Weather predictions. Even after 27 years of flying I’m still a sucker for good forecast. And the forecast for Fiesch was looking very good, so I could not resist jumping west for a change to try to get in some points. 
You see, we have this online contest. Pilots from around the world upload their xc (cross country) flights, the furthest 6 count. Through lucky circumstances, I am leading that ranking for the serial class (i.e., on serial gliders, no comp wings). Better put: I was leading that ranking until last week. Today I have the chance to correct that. 
I meet up with Reynald and Sebi, two of the world’s best xc pilots- who happen to be my team mates in Alpsfreeride. We launch from Moosfluh, above Fiesch. 
The north wind is clearly noticeable, and the day is slow to turn on. I embark on a massive triangle, flying as far in each direction as I dare. I take the high route over the Aletsch glacier, far from landable civilization. The Swiss Paragliding Open is happening right now in Fiesch and I see them fly, an impressive tight cloud of 130 of the nation’s best pilots charging wingtip to wingtip across the Aletsch. 
In the lower part of the Valais, I get washed down by the north wind pouring in from the north. I recover and push on. 
The last leg leads through the scary southern valleys of Zermatt and Saas. Scary, because sandwiched between Switzerland’s highest peaks. Scary when thermals slam into your wing in a dizzying climbing frenzy up to 4500 m asl. Scary because of the strong winds. I nearly bury myself deep in the Saas valley. With luck I can extract myself, dial back up to 4000, and glide back to where I started. 
190 km, 300 points. That’ll do. I’m leading the ranking for another day:

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