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LARAGNE (CHABRE)

Probably one of the most well known sites in the Alpes des Haute Provence. The Chabre is a ridge 1350m high and about 25k long. Vehicular access is not a problem as a partly metalled road goes to the two take off points from the bottom of the mountain. Care should however be taken as the non-metalled parts can be rough. Launch points face both North and South, the prevailing norm being South, so usually the Chabre is an excellent place to fly thermals. Frequently, the cloudbase is 3000-4000m so its great for X-C, which is flown most days by locally based flyers. Landing areas for Paragliders and Hang gliders are available both on the South and North of the mountain, but most people prefer landing at the campsite in the town of Laragne. Conditions are seldom "turbulent" and the area has a reputation as a reliable place for XC flying. Local services include shops, supermarkets, garages, restaurants, bars, disco's, etc.

Chabre from 2500m

Alpine Paragliding (APE C144) are a BHPA Paragliding School operating locally and we can offer special rates for pre-booked uplift in our LWB Landrover which is also fully equipped to carry hang-gliders. We also provide accommodation and transport to not only our own course members but other visiting pilots.

(Contact us for details Tel 07092-283020 in UK or 0033-686352232 French Mobile).

Site Pro's

Good thermals, easy access, excellent XC potential and friendly atmosphere make it a good place for both experienced and lower airtime pilots. The weather is generally reliable and Laragne is not expensive when compared to other areas.

Site Con's

Its hard to fault the site and the area. It can sometimes be crowded at weekends in the height of the season.

Aspres sur Buëch

One of the Jewels of the area. 1400m high this site faces South, and can take SE or SW also. Access is by unmetalled track and it is rough, but worth the trip. Care is needed to keep your sump intact. The top is more or less flat so top landings are OK for both hang and paragliders. Produces good to strongish thermals though seldom "turbulent", it's a good place for XCs as it starts to work early, from 10.30 onward normally. Also good for low airtime pilots as the bottom landing areas are huge and the approach is easy. Local services are limited and most people would use Laragne as a base, though there is a campsite in Aspres itself. There is a sporadic navette though it is unreliable and you would probably need your own transport to get to launch.

Aspres

Site Pro's

Nice user friendly site, good thermals, top landing and huge bottom landing fields. Good for both experienced and lower airtime pilots.

Site Con's

No reliable navette, can get strong during afternoon in July-August. The road up to the top is a pain in the ar**.

St Vincent les Forts

This is not only the local "thank God" site, (it is usually flyable, even during the Mistral) but also an excellent site in its own right. With a metalled road going right up to launch and a restaurant 50m away the place is well set up. Thermals can be strong but not generally violent and it is usually possible to fly up onto the Dormillouse, which is the key to XC from St Vincent. From the Dormillouse, St André les Alpes to the South and Briancon to the North give flights of over 50k There is no navette, most people using their own cars to access take off. Landing fields are a bit variable, early in the season the long wide beach gives an easy touchdown and 2002 saw the introduction of a small landing field surrounded by trees close to the beach (see lacal site rules for latest details).

St Vincent

When the water level is high (May - September) there is sometimes a problem with bottom landings on the beach and you should ask the local pilots which field is in use. Most people far prefer to top land .

Site Pro's

Easy access, good thermals and reliability, even during the Mistral, makes this site a must. Its spectacular setting adds to the "big site" feeling.

Site Con's

Landing areas sometimes limited and small take-off area.

Tranion, St Geniez

Tranion, near St Geniez, is one of the lesser used sites in the area. In many ways this is a great pity as it is an excellent place for lower airtime pilots. The take off is gentle and forgiving and in normal conditions the cliffs give straightforward and often dynamic soaring in the mornings. Afternoon, brings a steady increase in the strength of the thermic activity and it is very reasonable to go XC from Tranion. The local sailplane clubs use the mountain as a handy dropping off point because of its reliability. It takes South East through to South West.

St Geniez

Site Pro's

Easy vehicular access to take off. Not intimidating, as it is little larger than many British sites so friendly for lower airtime pilots. Usually deserted.

Site Con's

It's a bit out of the way and the landing field can be awkward when it gets thermic.

St André les Alpes

Another famous site, well known for high altitude, long distance flying. Much beloved by serious XC pilots, St André has unnerved more than one "big name" in recent years. Conditions here can be strong, with a high cloudbase over the mountains. The hill takes S, SW and SE winds and is dangerous in strong Northerly winds. Generally speaking the XC flying here is committing and not really a good place to go unless you are happy in rough air. The drive to take-off is metalled road but narrow, very narrow so beware.

Flying at St Andre

There is a navette run by the local School, and the cost is 6 Euros. The town is a lively spot in the evenings frequently with live bands playing in the main square

Site Pro's

Fabulous for long XCs, spectacular mountain flying, high cloudbase, great evening flying on restitution thermals and good entertainment.

Site Con's

Strong, committing flying. Sometimes lumpy.

More local sites going online soon.


Very soon you'll be flying
Excellent training sites
We have a number of great sites covering all wind directions to ensure your rapid progress
Each offer spectacular flying
We have 4 beginner training sites, 3 of which are private, used only by us for training our students. Additinally, we have use of some of France's best known thermalling and XC launch sites offering a wide choice of possibilities for most days
Chamonix, Mt Blanc will be this years venue for our regular advanced XC traininmg camp. All Pilots CP plus 10 hours are welcome.

Evening soaring flight

Launching the Paraglider
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