Jérôme Canaud reveals his favourite site to fly!
And without surprise, it is...
”Saint Hilaire du Touvet, near Grenoble.
It’s where in 1986 I made my first big flight, all alone with a wing that a friend had lent me, what a moment, I remember it very well. It’s also from Saint Hilaire where I recently made a 275km xc tour. Although I have had the chance to fly in many exotic places, Saint Hilaire remains an important flying site for me.
The 3 take offs are at 1000m altitude, the landing very large. The site is near Grenoble in Isère, accessible by 3 roads and also by the funicular (stopping in 2022). It is a site oriented to the SOUTH EAST of the CHARTREUSE massif, of low layer thus flyable all year long. It is a site which allows to make these first flights easily from 8:00 am, also an excellent start of cross-country by being able to leave from 9:30 am to envisage cross-country of 30 to more than 300km!
Photo: Nicolas Assael
The flights can take you to the Vercors and the Bauges, to the Chartreuse massif, and also across to the Belledonne massif with peaks at 3000m. Some very nice flights can be made while staying in the Grésivaudan valley.
It is also a site of aerobatics with a possible landing at the takeoff and good thermal conditions.
It is best flown in the early part of the day, as it is not an evening site. At the end of the afternoon we prefer Allevard, Chamrousse just opposite. I do not forget the Hike&Fly with the classic Dent de Crolles, located at 2000m just above the village.
Saint Hilaire is also famous for one of the biggest free flight festivals in the world, with the ICARE CUP on the 3rd weekend of September each year.
Several training centres have been in place on the site for many years.
Flying in Saint Hilaire is a generational affair now, paragliding has a big place in the life of the Plateau des petites Roches, children start playing with a paraglider very early.