to : how to fly from Passy


Hello, today I will present you the spot of Passy So Passy here there, in “haute savoie”, in front of the Mont blanc Passy is a big south oriented ridge which flies nicely in thermals when there is little wind In case of northerly wind You are protected by all the ridge which is about 2500m high So you can fly in Passy Under the lee of the north wind if the north wind does not exceed maybe 40kmh For other winds directions Best there isn’t too much of it mostly the westerly wind if there is 15 or more west wind it renders the spot turbulent Better chose another spot in the area which flies better in West (Annecy, Brasses, Mieussy, Grand Bornand…) You have to be carefull about the valley wind in Passy The breeze is coming from Cluses And is compressed on the way It can be super strong until Salanches and the lake And then it widens up So the Valley wind looses intensity Some of it will go in direction of Megève Some in direction of Saint Gervais And the last bit will go into Chamonix Valley To sum up, as far as the lake the valley wind can be strong ! You have the be aware and careful about another phenomenon, the Foen ! If we look from further If there is some pressure difference Between the French/Swiss Valley and the Italian part on the other side If there is a big pressure difference Higher pressure in Italy The pressure will pass over the ridges And come blow into the french & Swiss valleys where we fly Passy is very exposed So best to avoid flying in any Foen conditions. To know if there is Foen conditions Go on this website (Link bellow in description) look at the Foen chart For example today, tuesday There is no Foen because the pressure is equalized But starting tomorow afternoon we will have a huge difference of 14 hPa between Italy and France 14 hPa more in italy So we will have very strong Foen conditions (which start at 4 hPa) So you have to avoid flying in Passy But also probably in most of the area if any. If there is a difference of pressure the other way around What we will call a North Foen which will influence Italy but which won’t influence France But we might have strong north wind And as I was saying it could be flyable in Passy But be aware The north being present over the ridge If you gain too much altitude in the lee You could find yourself in the shear between the lee side and the north So always be cautious when flying in strong winds ! Concerning landing fields There are 3 of them in Passy The first one is the one of Chedde which is the closest of the take off Here it is This big field here And the official landing zone is this part with the packing area being here close to the road Nothing complex about this landing except that there is a slight slope down so if you land facing the road Be careful not to be too long.But still it’s big Concerning parking You can park all along the road Or on the dirt parking on the corner To go Up to take off You can place yourself on the corner try your luck hitchhiking. Maybe a Paragliding school / pro tandem will give you a lift or local pilots unless you are the one taking some fellow pilots 😉 There are also city bus every 2hours for 6€ (see link in description) You can land here all day, but best before 2pm Latter in the day, it can become a bit unconfortable mostly if there is some west wind because the landing is slightly on the lee of that ridge So usualy in the afternoon pilots would rather To Batistock landing field So this Batistock landing which is this huge square fields There are 2huge squares fields in the valley This other one which is really huge So that’s not this one, that s this slightly smaller one The actual landing is here and has the particularity of being in that zone where the breeze eases off So there will be breeze but moderate, 15 to 20 km/h which can make it good ground handling spot btw ! Third landing zone which is the lake landing It is located at the triangular intersection Is best used the morning or late in the season Because starting midday The breeze can be strong to very strong 30 to 40 km/h is commun. This landing is generaly used by people doing hike and fly To Varan’s take off Which is here Where you walk to usualy from this parking a 400m hike up which can allow you to be better placed for the flight you can of course walk all the way from the valley There are also other hike&fly like from the “désert de platé” or “Barmerousse” Concerning time, the drive up takes about 20 min from landing to take off The take off is on the “plateau de Plaine Joux” When you get there, there is a huge parking No probl to park ! (even caravans stay up there) The take off which is here is now covered with a nice carpet Here is a picture Very comfortable take off The take off is at 1350m Which is relatively low So in stable conditions too hot or late in the season it can be quite difficult to extract yourself Those are the good times to do those hike&fly from Varan, Barmerousse or Platé Where you start from way higher so you re directly in the good zone to enjoy some good flying late in the season… At the heart of the good flying season Spring to summer You can usually take off for thermal flights at about midday to 12:30 It is the usual time when it starts to go up. You will need to be concentrated on the first part of the flight if you want to extract yourself After take