Alpine crossing 31 January 2023
We start this morning with three balloons at 9:35 in Flawil. The weather and especially the forecast looks promising; ideal conditions for a trip to Italy.
Last shreds of high fog are just about to disappear and already at the launch site the sun laughs in our faces. We climb at the beginning to just under 3000m and do that but very leisurely. From Zurich-Kloten we get a clearance for the entry into the TMA.
Soon our ride turns southeast and picks up speed. At 4000 m we expect around 70-80 KMH. For this reason we decide to drive the first hour only at 3000 m.
Absolutely gigantic scenery! Not a single cloud adorns the sky... Nevertheless, the visibility is extremely clear. Also the temperature is pleasantly mild with about -9 ° at 3000 m. After a short visit from a helicopter of which, by the way, we got quite great pictures, (thanks Marc Schnetzer!) We slowly climb a little higher. Soon we reach about 4000 m and drive with the expected 70 KMH towards the Bernina massif. Before we reach the Engadin our flight turns a bit more to the right so that we continue our flight directly over Sondrio. The communication with the air traffic controllers in Milano works very well; not least because we three balloons are hardly even 200 m apart during the whole flight... After crossing the border, we drive very concentrated on our cleared flight level 140 and move with about 80-90 KMH on call distance to each other! Sometimes we are even hull to hull.
Simply ingenious, this crossing of the Alps; just a pity that it also has an end after 4 hours 15 minutes. We land all three very close together, yet somewhat sporty, south of Brescia near Leno in the Po Valley. A gigantic crossing of the Alps thus comes to a great end. Our followers soon arrive and take us to the hotel. Of course, the joint evening with a fine meal may not be missing....
Best thanks to all who contributed to the success of this trip!