Since I discovered mountains and especially paragliding as my passion, October never failed to excite me. After a extraordinary cold and wet summer which luckily paid a little bit out towards the end, also in 2016, late October didn't disappoint us at all.
Since 1st of November was a public holiday we decided to use the long weekend for heading south for some flying. While probably most people were heading to Bassano del Grappa, we were looking for some more quite alternatives.
Our trip started on Saturday, 29 October with a visit of Tegelberg (1665m) and Neuschwanstein Castle. Not having in mind that it was holiday season and weekend both at the same time, I was a bit shocked about the crowd that was queuing in front of the takeoff. It was not a big surprise, since Tegelberg is one of the most scenic sites in southern Germany,, offering views over Neuschwanstein castle and Lake Forggensee. After some 45 minutes in the queue, I finally was able to get airbone. Thanks to the very stable day with some southerly wind (the take-off is facing northwards), the flight was rather short. But nevertheless beautiful :) I was luckily able to take some proper shots of the castle.
In the evening we continued our journey towards Laion in Grödnertal, with the plan in our minds to fly at Col Rodella, probably the most scenic site in the world the next day. But already in the evening a strong North wind made us clear that this won't be the site for the next day. We instead headed towards Trento and from there to Lago Toblino, a smaller and almost unknown lake just north of its big brother Lago di Garda. A beautiful flying site at Monte Gazza (1583m) was waiting for us. It offers two different landings: the first one just on the southern shore of Lago Toblino, between some vine and apple plantations.
The second landing is around 700m in altitude higher and a lot more spacious situated in the small village Margone (936m). We met a bunch of pilots from the local club at the second landing. They offered us a free ride to the takeoff along with some Maroni and beers.
The takeoff is a big grassy knoll right on the top of Monte Gazza offering plenty of space for taking off in multiple directions. The conditions were again very stable and therefore the flight ended after 20 minutes. With the surroundings, the wonderful locals and a beautiful view over Lago Toblino and Lago di Garda, this site is a real gem with 100% no German masses (yet).
Our last destination was Levico Terme on the other site of the Adige valley. After having driven to Bassano del Grappa probably more than 50 times in the last years, the place was familiar to me, but only from passing by. Paragliding365 suggested a takeoff at the very top of Monte Panarotta (1800m) so up we went. What we found was a very steep slope that offered no space for mistakes covered with slippery grasses. After enjoying the view from high up there towards the Brenta Dolomites and some Alpine glaciers, we went down to the takeoff in Vitriolo (1490). It is a easy and spacious takeoff for hanggliders and paragliders with a parking space and a little Café just next to it.
|Jump for Joy (Picture by Philip Boesecke)|
The flying site offers again wonderful views over Lago di Caldonazzo and the smaller Lago di Levico. In the valley landing spaced are manifold and some smaller XCs are easily possible. A small drawback are the larger amount of prohibited airspaces towards the west of the takeoff. Even though a strong inversion was damping a lot, we still were able to fly in thermals on both Monday and Tuesday for each more than 1.5 hours. Overall a wonderful place with a nice old town in Levico and by far less people than in Bassano. In future I will definitely stop more often here :)
|Lago di Levico|
|Florian flying around|
|My beautiful Ozone LM6 (Picture by Philip Boesecke)|
|Happy Landing (Picture by Philip Boesecke)|