2002 Gliding Expedition
1st July 2002: Mollis
(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.
flying Italian style.
the footsteps of giants”
to Samedan Switzerland
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.