Euro 2002 Gliding Expedition

Monday 1st July 2002: Mollis to Samedan


Kurt Baumgartner (left) of the Mollis gliding club, gave us a lot of help and advice on the flight we were about to make.

Later, we launched the gliders which flew east across the mountains to our next destination, Samedan. This flight included a climb to 17,000 ft. in wave, enabling us to overfly the Piz Bernina at 13,284 ft.

Rendezvous of our ASH (Robin and Roger) and the three trailer convoy on the summit of the Julia Pass. The pass descends to St. Moritz in the Engadine valley.

The Duo (Ed and Andrea) rock polishing the flanks of Mt. Bernina, just South of Samedan.

Tom and Dave flew YM into Bad Ragaz (the nearest airfield to Lichtenstein), a small airfield with an interesting approach!

13 arrives at Samedan after a spectacular flight.

Swiss efficiency strikes again.


Describing mountain flying Italian style.



“In the footsteps of giants”

Mollis to Samedan Switzerland

Weather prospects favour a move south from Mollis to Samedan. Military exercises at Mollis will prevent flying for the afternoon anyway so Samedan, at 5600’ asl, Europes’ highest civil airfield is the destination. The ASH and Duo take high tows to the south and release over a scree slope to step up through some fierce rotor into wave near Elm, behind Mt. Tödi. A climb to 17,000’ allows a comfortable and spectacular glide over 5/8 cloud at Thusis to look at the Piz Bernina (13,284’) up close, and peer down the Majola valley into Italy. We made visual contact with the trailers as they came over the top of the Julia Pass after a hard climb and guided them through St Moritz before landing at 18:30.

Samedan lies close to the places where Kit Nicholson, designer of our clubhouse at Dunstable, and Donald Grieg, his colleague from the London Gliding Club, both died within hours of each other, flying in the 1948 World Championships, so the area has a special poignancy for Dunstable pilots.