Monday morning in Flims. The signs in the sky indicated another no fly day due over development. The campground I stayed at had wireless Internet and I thought it might be a good idea to cleaned up the van and wash my cloth. After this, I headed back through Davos, Fluele Pass, and the Ofen Pass to Bozano. Time was running out and I had to find a place with Internet by 9:00 pm for our Monday conference call. As mentioned before, in Italy it is kind of hopeless to find a WiFi Internet connection so I headed to Sillian (Austria). There I found a place and stayed at parking lot overnight.
Next morning driving through the town I saw some wind flags of different paragliding manufactures and pulled in. In this parking lot I met Lloyed (from Australia) and his supporter Lewis getting ready for the day. After talking to them we decided to hike up to Sillianer Hütte (1400 elevation hike) and fly from there to Sexten and then hike from there to the 3 Zinnen Hütte (1100 meter elevation hike). On the way up we must have missed a sign and ended up on a dead end. Here it goes again, making your own trail. Anyhow we found the trail and when we got up it started to rain. So we had a soup and after the rain stopped and we where able to take off and glide down to Sexten. For our Canadian paragliding friends, Sexten is the home town from Hugo Tschurtschentaler who lives now in Golden running a B&B with his wife and doing Tandem flights from Mount 7.
Lloyed could not do the hike up to the 3 Zinnen as he has some problems with his calf and needs some rest. So I hiked up with his supper Lewis and we had a great view to the huge rock faces the Dolomite's offer. The best part, besides the huge rock faces, was to see that there are plenty of landing sites up at 2300 meters once you fly in from from the Sillian Huette into the Dolimite's. From the Sillian Huette it rather looks like flying into a ocean huge towering rocks and nothing to land after or within the rocks. Now with this hike things look completely different.
In the evening we drove back to Sillian to the "BlueSky" shop.
This is an amazing place with a lot of happy and friendly people. Susan and Stefan certainly do a very good job to make you feel welcome. I certainly recommend to stop by at their shop before you head into the Dolomite's or when you are flying in the Pustertal. They pretty much carrey all kinds of gliders to test fly and buy and offer a huge stock on harnesses and other flying gear. Besides coffee, beer, a huge amount of information they also offer repair services. Lloyed, Lewis and I gives them a big thumb up. Check out their website at www.BlueSky.at. Thanks again Stefan and Susanne for your hospitality and keep up the good work.
Wednesday morning we drove into the Dolomites via Toblach to Lake Misurina. This is the other side of the 3 Zinnen and from there you can fly and head to the Marmolada via Cortina. From Cortina there are 2 passed you can drive to the Marmalada, one is the Passo di Falzarego and the other is Giau Pass. The Giau Pass is smaller and is the pass you would fly through to the Marmolada. We drove over the Passo di Falzarego to check out this area and from there I headed to the Marmolada.
I got there at 4:00 pm and I decided to do a fast hike up to the 3343 meter summit. I was lucky and could catch a kind of chair-lift (but you have to stand in) up to 2600 meters and from there I hiked over the glacier, a rock face (100 meter elevation secured by steel ropes) and the rest over the glacier again to the summit. It was fantastic and I was rewarded with great views and surrounded by thunderstorms. I only stayed up for 5 minutes and was getting down as fast as possible as I did not want to be coughed in one of the storms. 7:30 I was back down in valley and met up with Lloyed and Lewis. We then drove to Bozano to check out the site Alex Hofer flew the "South Route". It was a very interesting trip with several options. Thanks to Markus from the Roen Stube, we got all the information we needed. Markus even drove up Lloyed to the take off site to go for a flight. I hiked up and watched them take off just before the thunder storm moved in. Lloyed and Lewis just made it down in time and we headed back to Sillian.
I drove back via the Marmalada over the Giau Pass and it really showed very clear how to fly the route.
Today I hiked up about 400 meters from Sillian to have a little flight and then I will head to the Gross Glockner.