Monday, 27 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 2 day 6

Day  6

The approaching frontal system from the NW had destabilised the air and with a temperature of 33C created a superb mountain soaring day. Starting earlier, Neil M’s first climb in the DG was a steady 4kts to 7000’ over the Aspres ridge and that made the transition to the east much simpler. Good climbs and high cloud bases provided a trouble free run. The flight was terminated with a 90K final glide arriving back with 3000’ over glide on a McCready setting of 3! Peter W and G also enjoyed the conditions and easily avoided landing at Gap.

Hang glider above the runway about to spin!
NO don't do it!

Meanwhile, back at Serres we watched the arrival of a hang glider that Merv successfully predicted that it was about to spin from 30’. 

A classic demonstration of trying to turn into wind too low without sufficient speed that resulted in the hang glider departing and impacting the ground nose first. Fortunately the pilot was uninjured.

After the interlude, Chris H visited the ski stations to the north and circumnavigated the Ecrins. Joining a convergence north of Briancon, setting a personal height record of 13500 and then running south across the Barcelonette valley and back via Sisteron - a final glide of 144k in 72mins.

Not much snow on the lower slopes

but more at the top of Les 2 Alpes


Graeme C and G explored the Vercours towards Grenoble. After an early landing, the DG was packed for its return home and the group enjoyed the evening meal outside the restaurant accompanied by excellent live music. A splendid way to finish the Serres expedition for this year. We all hope that we can repeat the superb experience next year!

Serres 2016 week 2 day 5

Day 5

A slightly hotter today at 31C with a gentle southerly breeze that produced a much better soaring day with a higher cloud base. Its amazing what a difference a gentle breeze makes to the thermals. Chris H and Merv got to 12000 on the Pracheval range despite some gliders in that area not turning tight enough to use the strong lift efficiently. That was easily dealt with as we left them and found our own thermal! On returning Peter W told us that Graeme C and G were at Gap (again?). The expedition appears to be turning into a two centre holiday. Conditions became very tricky below 6000’ which was the Duo’s downfall.
Peter W declined the offer of being transported to Gap and then launched by the tug so Graeme C had a second flight to return home. By the time Neil M and Merv had launched on the DG’s second flight the cloud base had dropped by 3000’ which made us more cautious about going too deep into the mountains to the east.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 2 day 4

Day 4

Arriving at the airfield, the usual suspects were already queuing on the runway indicating that the day was expected to be a good one. The predicted cloud bases were 10000' locally rising through 14000 and with a potential of 16000' in the high alps. Klaus was very impressed with the forecasts saying that they were the best he had seen over the last decade and went in to great detail on how to progress beyond the Aosta valley and offering a choice of return options just in case of potential blocking thunderstorms. Peter W and Merv were dispatched third expecting great things but 20 mins later they were back on the ground having apparently released too early. The second flight starting from a greater altitude was much more successful. However, after 2 hours of heat and struggling and the cloudbase was still only 7000' we decided to return to the airfield early. On landing we discovered that Neil M and G had landed at Gap and Chris H was on his way by road for the pilot change and to launch from there. Graeme C and Merv tried to make the best of the conditions but the best cloudbase we could find was 8500. It was hot 30C and a very tricky day, it certainly did not match the forecast!  

Serres 2016 week 2 day 3

Day 3

The day started overcast and briefing described the potential for the day as a 'good training day' not launching before 1330.
Apparently only the Lasham pilots were up for a bit of training as no one else elected to fly. Conditions turned out better than expected and we launched at 12:30  Graeme C and Merv had an exciting time on les Blanches avoiding a multitude of paragliders finally finding an unoccupied thermal on Dormilouse and made our way south sometimes on the eastern side of the ridge to avoid the paragliders. The cloudbase stepped down significantly beyond Trois Eveches so we decided to glide home for a pilot change. The plan for the second flight was changed when the was a distinct change in the conditions was noted, bowls into sun/and wind did not work as expected and any thermals we managed to find were very smooth but were widly spaced. Again there was evidence of wave above the convective layer but we were unable to transition into it, so we explored the west where the conditions were more predictable.

