It’s hard to put into words how much your world view changes as you climb out from 6,000′ to 11,000′ here over a narrow valley. How stunning it is to look out along the course line from 11,000′ and see nothing but snow covered peaks for as far as you can see. To have the valleys disappear in front of you. …There are two worlds here, the world of the valley floor and the world of the mountain peaks and within a few minutes you traverse between those worlds. It is because you go from one to the other so quickly that the contrast is so startling. Davis Straub–who flies hang-gliders most of the year over the flats of Florida, Texas, and Australia–describing what it’s like at the Alpen Open near Innsbruck, Austria. He’s there, competing, in a prelude meet to the Worlds, to take place very soon. Read his first hand description of the pilot task for day 2 of the competition, an out-and-return of 197 kilometers.