Crossing Carpathian Ukraine
The idea of crossing Carpathian Ukraine was on my mind for some time already, mainly after seeing some pictures of grassy hills of my friend Kocour, but instead of a glider he had a boat. Magnifficent storytelling of my friend Spunt was more influenced by his love and marriage to a local girl then by the reality of thermals and simplicity of long flights. But the longing to learn more about this forgotten part of earth was strong enough.
- We take-off for the bivouac flight
- We are heading to Kolocava
- Landing in Kolocava
- From Kolocava over the past polonina
We take-off for the bivouac flight
This year, after organizing Czech open, I decided - we have to cross this land. I tried to find any reasonable route on map, where we would be able to top land on treeless hills, sleep over the night and continue the flight the next day. There is a lot of these “polonina” in Carpathian Ukraine, this range stretches from romanian border to slovak-polish, the problem is with valleys below these poloninas, which are denselly covered with trees. The whole Carpathian is scarcelly inhabitted, the time has stopped in villages some tens years ago...
We said good-bye to our friends and started our bivouc flight with Honza Skrabalek on our Avaxes RSF fully equipped, from a hill above the town Rakhiv in south-eastern part of Carpathian Ukraine, not far from romanian border. The sky covered with cummulus highway could not have looked better. The wind was worse – northern headwind slowed our progress towards polonina Svidovec.
We tried to stay above the grassy tops of the hills the whole time, but sometimes it was very difficult. One moment I was swinging on my Avax XC in strong turbulence, above the treeline, but the look into the forests below made my decisions straight – I have to climb this thermal no matter what.
After the next crossing we were flushed by the strong wind, and sofltly touched the grassy ground, I closely above a treeline, Honza little higher. Some 20 km, nothing big, but maybe after climbing to the other side of a hill we can launch again! But after we reached the proper side, we were forced to take couple steps back and we realized that we won´t be flying today.
So, on the top of polonina Bliznica – some 1880 m high, we set our first camp. We found out too late what we forgot to take with us, for example – 2 cans of beer for two of us was deadly not enough...
We enjoyed beautifull sunset, we fell asleep on our flying mattracess and had flying dreams...
1st day - 4. 7. 2006 - tracklog of flight