Serres 2016 week 2 day 2

Day 2

The mistral had moved on leaving a light and variable wind and a promising forecast. After three gliders had launched onto the home ridge and it appeared a little crowded Neil M and Merv elected to tow to D'Aujour as there were a few small cumulus appearing. After releasing it became evident that perhaps we all had launched a little too early as we slide down the southern face of the Crete de Selles with just enough lift to arrest our descent by working the rocky bowls in the light thermal breezes. Persistence paid off and we climbed away. The glide to Maloup was unusually quiet and smooth when we spotted the gliders from La Motte du Caire also struggling on the ridges well below. Soon we were with them but the competition spurred us on and we managed to out climb the others mainly by turning tighter. Moving on we arrived at much better cumulus but still at ridge top height and managed to connect with the thermal and at last we were getting somewhere. The remainder of the flight was good but the approaching and thickening top cover was becoming evident. The second flights were much easier Chris H and Merv headed south along the Par Cours to Puimoson and timed the return to perfection to avoid being caught by the deteriorating soaring conditions.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 2 day 1

Day 1

Most unusually when first arriving at a new gliding site your normally told that you should have been here yesterday (or last week)!

A promising looking sky
But today was a good first day to be here albeit a bit challenging. With a strong north to north westerly blowing, the home ridge was working superbly but clearly there were signs of wave all over the mountains. Chris H and Merv launched at 11 and quickly climbed to 5500 over the home ridge and were soon joined by Greame C and G who decided to move forward to make the transition into wave in the lee of the mountain at Aspres. Merv decided to hold back to see how this brave venture was going to turn out and decided to follow after G reported that they were climbing in weak wave. Not long after leaving the home ridge we were heading for the valley floor at a considerable rate of knots we kept going as long as we dared but no signs improvement forced us to return to the comfort of the home ridge and we were soon back at 5500. This was the pattern for the next 2 hours! It did not seem matter which direction Chris and Merv set off in, the result was almost identical. We were bouncing in the rough air between 5500 and 3500 sometimes feeling uncomfortably too far from the airfield. Eventually, we managed to ride the ridges far enough to the north west to escape the convective layer and finally made the transition into the smooth wave system. We climbed to 12000' before were had to return to start over! At some point during our low level exploits in the turbulent air the under carriage had become unlocked and was hanging down. This was pointed out by another glider cycling his wheel, neither of us had noticed, but we were a little preoccupied with staying airborne at the time.

YO enjoying the ride

Neil M on the second sortie made short work of the transition and finally connected with 10kts+ of lift that took us to the ceiling of FL195 in the lee of Pic de Bure. On the way back, to lose some excess altitude we decided to visit Aspres to discover why it is unlandable in a strong northerly flow. As we approached Aspres the Clearnav was telling us that we required L/D 7 or greater to get back to Serres. Just a few moments later we were descending achieving a L/D of 6 with -20kts showing on the vario so we decided not to linger!

Wave slot extending to NE

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 1 Day 6

Day 6

A much brighter day with cumulus appearing before briefing. Matt J and Merv through through a few spots of rain by D'Ajour on their way east and noticed a significant shower to the south of Sisteron. By the time we had reached Dormilouse at the northern end of the Par Cours the few spots of rain had developed into another significant shower and was making its way towards Gap. The other shower had now reached Blayeul on route to the Par Cours. Watching the situation develop we curtailed our run south on the Par Cours and returned the way we had come while watching the Par Cours disappearing in the rain.

                                 Shower to the right                         Shower to the left

Meanwhile Ken S and G didn't have much luck on their first sortie but their second was much more satisfying. The last flights of the week lasted well into the evening with Jon B and Merv riding the thermal breezes low on Pic de Bure until a large cloud shadow turned them off! On the way back Merv spotted a large bird sitting on a ridge that did not seem to be too bothered as the DG passed by it getting closer on every beat. You know your fighting a loosing battle when the birds are sitting on the ground watching you struggle!
The week was finished in the clubhouse with a superb honey roast shoulder of lamb and a trio of musicians who played '30s up beat swing music and accompanied on a couple of sons by the fine voice of Lirson, our multi talented host.

Serres 2016 week 1 day 5

Day 5

An enforced rest day, no flying today but some heavy thundery showers highlighted a most irritating leak in the Lashavan coming from the joint between the driver door frame trim and the head lining. The group dispersed to do some touristy stuff. Later we all met at the next village this evening for some pleasant al fresco dining that turned out a bit wet.

