Flying in winter: 4 sites and preparation tips

  • Published
  • Posted in Voler
  • Updated
  • 7 mins read
  • Post category:Flying
  • Auteur/autrice de la publication :

Gone are the days of flying in shorts and a T-shirt, of dreaming of endless flights at sunset. Make way for the whitewashed scenery and tranquillity of winter.

Here are a few websites and tips for flying in winter and making the most of it.

Where to fly in winter?

Paragliding in winter is not just about the weather. Flying hours are often limited due to the shorter days, and every minute of flying counts. So it's important to choose the right site to make the most of it.

Le Grand-Bornand:

One of the best spots in the region for winter flying, Mont Lachat offers excellent opportunities for both beginners and advanced flyers, against the magnificent backdrop of the Grand Bornand and Aravis mountains.

6565cbb4eb3868fd3efdde60

The take-off is at the summit of Mont Lachat, at an altitude of 2100 metres. The main orientation is S-W, facing the valley breeze, as N-E take-off is not permitted in winter. Access is via the Rosay gondola (10 mins), then the Lachat chairlift (7 mins).

The Potais landing is in the Bouchet valley. The approach is by PTU left hand in a rising breeze and right hand in a falling breeze. Tailwind on the tree side and watch out for the chalets on the final leg! You can easily make a 15-minute flight.

Return to the village and the cable car by shuttle bus or by hitchhiking.

Link to club page :  Le Grand Bornand

Les Saisies :

A lovely spot between the Beaufortain and Aravis mountains, with magnificent views of the Mont Blanc massif.

The take-off from Mont Bisanne is on the south side. The lift leaves from the village and it's a 100m walk to the top.

L'landing s'carries out in the valley à Beaufort on Doronthis which offer 20/25 minutes about flight. Available at about visit in bottom from pistes on the side about the rise mechanics but the flight is many more short 5/7 minutes.

Link to club page :  seizures

Chamonix :

A playground for all mountain sports Chamonix is a popular venue for hang-gliding and winter acrobatics.

Th

The Plan Praz take-off point, accessed by the Chamonix-Plan Praz gondola, faces south and north-east, and is an interesting site as it offers a 1000m vertical drop and an incredible view of the high mountains of the valley.

The Bois du Bouchet landing is 500m on the left after the sports centre (north of the town centre).
Access: by car, from Chamonix. At the Mont-Blanc roundabout, head towards Argentière.

Link to website page : Chamonix

Planfait :

Close to Annecy, this free-flight site at an altitude of 960m has been developed for the enjoyment of paragliders.

1 7

The take-off is easily accessible:
By car Follow the road to the Col de la Forclaz, then once you reach Vérel, turn left towards the AcroAventure park. You'll arrive at a natural site in the middle of the forest, under the protective eye of the Dents de Lanfon.
There's a quiet car park, a refreshment bar, a preparation area for your equipment and an equipped take-off area (carpet, windsocks, etc.), so all you have to do is take off!
A feet For the more sporty, there's a path from the landing stage that takes you there in around 35 minutes. Drop in at the shop and we'll show you the way....

 

Link to website page :  Planfait

So we discovered 4 sites that all offer excellent conditions for winter flying. But before we take off, we're going to go over one important point together: Preparation!

 How do you prepare?

Winter paragliding enthusiasts know that preparation is key. Thick thermal suits, insulated gloves and face protection are all essential for coping with the freezing temperatures at altitude.

Hands:

The most exposed area, the one that cools the fastest and yet one of the most important, is the link with our paraglider.

Who hasn't cut short a flight because their hands were too cold, and who hasn't experienced the pain that ensues on landing when they warm up?

He must then s'equip about warm gloves and Windstopper, but many about drivers n'like not the big gloves. En effect, the plug in hand from orders and the loss about sensations can be from problems.

He exists several solutions to power go to from gloves more ends (but always hot and windstopper, not about gloves d'summer) and keep the hands at hot :

Sleeves They can be placed over the controls and gloves, so you can fly inside the sleeve, keeping your hands warm and protected from the wind. But they're not very practical, and he'll get used to them during the pre-flight and the flight.

-Lheaters are placed inside the gloves and release heat that counteracts the effect of the wind and the cooling of the gloves. Quite practical and effective, but a pair of heaters per flight can quickly become expensive and it's not the most environmentally-friendly solution.

Heated gloves are an interesting solution for riders who aren't bothered by bulky gloves. The resistor heats the inside of the glove. Just remember to charge them before each flight.

Find our gloves and sleeves in our shop

All Gloves and Sleeves products

 

The face:

The effect of cold on the face is not pleasant when flying. To make sure you're as protected as possible and get the most out of your flight, we advise you to wear a Buff or even a balaclava to protect your head under the helmet, and especially your neck, mouth and nose for those who are more sensitive to the cold.

All Necklaces

To protect your eyes, a ski mask can be a good solution. It offers good protection against wind and sunlight.

There are also helmets with visors or full-face helmets.

 

The body :

To stay warm, you need to be able to retain and convert your body's natural heat. To do this, you need to wear clothing that is breathable but also provides good insulation. Our advice is to follow the 3-layer rule.

The first layer must act as a second skin, it must be breathable and wick away moisture from perspiration to stay dry.

The second layer is thermal protection and should allow you to keep in all the heat.

The third layer protects you from the elements, in our case the wind.

You can also put a first layer under your trousers 😉

To fly in winter in low temperature conditions, but also in spring when we climb to higher altitudes, we can choose to fly in a cocoon, which offers extra comfort and protection against the cold air and relative wind. To find out more about this type of harness, we recommend that you come and see us in the shop to discuss it with us.

Finally, paragliding is a sport that can be practised all year round, offering different sensations and practices. We live in a region where flying in winter is a real pleasure. It would be a shame to miss out on these moments suspended in the calm of winter. See you on a snowy take-off.

 

 


About the author :

Mika Di Persio

Mika welcomes you to the shop and advises you on courses, flights and equipment. Like the rest of the team, he's passionate about paragliding, knows our range of equipment inside out and is also our 'media-man'. You'll find his superb photos on this website as well as on our Facebook and Instagram pages. He covers our events like the 'Go Frêtes', and follows our instructors on flights or courses to take pictures.

All blog posts