To catch two birds with one rock, or more appropriately to catch two rocks in one flight, that is to fly over two most spectacular summits of Austrian Alps -- Großglockner and Großvenediger isn't something that you can impress your grandma with on any given day.
We had the prediction for the cloudbase to be 4500m in the area of the Main chain, so Gerolf set this audacious and bold call. However while we were brisky approaching the main chain from the side of Lienz the clouds did not want to collaborate that nicely and were still hanging at 3300 - 3500 m. I was already thinking of making a spicy joke on the radio about overcalling the day when suddenly the next thermal which was closer to the chain ended up already at 4000 m... Continuing our path into the wild and going along remote south shoulder of Großvenediger we made our way to the main point where the one has to gain as much altitude as possible to get on the long glide over the huge ice fields, over the rocky crests and unlandable valleys. The glide was that long and surprisingly so peaceful that when I eventually flew out in need to get a new climb again, it surprised me how bumpy the air was out there.
It was about half past 3 pm and Großglockner has already prepared for our visit. The highest Austrian summit has surrounded itself by strong and high enough lifts, so after taking one of those up to 4300 m in distance of 12 km we went for it! I was a bit behind the guys, so decided to catch up with them by making a bit more of altitude in front of the cloud and skipping one little climb on the way to Glockner. That worked only partly as I have arrived lower than Gerolf who was at this stage peacefully soaring over the very peak. On the other hand I had a good chance to observe the cracks on glacier together with the inalienable parts of them -- ice climbers slowly making their way through the snow. Again already for the second time during this day the air over this wilderness was calm and friendly, but the day started to show the signs of overdevelopment so we needed to get back to reality and to start our way home to Greifenburg, 70 km from us. The clouds over Rottenkogel and further down over Lienz were significantly lower, so after getting to 4300 near the main chain one would still come too high, and would glide on the side of those clouds. The last bit with coming over Anna's Schutzhause is always a demanding game which this time I managed to win and make my way back to Greifenburg leaving behind and a bit on a side already not that kindly looking blown up Marge Cumuluses. That was one rewarding goal!
The highlight of the flight was also in fact that we got very nice footage taken from different gliders. Enjoy the views and next time come to our course to experience it yourself!