Author Topic: Peter Lake FBlog 2015  (Read 2594 times)

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2015, 18:15:00 PM »
3 October 2015. Fan G. 
Despite unpromising conditions in the Swansea Valley, I headed up to the Fan G layby to meet Steves W and B for a ride up the hill. A little more luxury than I am used to!
The cloud lifted when we got the take-off, and the wind was on the hill, a little South of West. I was first off, soon followed by the Steves, and we pushed out under the clouds across the road. The lift soon ran out, so we scuttled back the the hill for a top-up.
Back at 4000ft with Steve W, I decided it was time to head off downwind, so I picked my way through the wispies towards Pen-y-Fan. A quick top up just past Ystradfellte Reservoir saw me to Fan Fawr, where I soared around to the North end. Across the road, and I was soaring up the ridge to Pen-y-Fan. Then a few ridge hops along the Northern flanks of the Beacons got me to Fan y Big, where I chose to glide down to the ridge to get towards Brecon.
Within a few minutes of landing, the phone rang, with Steve W telling me he was on his way to pick me up. Amazing service! Thanks Steve  :)
25km with turnpoints.

Offline Stu Kelly

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2015, 15:47:17 PM »
"Nothing like" lol
"If you were born without wings,do nothing to prevent them from growing;)"

Offline Stu Kelly

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2015, 15:44:58 PM »
Nice flight Pete:) itching like a low save👍
"If you were born without wings,do nothing to prevent them from growing;)"

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 21:29:45 PM »
25 September. Fan G.
Seeing the forecast, I decided to take the afternoon off, and headed up to Fan G.
Conditions looked good on the walk up, with signs of streeting and a good breeze. I took to the air just after 2pm, and found lift all around in front of take-off. I decided to push SW to try to connect with a cloud street, and this gave me a good climb to 4,400 ft, so I then headed off downwind towards Merthyr.
The clouds were giving good glides, rather than giving climbs, but this was enough to see me over towards Merthyr on a glide, where I connected with a climb that sent me passing Merthyr to the North, and following the head of the valleys road. The clouds then looked better to the North, so I pushed over to the higher ground, and found weak lift. I soon found myself looking down on power lines as I headed towards Tredegar, and started choosing landing fields. I then found a scrappy low save, which I battled with and eventually tamed, and was rewarded with a climb back up to cloudbase.
From here, drift was taking me towards Bleanavon, but the clouds didn't look very promising, so I headed for the Blorenge. Arriving at hill-top height, I had a brief rest soaring the hill, then decided to glide down to the landing field for an easy train ride home.
Lining up to land at 200ft above the castle fields, I found another low save, and was once again propelled up to base. From here, I headed SE towards Usk, watching a glider being tow launched from the gliding club below. Hoping to make it to the Severn, I eeked out 1/2 up climbs, but the ground soon came up to meet me at 4:45pm- with no more low saves left in the bag!
A 3km walk along a deserted lane got me to a busier road, where I hitched a lift to Abergavenny, and got the train back to Neath. Looks like I'll be cycling up the hill to get the car tomorrow.
69km - not bad for an Autumn afternoon  :)

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2015, 17:52:00 PM »
Fan G. 19 September. 
After parking in the lay-by, I walked up the front, and could see crows flying the W face. On arrival at the top, I was greeted with a good WSW breeze, a red kite thermalling in front of the hill, and good clouds above the hill.
I took off, and was soon climbing up over the summit. My initial plan to fly upwind to Fan Hir was abandoned due to the 15kph headwind and strong sink, so I retreated to Fan G, and caught a great climb in front of the SW face.
I drifted back with the lift over Heol Senni, then headed for the good clouds towards Brecon. The clouds were a bit hit-and-miss, but I eventually locked into a good climb up to cloudbase at 3,600ft. From here, I could see Pen-y-Fan to my right, and shaded ground all the way to Brecon. The clouds en route had lost their suck, so I enjoyed a pleasant glide over Brecon to the rugby fields, where I packed up whilst watching a local match. A short walk to the bus station, a half hour wait, and I was on X63 back to the layby.
22.9km in just over 1 hour.

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 23:11:02 PM »
15 August 2015. BCC Final. Merthyr. 
Following a briefing at Morrisons carpark in Abergavenny, we retraced our tracks and headed to Merthyr- this time with 3 minutes to spare for the take-off briefing. There was a good breeze on the hill from the SW,  but clouds were rather spread-out, with very little sun hitting the ground.
Stu, Mike and I were among the first to take off, and soon found ourselves climbing out over take-off all the way to base (and slightly higher!) at 3,600ft. After a short moment in the whte room, I popped out the side of the could, but couldn't see Stu or Mike anywhere, so I opted to head NW towards Pontlottyn where the valleys appeared to be a bit steeper. I found some weak lift over the golf course just North of Abertysswg, and this carried me to the WNW facing ridge at Mynydd Bedwellte, where I found another climb after a few minutes of ridge soaring.  I lost the climb after a few hundred feet, so made a dash for the next valley, and had a brief moment of soaring over Cruglwyn, before the lift switched off, and I found myself landing in the thistles by the river.
I was pleased to have made what I thought was the best of weak conditions, until I saw another half dozen gliders fly overhead, two of which managed 50 and 90km, somewhat overtaking SWWSC on the points!
A short walk to the main road, 3 bus rides and a challenging walk up the front of Merthyr through head-high bracken and brambles, and I got back to take-off where a few pilots were practicing the art of gale-hanging and landing-drags. Re-united with Stu, Mike and Rhun, we then went to congratulate the other teams in Crickhowell :x
9km open distance, 11km with turnpoints

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 19:21:06 PM »

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2015, 22:48:52 PM »
A weekend in Geneva 27-28 June. My first FIA triangle!  :-D 

Finding myself in Geneva for a friend's birthday, with the sun shining, it seemed rather rude not to have a flight of two.

