Flight: Spain, Andorra: Late April Snow

Castellano abajo.

I found it hard to believe that 4 inches of snow was forecast at the end of April. I found it even harder to believe that 8 inches actually fell, right after the lawn guy finished mowing, while wheat was growing, and while the sprinkler system was running. It was even stranger to ski practically in May at La Masella…..in Spain. Jackson Hole was closed, and some measly hill was open near the Mediterranean? I was certain this was a epic anomaly, and I was assured by locals that it was precisely….normal.

Of course flying had to happen. I went up at the tail end of the storm, fighting snow showers and adverse wind to do marginal things (what else is new?). Then I went up the next day, as the snow wasn’t gone, to capture explosive sun cast against green leaves and still un-melted snow.

Two months later, and the grass is green at 10,000 feet, cows are grazing on the mountain tops, an epic heat wave has come and gone, wheat has been harvested……and it snowed last night at 9,500 feet, while we nearly had a frost down in the valley. I must say, it’s a neat place to live.

Fue increíble creer un pronóstico que indicó 10 cm de nieve, en el fin de abril. Fue aún más loco cuando 20cm cayó en realidad, inmediatamente después que el césped fue cortado y el sistema de irrigación encendido para la temporada. Esquí en La Masella, aquí en España, cuando Jackson Hole fue cerrado. La gente local dijo que es precisamente normal este clima.

Volé como alguien hubiera esperado, volando al final de la tormenta, aguantado viento mal y un poco de nieve en el aire, con la meta de hacer cosas más o menos locas. ¿Hay una sorpresa?

Volé de nuevo el día en seguido, realizando vistas de nieve brillante, sol fuerte, y campos verdes. Ahora, dos meses después, ya ha derretido todo, y las hierbas están verdes en las cumbres de 3.000m. Trigo ha sido cosechado, vacas están pasando en las montañas, una ola calor entró y salió, y la nieve regresó a 3.000m en Puigmal, con un frio casi a 0C aquí en la valle.

Snowing….
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Can I climb above the crap…….?
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Every conventional piece of pilot wisdom says this is extremely stupid. Though the camera doesn’t grab them, there are snowflakes in the air.
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Cumulo-granite anyone?
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Do not mess with an overloaded Piper Cub! 9,000 feet or so.
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Since that wasn’t enough, I crossed the valley to the border of Andorra to check out the foul weather in the Pyrenees.
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Falling AND blowing snow….perfect!
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This is a similar view from the “Virtues of Stupidity” post, except there is more snow blowing around this time at 9,500 feet.
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You’re looking at Spain, France, and Andorra.
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Puigpedrós and Val du Carol, France.
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La Cerdanya
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Descending “en descenso” as the Spanish like to say.
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Just an hour prior, it was snowing here.
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View to the Pyrenees, where I was just playing around.
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Next morning, snow is not gone.
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La Masella, ski season still going on April 28th.
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Cadí-Moixeró.
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