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Xevi Bonet – Recognizing the terrain

Published on
03 June 2022

Last week, together with Jordi Vilalta and his assistants (the Cantenys brothers), we went to recognize a part of the route. We were in Accous, a well-known take-off in the western Pyrenees, which will be the second waypoint of this year’s X-PYR. We tried to cross to the south side of the border but after an hour of flying the ceiling did not go above 1700m. In the end I jumped down the valley, very leafy and with few landings, the northerly breeze strengthened and the airspaces made it even more difficult.

I ended up flying through the Canfranc valley at 80km/h getting as far away as I could to land safely. We are going to suffer during the race!!!

We had enough and went to Saint Lary to get a closer look at Waypoint 5, the 2878m Midi de Bigorre.
The day looked good, and early in the morning we climbed up to 2400m, but in the area of the waypoint the clouds were overcast and we decided to turn back to what will be the next waypoint, the Corronco.

We crossed Val Louron and Luchon with good conditions but the ceiling did not go above 2500m so we went to the Aran Valley and from there we crossed to the south side at its lowest point, the Port de Vielha, at 2500m. It got very saturated, it was already raining in the National Park dAigüestortes, so I landed at the south mouth of the Vielha tunnel. After 10′ it was already hailing.
After these days we saw that the French part will be the most technical and difficult area to fly, so we will have to walk a lot. Also the management of the airspace will complicate it. It will be interesting to see the different options and routes of the pilots.

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