Les enfants avec pluie

'ere Matt haven't you seen rain before?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 1 day 4

Day 4

We awoke to an overcast sky that was producing rain. However, the briefing was optimistic so we waited expectantly and just as predicted the sky opened up. We launched after lunch but decided to stay reasonably local within a 40km radius as the forecast warned of bands of thick cirrus that were approaching. That turned out to be a wise decision as the forecast was accurate with the sky changing fairly quickly through out the afternoon. Dave T and Merv reached 10000' over Guillame, when a joint decision was made not to explore the good looking conditions towards Briancon but to glide back under the thickening cirrus for Matt J's turn. Meanwhile Jon B and G explored the area to the noth west and landed within 2 minutes of the DG. Ken S generously donated his place to Julie who really enjoyed her 30 min experience in the locality of the airfield. Matt J who was not sure whether it was worth flying under such an uninspiring grey sky had not come prepared to fly. By the time he had returned with his kit the sky had improved and had 2.5 hours of soaring finishing by ridge soaring the Pic de Bure and a brief encounter with wave in its lee

 Due to the poor forecast of rain and potential threat of thunderstorms for tomorrow both gliders were derigged and are now safely stowed in their trailers.

Total hours flown today 8:00

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Serres 2016 week 1 day 3

Day 3

A much better day than forecast even though the general cloud base was much lower than previous days. The conditions to the north precluded any flights in that direction so both gliders headed east to enjoy the motorway of the Par Cours in a southerly direction. Matt J and Jon B had almost identical flights with Merv demonstrating how to get to the Gorge de Verdun without turning and Matt and Jon both flew back to Serres also without turning (they are both fast learners)
In Jon's words it was 'awesome!!'

The gorge first run
The gorge second run

The duo waiting for the mower to vacate the runway

Ken S and G flew o/r to Puimoson and then with Dave T  G turned the gorge but decided to route back via Sisteron just as the day was bluing out and the thermals were getting scarce, fortunately the wave was setting up and a rotor thermal climb saved the day.

Lac de Sainte Croix

Total flight time 12:09

Serres 2016 week 1 day 2

Day 2

The met briefing was followed by a comprehensive guide to flying in the Alps given by Klaus Ohlmann with respect to the expected weather that provided an excellent insight of what may or may not happen. We launched at 12:30 eager to try our newly gained knowledge and what Klaus thought may happen did.
Klaus had warned us that Pic de Morgan might not work as expected so of course G and Jon B decided to see if that was the case and ended up local soaring the field at Lac Ser de Poncon for some time until they managed to scrape away. Meanwhile Dave T and Merv had decided to try the advice regarding what would probably work and had a much more pleasant experience. The forecasted showers became evident and were threatening to arrive at the airfield by 18:00 which curtailed the second sorties somewhat to local soaring. The rain was close but never actually arrived, just a few spots as the gliders were parked at the end of play.

Only 10:46 flown today.

Serres 2016 week 1 day 1

Day 1

The gliders were prepared for flight from 09:00 until briefing at 10:00. When we returned to the DG we discovered that the TE probe had been completely blocked by some insect within the hour since it was fitted!

Would you have spotted this?

The day was a mixture of ridge thermal and wave. The moderate breeze from the NW facilitated the launches and after a short tow to the ridge immediately to the south of the airfield both gliders released between 1000-1500 agl and climbed away in the smooth ridge lift. The cloud base in the local area was initially 7500’ which provided a comfortable transition into the higher mountains where the cloud base rose to 11500’

Matt J had a guided tour of the area including a close look at the airfield at Barconolette and the flight provided many new aspects compared to the 6 min circuits he is used to. Ken S and Dave T had similar flights in the Duo with G. Jon B and Merv finished the day with a smooth wave flight landing at sunset on a deserted airfield after 4 hours.

Total hours flown today 13.5

The circuits approaches and landings are not exactly for the faint hearted or beginners but great fun!!


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 4 Day 6

At last. A gentle southerly wind clear skies. The mountains were working well all the way to the  Ordesa Gorge. Cloudbase 2800 metres = 9200 feet.

It is better to have the climax at the end rather than at the beginning (said the actress to the bishop). In the end we flew on four days out of six and I would have probably settled for that in advance.  JMc

Friday, 1 April 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 4 Day 5

Everyone flew today. It was sunny with a brisk northerly. Wave bars were everywhere until just before we started launching, but thermals were available up to 8500ft over the main valley and to the south. The high peaks were clagged in until later in the day.
Dinner is with Toya this evening.

Jaca 2016 Week 4 Days 3 & 4

We have been getting some great weather at night! However Wednesday turned out OK and so everyone who wanted to fly got up among the snowy bits. Thursday was a write-off, but today has dawned bright and sunny with some interesting smooth clouds to the north. Looking round Jaca for places to eat has been interesting. Casa Fau and Lilium (with the 20 euro menu) proved to be the biggest hits so far. Last night there were 20 for dinner at the airfield. JM

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 4 Days 1 & 2

The team assembled on Sunday in wonderful weather. There was cumulus above the snowy peaks as far as the eye could see. I have never seen Jaca more crowded than on Easter Sunday. Finding a place to park needed creativity and hiking boots. Inevitably Day 1 started cloudy. By mid-afternoon two of the group thought it was worth flying and as a result one Duo did 2 hours of local soaring around Stage 2 while dodging vultures. The rest of the team are biding their time. Today (Day2) started wet but it was forecast to improve by lunchtime, but it didn't. Tomorrow looks more promising. JMc

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 3 Day 5 and 6

Day 5 was overcast with light winds so there was no flying, but this was replaced by an excellent walk up the Hecho valley and into the snow to visit the mountains in the slow painful way (top tip from Merv - never climb a mountain without a glider).
Day 6 looked great but failed to produce the thermals that the clouds suggested but shade temps around 16C made for very pleasent airfield sitting while the expedition managed 1 hr ish sorties for the final day in the borrowed Duo and a Grob 103. The Lasham Duo has been repaired in time for week 4.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 3 Day 4

Blue skies and a lighter wind from the west made for easier flying conditions today. The borrowed Duo 'T1' was flown by John P and Terry. We climbed in thermals up to a 6500 ft inversion but we're unable to get higher into wave but at least we were not thrown about like the previous day. Unfortunately the club Duo had a wheel up landing in almost the same point on the runway as the DG which has grounded it for a few days while a temporary repair is carried out. Luckily there are good workshop facilities here but we are having to arrange to borrow a second glider from the home club (Grob 103 - fixed u/c) which we may have share with club members. Bob Akehurst and Phil Holland also flew T1 making it four flights in that one today.


Jaca 2016 Week 3 Day 3

Blue conditions and a strong northerly wind delayed launches until 1:30 when Phil went off with Bob Johnson in the hired (and metric) Duo followed by Terry and John in the Lasham Duo '3'. Conditions were expected to be challenging and we were bounced about by the rotor off the mountains. Climbs were rapid and narrow but the sink was massive as well so making upward progress was hard work and both gliders were quickly out of gliding range of the airfield giving Bob Johnson and John Brook plenty to do. Airfield landings (from the back seat) were quite spectacular with 25kts+ of cross wind at 90 degrees to the runway and huge amounts of sink and lift in the circuit.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 3 Day 1 and 2

Day 1

\Time to go!
Blue skies greeted us for day one and John P and Terry got airborne in the Duo and DG by midday for familiarisation flights, the conditions were good enough to reach stage 3 after releasing and climbing away from stage 1.

Terry and Bob 
John P and John B

Dave Griffiths and Phil Holland followed with similar flights and late in the afternoon Terry was able to also fly the Duo as Bob Akehurst flew the DG. 6 flights in one day was in sharp contrast to what had been possible in the previous weeks.

Day 2

The weather was a repeat of day 1, so we were set for some longer flights. Sadly, as John P was landing the undercarriage collapsed on the tarmac runway and by the time they drifted to stop on the grass there was a hundred metres of gel coat and fibreglass left in their wake.


No faullt of the crew as the lever was still down and locked
The DG was packed into the trailer ready for the journey home. Dave Grffiths and Bob Akehurst had good flights in the duo and spent time circling with a couple of dozen vultures that had gathered over the remains of the DG


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 2 - Day 6

It has rained all day so no flying was possible today. After lunch Merv used the logger traces from our week's flying as the basis for a summary of what had been learned. Of particular interest were the traces showing how it was possible to cover large distances without turning along stage 4 even in relatively poor weather.

In the four days we were able to fly, there were 17 flights with a total of 31 hours 18 minutes airtime in the two gliders. It was mostly thermal lift with some wave and ridge mixed in. All in all an interesting and challenging week of flying which was enjoyed by everyone.

Bob & Merv

Jaca 2016 Week 2 - Day 5

Unlike yesterday we awoke to find clear blue skies and were optimistic about the prospects for the day's flying. However the weather briefing had two widely differing predictions for the day, varying from becoming overcast by 4pm to raining by 2pm. In the meantime a band of high level cloud drifted in over the valley which postponed first launch until noon. At least it felt pleasantly warm on the ground today with sun hats making their first appearance of the week.