off, 2 main options Or you go on the right There is usually a thermal to be found 100m on the right Which should allow you some altitude gain Don’t expect to go up to 2000m from this one But maybe 50 to 100m over the take off Same on the left side, there is often a thermal there Keep the other pilots in check to see where they find lift ! Then when you have a little gain over take off You have to aim for this small ridge Which is over the road Where you can again get some altitude for the next step Maybe you can climb 100 or 200m more Maybe 1500 or 1600, but rarely more Exceptionnaly you can get good lift and climb on this spur But which doesn’t work that well unlike what we could think Anyway, main aim is to reach for THOSE cliff ! If you failed to connect and start being low There are some big building on the edge of the plateau You can find lift there from down in the valley That may save your ass So if you re getting low, go there And hope for a good thermal which can make you connect those clifs When the cliffs connected you can start to push West Try to go forward while making some elevation and reach Varan’s take off Or you can also try to gain more altitude in those coombs Which can be a bit turbulent and from there the aim is for, in both cases To join this spur there Or thise one (the 2nd one) To finaly reach cloudbase At 2000m or more from there 2 main options depending on your level and ambition (putting the North back up) You can cross straight over to Saint Gervais les bains To connect with this grassy/foresty ridge Aim over to the powerlines (carefull !) and try to make your way south from there You can push up to Contamine Then be aware That there is a restricted area in jully august Which I will show at the end of the video Then you can come back, try to make it back up and go on the over side Be carefull to this over restricted area here Which will make a 25 to 35km triangle Depending on your exact route Then other option and main interest IMHO After reaching as high as possible 2300m being a minimum good value Depending on the conditions is to cross to the Aravis randge The beautifull Aravis randge which is here You have to cross before 2pm Because these are South Est faces and because of the breeze which will put the area on the lee mostly if you get too low and then have to land near to the lake at 2pm Which is , I can testify, not very fun ! what you have to aim for is this coomb cross from there and try to connect high enough over the tree line Highest is best ! And find some lee side thermal If you don’t find a thermal very fast don’t let yourself go down too much in this area It’s quite a way back to any landing option There are a few power lines… Don’t get too low ! If before leaving you are high enough, you can aim directly to “les 4 têtes” Then there 2 options, the 2 can work Or you aim for the south faces, slightly on the lee until you make it back over the summit Or you can aim for the north side (where is written “Chalet de Doran” ) Take the confluences brought by the breeze To reach maximum elevation over the summit again Then it will depend on the season If it is early in the season, with lots of snow or you have low ceiling You will have to take the small ridge You will aim to this ridge here You will find a thermal from this local summit and then you will reach Croisé bolet where you actually have a take off (H&F) Where you usaly can find good thermals that will allow you to go further on the small ridge in the direction of Albertville The other option latter in the season is to be able to connect the main ridge of the Aravis You will need at least 2500m ceilings To travel it comfortably And when you re on it, well…it’s the highway ! straight straight straight… until the “Col des Aravis” There, mostly if you have a Northerly wind you will experience a ventury effect a bit weird to deal with sometimes you can just go straight over sometimes you will need to go back to the small ridge because you re being flushed away Or if you are quite late You can opt to switch to the North west faces Then, we are already quite far ! a few Km under the belt Just a special trick if you want to reach Annecy The best way to do that from there to join Sullens montain and from there aim to of of the two south facing ridge On the east side of “la tournette” And mannage a good altitude gain To be able to fly over la Tournette Or if the ceiling is too low, Fly over this pass and then this pass To reach le Lanfonnet Last and important points concerning the aerian restrictions you have to be aware of this restricted area which is right behind and east of the take off of Passy plaine joux’s take off It is a natural zone Here you have the “hole” in the cliff of the “desert de platé” and the zone starts right after all this zone is restricted at 300m from the ground. on the other side As I was saying when speaking about XC We have starting Contamine On all the western faces, and all the western faces of the Mont blanc a fully restricted zone which is closed in Jully and august you re not allowed to fly in this zone at any altitude And in this one more than 300m ground Please respect the reglementation That is all for this first tutorial I hope you liked it, and if it did I will make other videos on other spots I know of !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *