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Spring thermal flight from Brauneck to Sauerlach

It is already becoming apparent that it was the right step to switch from an EN-C back to an EN-B. A flight report from me again after a long time.


XC Therm had forecast strong spring thermals with southerly winds. Club colleagues have already warned that snow depths of over one metre are to be expected on the Brauneck. As the mountain railway doesn’t resume summer operations until tomorrow, I had to walk up of necessity.


No special planning, the forecast was for southerly winds and cloudy thermals, so it made sense to fly towards Munich.


The ascent was extremely difficult as the snow was over a metre deep and unfortunately not stable. So I kept sinking in very deeply, which was very exhausting. I had taken some snow chains with me, but snowshoes would have been necessary. In the end, the planned 2.5 hours turned into 4 hours for the ascent. But I made it 🙂


The take-off was relatively easy as the wind was blowing perfectly from the south. The launch was cleared for us paragliders near the hang glider ramp, thank you for that. Otherwise it would probably not have been possible to take off in the snow depths.


At the beginning, it wasn’t easy to find thermals, including a scary moment. I turned into a thermal and underestimated the speed of another pilot who was also turning in the same thermal below me. He made his displeasure known with a short shout, but from my point of view there was no real danger of a collision.


Once I had reached 2000 metres, my decision to fly north was made.


Northeast of Bad Tölz I spent a long time looking for thermals and finally found them over a moorland area. Further north-east there was a large fire. The thought briefly crossed my mind of using this as a source of thermals. But the air was already turbulent enough and so I abandoned the idea.

I followed the road towards Holzkirchen, with the idea of simply hitching a lift or taking the bus/train to Munich if I landed prematurely.


From an altitude of 1500 metres, the turbulence increased noticeably. At times I left the thermal earlier because it was too much for me. At this point, I was glad to be flying an EN-B, which dampens the strongest turbulence. Further up, the wind was south-westerly.


From Holzkirchen I decided to fly along the railway line, with the idea of being able to take the S-Bahn home after landing.


Supported by the strong southerly wind, which at times indicated 15 km/h, I accelerated at over 50 km/h towards the north. At times, I had a very strong binge, so that I was flying at 2/3 acceleration.


It became noticeably more turbulent over Lochhofen and I also had no more luck finding thermals.


So the landing in Sauerlach was inevitable. Too bad, if I had started earlier, I could have done better.

Journey home

As I ended up near an S-Bahn station, the journey home was quick and easy.


You can find flight details here.

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