The DG with Jim and Merv were first to launch, reporting back that Stage 1 was working well. Graham and Bob launched next and both gliders climbed quickly to over well over 7,000'. With the high level cloud still affecting conditions to the north, both gliders headed south east past Oroel. The thermals and cloud base were significantly better than forecast. On their return, Graham and Bob gave in to the temptation to make a close inspection of Oroel. Several laps of the summit ridge provided a fitting conclusion to the flight.

Duo Discus heading out towards Oroel.
Jim and Merv reached the main ridge near Ordessa and flew west taking in the stunning views and reaching 9,500'. Today was the first time Stage 3 had been visible all week.

Soaring with a Lammergeir (aka bone crushing vulture)
Julian had a spare seat in E6 and was kind enough to invite Ayala to join him. This meant that everyone got to fly which was great as tomorrow's forecast isn't promising.
By the time the gliders returned for their second sorties the expected high level cloud and spreadout were beginning to threaten. Despite this, neither glider had a problem getting away and both the Duo with Jon and Bob and the DG with Mike and Merv reached the main ridge above Stage 3 which Merv has now started referring to as Stage 4. (I suspect Merv also has his own Stage 5 somewhere deep into France.)

Ridge soaring Stage 3 under the thickly overcast skies was interesting due to the lack of contrast, making it difficult to judge the distance above the snow covered slopes. Apparently the red tips on the DG help as Mike and Merv managed 4 passes in the murk.

Toya provided another excellent dinner of baked lamb and roasted potatoes followed by a group singalong accompanied by Ayala and Toya on guitar.

Bob and Merv.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 2 - Day 4

We awoke to find a thick layer of medium level cloud overhead but there was some cause for optimism as the satellite images showed that it was slowly burning back. From the airfield it was possible to see the western edge near the lake at Yesa but it was not until after lunch that the sun finally reached Stage 1 and it was all systems go.

Jim and Bob went first in the Duo followed immediately by Ayala and Merv in the DG. From the outset there were strong climbs over Stage 1 but the higher mountains were hidden by a combination of low cloud and extensive snow showers. With the high cloud still clearing away to the east,  both gliders opted to go west with Ayala and Merv getting 50km away before looping south around the Yesa lake and were only prevented from getting to Riglos by a snow shower. Jim and Bob investigated the lake and then headed back east to Jaca. Cloud base got to nearly 8,000' in places and generally the conditions were much better than forecast.

Ready to go 

View left (Embalsa de Yesa)
View right (Cuculo)
Its either a big mountain very far away or a small one very close
(Embalsa de Yesa from NW)

The second sorties followed a similar pattern going west first and then east. This time it was Mike and Bob in the Duo and Jon and Merv in the DG. The snow showers continued to press south from the high mountains to the south but the conditions along the edge of the main Jacatania valley remained good.

Spot the Merv with a subtle hint

Mike and Bob made a close inspection of Oroel and were surprised to find 3 climbers still at the top so late in the day. All in all it was an excellent day's flying with both gliders landing around 18:30.

Approaching Oroel late in the day

Everyone went into Jaca and had an excellent team meal at the Biarritz.

P.S. Although the wind was light and the sun eventually made a welcome appearance it definitely did not feel any warmer today, particularly in the gliders.

Bob and Merv

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 2 - Day 3

When we arrived at the airfield there were definite signs of wave activity with a blue slot to the north of the airfield but there were also snow showers not far away to the north and the west. This was confirmed at the briefing which showed that Santa Cilia was on the western edge of the better weather.

It was straight out to get the gliders out and go flying. No time for lingering in the clubhouse today.

John and Merv were the first to launch in the DG1000 followed by Mike and Bob in the Duo Discus. Both gliders took high tows to cloud base over stage 2 which took them directly into the wave. The gliders climbed slowly at first and with patience Mike and Bob climbed to 13,800' over the Hecho valley. John and Merv had an interesting time exploring the lower reaches of the wave.

Mike enjoying the view from above the clouds for once

Duo Discus climbing well on its way to 13,800'

The view from above Stage 2. (and a very tricky "Spot the Merv" competition) 

The view west from above the clouds.

