In this year I flew my record 112th km triangular route in Georgian mountains. It was the most wonderful route in this season. Finally I have time to write about it.
Mestia is a unique flight place in the Caucasus. Last fall I discovered it for myself and I wanted to fly a 100 km route there. After a June trip, I knew some weather patterns of this place. So I started to monitor a weather forecast. The forecast had shown that day “X” was 2nd August.
On 1st August I with my family and my friend drove into Svaneti together. We planned to fly in the morning after our arrival to Mestia. We did not want to lose a flight day, especially sinece this day was the best forecast.
At 11 a.m. I and Bogdan (my friend – pilot) went up a mountain to a place of start is near cross on the way to Koruldi lakes. I left Olha (my wife) car keys and I was ready to start. We took off at 11:30 a.m. By then the weather was good for flight and the first thermals lifted us to a height of 3.800m. We were flying for forty minutes because we wanted to go higher and to fly along the southern wall of the Main Caucasian Range and we did not want to fly with a small height. I called Bogdan by radio and told him that I flew on the route and so he followed me. After that I went west.
This time it was posible to fly direct along the vertical wall near Ushba m. Last fall in October there was snow and there was large athermal zone, that made it impossible for me to fly near the wall. This time the top was covered with clouds from a height of 4,500 m. But I did not want to fly alongside of them there was too difficult terrain, so I flew along mountain at medium altitude 3,600m.
I flew across the Mazeri canyon where is a same name waterfall being impressive from a height of kilometer. I was near Nakra canyon in 100 minutes after start, where I turned back last fall. I flew over this canyon having lost 700 m. of height. There were few thermals on the other side of the canyon. I was under alpine meadows but later I flew down to 2,400 m. altitude, where coniferous forests begin. I was looking for a good thermal for forty minutes but I was not lucky. Thanks to an eagle who showed me a thermal in which I climbed to an altitude of 2,800 meters. After that I turned around and I flew towards Mestia. I quickly found the thermal when I returned to the eastern side of the Neykra canyon. I climbed to an 3,000m. in 20 minutes and I flew along the Main Rocky Ridge again.
I called Bogdan by radio, he was on the east side of Ushba. We met on collision courses in half an hour. Some time we were in the same thermal coring up. I did not too much work thermals when I flew to Mestia at an altitude of 4,000m. I reached final height this flight 4550m. before going to Tetnuldi mountain. Then I flew to the south side of the Bezengi Wall to the mountains Gistola and Dzhangi-Tau. I wanted to fly to Ushguli further east but in this case I would not return to Mestia by air. So I finished the route landing at the start place in an hour.
We went down to Mestia in half an hour. We met Bogdan which flying triangular route to 80 km in that day. The views from the air are the most exciting in my life. The waterfall of the Maseri, Chaladi and Adishi glaciers from the air, canyons, spurs of the Main Caucasian Range, Ushba, Tetnuldi, Dzhangi-Tau and Gistola. And many many beautiful rocks, spurs, forests, alpine meadows. Georgia is in my heart forever!