25-05-2022

Pierre Remy and his X-One break records in the Pyrenees

This was his dream since he was an adolescent. Since this time he had been studying the route, the weather and the right conditions to be able to do it. Finally, on 10 May 2022, pilot Pierre Remy achieved this goal with his Icepeak X-One glider: he made the first 200 km flight on the north side of the Pyrenees*, and not only that, he also did the first ever 200 km triangle in the area

He first tried on the previous day, as it was expected to be an epic day, with strong instability, and with good easterly wind conditions in the mountains and the foothills. "It started off well, I did the first 40 km in just one hour, but then it took me almost as long to do just 5 km... It was a real struggle against the wind, but it was not a day to give up! Finally, after 6 hours battling against the wind and the rain, I managed to complete a 140 km triangle", explained the French pilot.

Frustrated and angry, he cancelled all his plans for the next day and thought of only one thing: flying. At 11 o’clock his friend Thierry Bohé took him up to the take-off point, the Col de Couraduque in the Midi-Pyrenees, from where this historic flight began. "At the time, I tried not to get too excited, as it was very early and my first turn-off point would be in a couple of hours on the west face... But as I progressed, I saw that my effort and concentration were paying off: I didn’t make any mistakes, I always got over the ridges and my average speed was above 30 km/h," he said.

The journey continued via Lourdes and Campan, and it was at Sarrancolin that he thought "I'll either do the 200 km or I'll have to land", so he set off for Oo without giving it too much thought. With a detour towards Luchon, the foothills were coming to an end and it started to get hot. A change of plan was needed and he turned to Antenac: "My GPS confirmed the 200 km, so long as I could make it back". But everything gets complicated. "At some point it had to happen...". "It was very strong and I ended up in Oo. Yes, I know I was thinking of going there before, but now it was no longer in my plan. I looked at Vincent Vincent's terrace as an easy route, as he always takes care of me when I fly there, but this time no way. I pulled my finger out and although it was already 4.30 p.m. and I still had 70 km to go, I didn't give up. I thought it’s going to be tight!” he added excitedly.

"I was going over the Peyresourde like when I was young, being blocked at the col and gradually crossing onto the west face, and although the hardest part was yet to come, I was starting to dream. I headed north back to the foothills, and I waited for the 4 thermals to allow me to push northeast. It was slow going, I made sure I took every thermal to cloudbase, looked for birds, looked at the ground as never before and finally reached the west face that leads up to Montaigut". By this time it was 6.30 p.m. and 20 km remained to goal. "But in my head I knew it was over, I knew I'd made it and I could stop thinking about this teenage dream that Pierre Dejous and I have had for 15 years. I'm going to do Luchon-Accous, but without him...". 

The emotion rose to the surface on this last glide; he glided as far as possible, reached the north face of the small Caba and called his wife to find out where in the landing area she and Thierry Bohé would meet him to celebrate. "I did it! After 10 years of trying I finally managed to complete a 200 km triangle on the north side of the Pyrenees in just over 7 hours!”. Now, he just needs to do it again with his friend Pierre Dejous.

You can see the details of the flight here.


* Pending ratification.

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