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Thomas in training for X-Alps 2013 in New Zealand with Nevada Light


I a; glad to let you know that we are halfway through our crossing of New Zealand. It is a pretty hard crossing as it is totally wild out here but the adventure is amazing. New Zealand is a beautiful playground. I am happy we have passed the Mount Cook area and all its glaciers. It only took 4 days with some good flights in between. We crossed some glaciers and high mountain passes in the air in very windy conditions.We made some tricky flights but it felt great as on the ground it would have been a lot worse... We saved at least 10 days of walk through hard terrain. We just came back to civilization to buy some food for the next 7 days, We have covered more than the half of the distance. : ) I am getting really fit I guess. We climb on mountain passes at 2000m almost everyday and we walk around 9 hours a day in rocks and bushes. We have met very few people since we started. The route we have chosen is pretty remote.
The flying is hard and the weather tricky, the wind is pretty strong down in the valleys but the Nevada helps a lot as it is very safe. I am really hoping we can get some great conditions again. The other day we were in a thermal at 3000m and from there we could see both the East and the West coast...
My pack feels a lot lighter than in the first days. I am glad I have a light version of Nevada, it makes this way of traveling possible. I am tired of light dry food but I guess I will enjoy a real steak when we arrive in Nelson... : )

Here are some pics of the trip including one of Mount Cook (highest peak in NZ) taken during a big flight the other day... : ) 

I just came out of the mountains after 4 more days into the wild. We are buying some food for the next week out there.


The crossing is great. Very hard on the ground and in the air as it is really windy. The nature around here is beautiful and we will bring back great memories and I believe a great story too. : ) I catched some trouts for diner. The rivers are amazing here, it is all very remote and pure but sometimes it takes 5 hours to cover only 5 km. No tracks, only bushes...

Here is a picture taken during our first nice flight. We flew above some glaciers, lakes, and landed after almost 100km. You can follow the last 4 days of our track here :

The Nevada light is great, really the perfect tool for this. Congrats and thanks for developing such a good glider.

I will try to keep you posted, as you imagine it is hard to get internet. Even my SAT phone does not work here... Thuraya has no coverage in NZ. I am going back to it. I still have at least 3 weeks of effort ahead...


 I am really happy to tell you that we arrived in Nelson after a great trip across New Zealand South Island. We managed to do the first bivouac flight through NZ in 27 days. The last 3 days were great for flying. We covered more than 200km in 3 flights against the wind... We flew above some serious mountain terrain that would have take days to cross on foot. What a great feeling ! It was the trip of a lifetime, a real experience into the wild. It was hard to walk the last 80 km on the road to go back to civilization. People were offering rides that of course we did not accept, we arrived walking at the sea, exhausted but really happy. 

I am now resting a bit, conditions look great for next week. I will do some more flying with the local pilots and probably fly to a river they told me about. Probably one of the best fly-fishing spot in the world... ; ) I will keep you posted and fly as much as possible.

I have to say that I never thought I would enjoy to fly a EN B glider so much. I took a real pleasure flying it and it made me feel really safe on tricky situations. Your team did a great job again. Congratulations, the Nevada flies really well against the strong winds of the middle earth.