Shortly after, we headed south, off the 'main drag' and at right angles to the spine of the Austrian Alps. It was still mostly cloudy with occasional sunny patches and we flew fairly conservatively in the general direction of Klagenfurt. The compensation was that as soon as we left the main soaring route we were on our own again.
Over the Nordkette (A) about to head South Eastwards across the Inn valley
The main ridge ahead, the cloud much lower on the South side and some showers to contend with.
River Inn west from Innsbruck
The general agreement at the Club in the morning was that another good day was in the offing, with conditions suitable for a flight to Vienna and back. We decided to try this and then land somewhere in the Klagenfurt/Graz area.
We took a 4000' tow onto the Seefeld plateau and released at 1115. (We found out later this was a wallet-shredding 100Euros, c. £75 at the time.) It took about half an hour of fiddling to get to 10,000' and after that we set off westwards along the back of the Nordkette. Innsbruck Radar gave us a clearance to cross to the south side of the valley and after a climb there we headed towards the Gerlos Pass.
Tired of scratching in poor lift we turned back about 20Km beyond Trieben. The spreadout had become extensive and thermals were getting pretty rare. It wasn't until arriving back on the southern flank of the Dachstein, 80Km further on, that it became possible to get up to cloudbase at 10,000'.
Conditions were very good going east and we covered about 130Km in the next hour. Most of the gliders in Austria appeared to be flying in this area and a lot of our effort went into spotting and avoiding other pilots. We passed the Dunstable mob in the traffic somewhere.
We flew over the Dachstein (C), an odd mountain that is really a 7000' plateau, 20Km by 10Km. We found good energy over the middle of it, which wasn't expected but welcome. Pressing further east, beyond Niederoblarn, there was quite a bit of spreadout and the thermals became tricky and much weaker.
Over the Dachstein
Leaving the Dachstein heading East, the distinctive "Grimming" just visible in the distance
The sinister looking mountains of the Juliana Alps (D) in Slovenia
After ending up near Nötsch we decided that it would make a good destination. We inspected the local area and crossed over into Slovenia to look at the mountains near Bovec. We landed just after six, having flown over 600Km and were soon drinking the local beer outside the Clubhouse. Roger arrived a little later with the trailer and news that the car problem had returned. We adjourned to a local hotel and resolved that Robin would take the car to a main dealer in Klagenfurt the next day and stand over them until they fixed it properly. Beer then flowed and we made free with the schnitzel.
Nötsch airfield, aligned left/right in the centre of the picture
Over Mayrhofen (B) with the Gerlos Pass in the distance to the East of us