South-westerly

A gentle flow from directions between west and south tends to bring the most pleasant flying conditions for Fiesch, provided that it isn’t associated with föhn. The chart below was associated with plenty of good flights from Fiesch that day, but the south overpressure of nearly 4HPa was borderline.bracka20130802In this situation, the Grimselschlange is suppressed, and progress to the east assisted, but the wind in the main Rhône valley beyond Brig can be funnelled through at 20-30km/hr up to 2400m, presenting an almost impenetrable barrier for paragliders. Forget about triangles in these conditions; the name of the game is free distance, and the classic flight is to Chur, 120km to the east. If you’re really determined, in the right conditions it’s possible to fly to Austria, but remember to pack a toothbrush and bring some euros, because you won’t then make it back to Fiesch under your own steam until the next day.

Flight in south-westerly conditions

Flight in south-westerly conditions (click here for Doarama visualisation, here for XContest details)

My description of my flight that day reflects the narrow dividing line between triumph and disaster in a south-westerly!