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,
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).
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.
Its hard to fault the
site and the area. It can sometimes be crowded at weekends in the height of the
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.
Nice user friendly
site, good thermals, top landing and huge bottom landing fields. Good for both
experienced and lower airtime pilots.
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
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 .
Easy access, good
thermals and reliability, even during the Mistral, makes this site a must. Its
spectacular setting adds to the "big site" feeling.
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.
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.
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.
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
Fabulous for long XCs, spectacular mountain
flying, high cloudbase, great evening flying on restitution thermals and good
Strong, committing flying. Sometimes
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