8/10/2023 Grey Scars
An unseasonably warm and very pleasant day. Little wind and a bit off to the west as it quickly veered from SE. A rather freaky day, with potentially severe wind shears with height.
Two bunny hops and a top to bottom with Tom (lower photo) and Rob.
to21/10/2023 Holme Knott.
I'd always wanted a closer look at Holme Knott, but didn't set out do so today. After some unsettled weather (Storm Babet) it seemed unlikely to be flyable althought the day looked OK. I arrived at the bottom of JB to find the wind well off to the north, light and the distant windmills confirmed that. A change of plan was required.
Just up the valley, a few miles short of Sedbergh, lies Holme Knott and it seemed a good day to check it out, even if just to walk up for a look. I arrived to find patches of sun, a very light NW/NNW and a good, dry track leading up .... obviously a popular local walk. Holme Knott was (way back) a registered training site for Escape/EQ, but rarely used and eventually offered to the DHPC/CSC should they wish to register and maintain. Neither took up the offer. Walking up I could see why it could be useful for training with the exception of a powerline inconveniently through the bottom. Actually it's not really a problem.
Twenty minutes of gentle, easy walking brought me to beneath the main, upper edge - another five minutes and I was above it on an ideal grassy shelf. The higher I got the more it impresses; it's deceptive, the terrain bumbles its way higher and hides both the height and length of beat. I could see it being a pretty special thermalling site for those trickly NNW days when options are limited. Also worth mentioning is that it will take from WNW through to NE - so its very tolerant of direction.
Although only blowing 8mph at best I knew it would work and took off into gentle lift. The beat is about 1k long, stretching from Dentdale to the Lune valley - and that was on a light wind day. The lift also extends well out. I enjoyed a lovely spell of flying until the wind died even further, but the point was made - this is a potentially really nice place to visit and fly.
Hopefully the video provides a flavour of the place LINK
22/10/2023 Middle Earth
This was a day I got badly wrong! The forecasts all said WSW, but it seemed very SW and reports confirmed this. I opted for Middle Earth and it was destined to be another lone visit which didn't help. Usually, I'm quite happy to fly alone but this wasn't one of those days as it turned out.
It felt like summer walking in - bright sunshine and hardly any wind. One report though stuck in my mind - FW was reported light on the walk up, but almost blown out at the top take off. This is winter flying - and you don't mess with winter flying and the often severe wind gradients and sharp shears.
By the time I laid out the wind was more W .... not a problem as there is a decent W facing section. It was still fairly light so I moved up about 50' .... it felt better, 8mph and soarable.
I was soon airborne ... making beats and getting slowly higher. At 100' above take off the wind became noticeable and the climb rate increased. At 200'ato I was only just penetrating and getting a bit concerned. With a lot of bar I headed forward into the valley and landed in hardly any wind. It all felt a bit silly - looking back at the hill, smiling benignly and bathed in sunshine with fluffy clouds drifting gently overhead.
Later I drove to FW (or rather a viewing point) .... at first a single glider, then several .... but what happened next I had never seen before at FW. The most superb street set up from well behind the hill and stretched for miles upwind - in fact until out of sight. A glance at L24 showed several pilots heading upwind beneath it with ease, barely visible - almost to Kendal in Westie's case. It looked a bit special - and in my procrastination I'd missed it.
I turned and headed for home in disgust - too clever for my own good sometimes.
Below: That street - there are gliders in there if you can spot them?
25/10/2023 Park Fell
Polly and I converged on the top as the mist lowered and a bank of low cloud rolled up the Dale. No wind to speak, but for a light SW drift. A cross wind take off and a damp top to bottom ... I wasn't walking down.
I had a really nice chat with the farmer at the bottom - he has the small landing pastures near the quarry. He told me about his passion - a red Fararri and even suggested a drink in Ingleton sometime. A lovely guy.
This was all about the exercise. There was precious little flying.
A pleasant enough walk up on a nice enough day - but it was breathless. On top it was also breathless, but I set up on the SE face as it had the occasional 2mph. Dean arrived, rather out of the blue, so a little company.
I took off and turned right (mistake). I hadn't realised it was so far around the lump of Ingleborough. I only managed to make it to the Wife Hole. Dean later went left (far better choice) snook through over the bowl and made it back to the cars at the Hill Inn.