View East over the Stage 1 fire break.
By the time the gliders launched on their second sorties the conditions were deteriorating. It was still soarable over Stage 1 but it was hard work. When rain eventually threatened from the west, Ayala and Bob landed after one and a half hours of grinding away above stage 1.

Graham and Merv persisted and the conditions eventually cycled, but the wave was never as good as it had been earlier in the day. Graham and Merv achieved 6,500' during their 3 hour flight.

About 10 hours flown today in 4 sorties.

Hopefully it will be a little warmer tomorrow.


Jaca 2016 Week 2 Day 1 Photos

Week 2 Motley Crew

Morag feeds fourteen Lasham and Bookerites!

Caramelized Oranges or raw marmalade?

Griego is Spanish for Dulux white emulsion

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Jaca 2016 Week 2 - Day 2

Day 2 had a more promising start as the sun was trying hard to break through the cloud at breakfast. Briefing confirmed that yesterday's troublesome trough had moved away east overnight with the possibility of a short soaring slot in the afternoon.

Morag gets creative before briefing.

It looked like it was going to take a while for the low level cloud to lift so Merv gave a great impromptu lecture on mountain flying which was a very productive use of the time before lunch.

Merv and Ayala assessing the conditions to the north.

After lunch everyone headed over to unpack the hanger. The weight of snow on the roof meant that the motorised doors needed human assistance to open far enough to get the gliders out. Then we had to manouvre the gliders through the curtain of water falling from the melting snow on the roof.

Hanger with built in glider washing facilities.
Having readied the gliders outside the hanger we learnt the first lesson of the day. #1 "It is unwise to lock the keys inside the Lasham van" The good news was that Clive had the spare set, the bad news was that he was having a day off and was in Huesca! Fortunately there was nothing critical in the van so we left it where it was and went flying.
Everyone flew with the longest flight being just over an hour and a half. At 4,700' the cloudbase was low by Jaca standards but the views were spectacular with snow still covering most of the ground in the valley.
View south from cloud base at Stage 1

The flights were a bird spotters paradise with big flocks of Black Kites to be seen migrating north. We were also sharing the  thermals with vast numbers of Griffon vultures with the odd eagle thrown in for good measure.
All in all it was a great opportunity to practise what Merv had covered in his lecture including collision avoidance with vultures.
With the spare keys returned from Huesca and everyone back on the ground, the were gliders washed (courtesy of the hanger roof) and the hanger doors closed by 6pm.

Photo down the wing


Jaca Week 2 - Day 1

How quickly the weather can change. When everyone arrived on Sunday it was a beautiful sunny day with barely a cloud in the sky and light winds. When we looked out the appartment window on Monday we found the roofs covered in snow. The 10:30 weather briefing confirmed that the day was going to be a write off as it was forecast to continue to snow all day.

The group made other plans with most heading for the supermarkets or shops in Jaca for retail therapy.

The highlight of the day was Morag catering for 14 in the instructor's apartment. Jim, Merv and Bob providing willing but limited assistance. On the menu was meatballs with spaghetti followed by carmelised oranges and greek yoghurt that looked remarkably like white emulsion.

Photos will follow if Bob can get to grips with the technology.


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Week 1

Day 4.

Opening the shutters on the room and seeing a bright sunny morning is always a good start on a gliding expedition and being able to see the tops of the mountains confirmed that we should get something out of today

At the briefing we were promised light westerly winds and not much else as the top meteo website was down. So it was make it up as you go along, and we took a guess that it wouldn’t be worth launching until at least 1pm. As there was no sign of activity at one, the lunch break was extended and a decision was taken to give it a go at 2pm

As we towed out on the first launch the air clearly felt like it was doing something, and Richard said that he wanted to stay on tow until the second stage. As we were nearing the second stage the turbulence increased and the tug started to go down(at any other time this wouldn’t be a good thing). We released in front of stage two and started climbing in the rotor thermals which were peaking at 8kts. The transition into the wave was relatively easy, but it appeared that the area of lift was quite small. The climb topped out at 14,500ft and then we started to venture East.

The Duo also launched and they released over the valley and climbed into the wave. Eventually they pushed forward two wave systems into the primary, and also topped out at around 14,000ft. It appeared that the wind at this height had dropped and also veered around to the North East.

As is often the case the people who launched second found the transition into the wave had become impossable as the thermals were stopping well before the laminar layer. So both Malcolm and Derek in the DG and Paul and Colin in the Duo made the most of the rotor thermals over the valley, with the last landing taking place just before sunset.