St Andre Les Alpes 2012          

DATES:
Late September 2012

 

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XC Adventure Specialists

                                                                                                                     

Perfect venue, perfect accommodation, ...and perfect alpine flying conditions.

We can't wait for this trip to start. Our accommodation is quite simply perfect.  "A little piece of heaven" is certainly an ambitious catch phrase, but in our opinion it's completely justified.  Not only can we land in the garden to be greeted by a cold beer, but the quality of our holiday property is quite simply exquisite.  Even without the guiding, the airport transfers, the retrieves, the debriefs and full breakfast, the price of this trip would justify the quality of accommodation alone.   Its the perfect place to relax, sleep well, soak up the sun and fill your lungs with fresh mountain air, to unwind and prepare for the next day of full fat XC mountain flying.  Our motto at Passion Paragliding's is "the best destinations at the best time of year".  Late September and early October in St Andre is ideal and this trip represents the perfect autumn getaway for any pilot looking to improve their XC and thermalling skills.  If you want to score some exceptional flying experiences in an ideal chilled-out learning environment, welcome aboard Passion Paragliding's St Andre 2012 XC Mountain Trip!

 

The flying
To many XC and competition pilots, St Andre represents the ultimate Mountain XC destination.  Indeed, "Why fly anywhere else?" seems to sum up many a seasoned pilots' opinion.  Its no coincidence for example that in recent years it has become the most successful competition venue for both the British Open, and French Open competitions.  Reliable conditions, lack of rainy days and infinite of XC options in all directions make St Andre the ideal XC training ground.

In addition, come late September early October, whilst the northern alps have "shut-down" and provide either conditions that are too stable or quite often wet and "autumnal", St Andre is still pumping with lots of thermals and XC possibilities.  And although, sometimes famed for its "strong" conditions in early summer, by September-time  its much less scary and starts to entice even the more wary pilots.

Whilst our focus will be on flying the St Andre flying arena, the reality of the Southern Alps is that whilst its generally considerably drier (and warmer!) than the northern alps it can occasionally suffer from the Mistral Wind, a northerly wind that if strong can render St Andre un-flyable.   We wanted to have that base covered so we're ideally placed to escape to what are arguably the two most reliable sites in Europe.  To the north, the site of St Vincent Les Forts, and to the south the Ozone testing ground of Gourdon.  These two sites offer more flyable conditions than anywhere in France and being well protected from strong winds they compliment St Andre beautifully.  Our goal is to offer you as much safe flying as possible.

The guiding
Guiding comes in many forms, from the simple (“There’s the take-off. Hope to see you later!”), through to the superior air-to-air radio-assisted guiding.  Whilst we believe there is room for most types of guiding, at Passion we aim to give you the highest quality service.  We know the flying sites and understand the flying conditions intricately.  Guiding will include full site briefings and task-focussed flight plans to suit every ability level.  We will be in the air with you to give you tips and pointers to help you maximise your flying experience and keep you up in the air for as long as possible, and of course there's a full retrieval service however far you go!
 

The debrief
Another huge advantage of staying in "heaven" is that we have the perfect debrief arena: a cinema room where we can share stories of the day, watch entertaining video clips filmed during the flying day and even compare track -logs.  Our "après-vol" debrief is the prefect opportunity for pilots to learn from their flying experience, ask questions about the day and thereby develop their understanding and build confidence.  Whether you're a seasoned XC pilot or you're grappling with your first thermals, the cinema debrief room will provide the ideal opportunity for you to hone your skills, refine your piloting instincts and XC decision making skills and improve your flying knowledge ready for the next day.

Small group size
On this trip we look after a maximum pilot number of 7 pilots so we can give you the best service.  Our lead guide and world record holder Toby Colombé will look after you and do everything to get you to the right site at the right time.  He'll be there on launch to brief you on conditions, to set you tasks appropriate to your level and ability.  He'll also be up there flying with you in the air, offering advice to help you get the very best out of each and every day.
 

Our retrieve service
We also have a fully dedicated retrieve driver so whilst Toby is up in the air with you, our dedicated retrieve driver is always on-hand to pick you up and ferry you home, no matter how far you fly.  Our retrieve system is simple and very effective: having landed simply text your GPS coordinates to our retrieve driver, and he will magically appear (ably assisted by a TOM-TOM unit!) to whisk you off for another go (conditions permitting) or get you home at the end of the day in good time for that all important sunset beer.  We take all the hassle out of landing-out.  No GPS?  No problem.  We'll work it out the old fashioned way, maps and intuition, or we'll even lend you a GPS if you like.  No matter how far you fly or wherever you land, your comfort and fast retrieve is our priority.

The accommodation
Check out full details of our beautiful base here.

The "après-vol" (post flight) experience
We have the perfect location for evening bbqs and we're also just a short walk from the centre of St Andre where there's a selection of restaurants to suit every taste preference.  A supermarket is also on hand if you choose to make use of the very plush self-catering options available.

Alternative Activities
It goes without saying that our number one priority is paragliding.  We will do whatever it takes to get you as much safe flying as possible and by basing ourselves in St Andre we've got every chance of flying every day.  However, if we can't fly,  St Andre is the prefect venue for "alternative" activities.  Not only are we based right next to the beautiful St Andre lake, but with the Mediterranean no more than 2 hours away, and surrounded by huge scenic mountains the scope for non-flying activities is huge: head off mountain biking, tour the biggest gorges in Europe, go boating, or enjoy the peace and quite with a good book (and a bottle of wine?).  The choice is yours.

Dates

In keeping with our philosophy of "the best destinations at the best time of year", we operate this trip at the best time to fly XC in the Southern Alps.  For many local pilots late September and early October really is the "sweet-spot"   We also set a maximum pilot number of 7 pilots per week to give you the best possible service.

          ST Andre Les Alpes 1         Late September 2012

          ST Andre Les Alpes 2         Late September 2012

Price

Price for the week is £545 and includes:

 

Not included are return flights to Nice, paragliding insurance, lunchtime and evening meal and any non-flying activities.


Flights

We are operating free airport pick-up from Nice airport for flights arriving in the early afternoon  (please check with us first).   Also included is our airport drop-off on the morning at the end of the week.  The following links might help you find the best flight for you:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please wait until your place has been confirmed before booking your flights.

                                    

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