Lots of choices from the North Lakes, through the Dales and into the Pennine sites. My priority was keeping my feet dry, my glider clean and avoiding a long walk. Hence, John Hamlett and I went to the fine Pendle Hill.
Predictably a lot went to Longridge and half a dozen were visible flying there as we arrrive at Pendle. I still thought Pendle the better option for the afternoon so we walked up the lower slopes and laid out about mid-height with a decent breeze, slightly off to the north and wondering if getting forward and round onto the main face might prove troublesome.
The first flight was a bit bouncy and not providing the height for the into wind leg onto the front. Then the wind dropped to fairly light, a short wait before John showed it was actually working a lot better - bouyant, and without the headwind there had been previously. Some tried and went down at the far side of the crossing, followed by a walk up ... I was more fortunate and made it with some room to spare before cruising slowly along the main face for a kilometre slowly gaining height in lovely smooth air.
The rest of the afternoon was spent towards the north end, beyond the main gully and first one ... then increasing numbers of gliders arrived to share the air. Lovely blue skies, light winds, sunshine and plenty of ridge lift augmented by the odd weak thermal to 1500 ato. A little nippy on the hands, but very enjoyable flying. I gave it an hour and a half and then not sure where John was decided a warm and a coffee was more pressing so headed down to land by the cars.
A great day out for February. Lots of sites were working well .... good in the north for once.
19/2/2018 Johnny Barnes
A misty morning that cleared to leave a pleasant, quite mild afternoon. I went to Johnnies intending very little but as I got nearer the day started to look better and better. A 20 minute walk up and it was about as good as it could be given it was February. The wind was a sweet 12mph affording a nice, easy take off .... a little off to the north but that tends to suit the site anyhow and cloudbase well above the hill.
I managed about 55 minutes before the wind/lift started to drop away and rather than fight it I went down to a nil wind bottom landing on a dry patch I'd sussed before the walk up. A really enjoyable hour; I was fairly confident I could get across onto the back of Barkin but didn't bother to push it.
A nice time all to myself unfortunately.