Saturday afternoon- Saleve. This is the mountain that overlooks Geneva to the South of the Lake.  It has Geneva CTA airspace at 5,500ft, which gives about 1200ft of height to play with above take-off.  A pleasant hour and a half thermalling up to near the airspace, then spiralling down, and trying out wingovers. The acro pilots were out in force, helicoptering down then climbing back up again.

Sunday - Samoens. Once the hangovers had subsided, we headed up to Samoens, and drove up to Plateau de Saix. Taking off at 4pm, I climbed up and worked back along the ridge to the ski lifts. From here, I followed another ridge to the peak at the end, flying over the ski resort of Flaine. Not wanting to land out in the wrong valley (I had a plane to catch that evening!) I then pushed back to take-off, and crossed the valley to Les Suets- a sheer cliff facing into the valley wind. I could see the lifting air blowing the grass up the edge of the cliff, and sure enough, I was soon climbing up to 8,000 ft. A knife-edge ridge connected Les Suets to Les Avoudrues- a free elevator in the mountains that took me to 9,000 ft. From here, I flew along to col to the next mountain - Pointe Rousse de Chambres, then headed back across the arrive just below take-off. Another climb saw me above take-off to complete my circuit, and then back down into Samoens for an ice-cream and a lift back to the airport.
My first FIA triangle at 29km 8-)

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Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 22:34:48 PM »
If anyone wants to replay the BCC round from the comfort of their own home, I've downloaded all the tracklogs into Google Earth format 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ujicc5sexp0mtl6/BCC%207%20June%202015.kmz?dl=0

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Offline Steve Bain

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 20:58:00 PM »
Well done Peter! Another awesome flight!

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 19:56:19 PM »
7 June 2015. Combe Gibbett. BCC. 
After much telegram route discussion on Friday and Saturday, Sunday dawned cool and clear, with the promise of 5+ star RASP ratings.
Team SWWSC arrived at Combe Gibbett in plenty of time for the briefing, and were ready to go soon after 11:00.
The hill was pretty busy (compared to the luxury of SWW sites), but soon we were all airborne and searching out the first thermal.
The plans of flying together were rather hampered by the sky being so busy.
I took a first climb, before dropping back to the hill, then connected with a good one- exactly where we had been told it would be in the briefing- above the trees. I found myself climbing out with Nick, and we worked it up to 4,500ft, then set off South.
From there, there were good clouds marking the lift to Andover, and I soon found myself clear of Middle Wallop ATZ, and able to turn W to try to avoid Solent CTA.
It was a challenge to prevent drifting too far South in the NNE wind, as I admired the views down to the Isle of Wight and over to the New Forest and Poole Harbour. There were a few other paragliders scattered around the sky, but soon I was flying on my own.
I flew over what turned out to be a Yoga festival at Wimbourne St Giles, with the occasional beats of music drifting up toward the clouds
Just past the corner of the Solent CTA, and into clear airspace, my trusty Kobo, with its work now done, ran out of juice and froze, leaving me with a map as far as Dorchester.
With good clouds still marking the way along the coast, I managed to retrieve my phone from my jacket pocket, switch it on and view an airmap, all without dropping it and thermalling back up to base. This showed me that I was clear for at least another 30km to the West.
The last hour of the flight was slower due to the increasing wind, but fantastic flying from cloud to cloud, reaching 5,500ft and flying at full speed, whilst going up under the clouds.
Eventually, the options were to head to the next cloud near the coast, or pick a landing field. Given the strengthening wind, sea cliffs and onsetting fatigue, I happily chose the landing (or the landing field came to meet me!)
I landed after 4hr 50 mins, having covered 128km via turnpoints, 111.9km open distance. I doubled my UK PB, and was only 400m short of my alltime PB.

A chat with the field owner confirmed I was just short of Bridport, and the nearest train station was back at Dorchester. A lightning quick hitch to the train station saw me on the platform with 2 other pilots, and as the train arrived, I saw paragliders piled on seats. I then enjoyed a 2 hr train ride to Bristol with 13 other pilots, most of whom had flown over 100km.
After a welcome sandwich at Bristol, I was glad to see Steve Watkins arriving, having fetched Nick from the back of beyond. We were all back home by midnight after the most epic BCC day. Thanks Steve for the beyond-the-call-of-duty retrieving!

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« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 20:32:41 PM by Peter Lake »

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2015, 18:38:21 PM »
30 May 2015. BCC Merthyr Common.
Nick, Steve, Rhun and I screeched up to the briefing at 10:01 on Merthyr take-off, just in time to be allowed to compete.
It seemed fairly unpromising, with high cloud and a strong wind on take-off. Soon, a few pilots had taken off, and shown that it was better in the air than it seemed. The high cloud disappeared, the breeze dropped to a good soarable strength, and the sky filled with cumulus.
I took off just after 11:00, as the first gaggle was climbing out. I flew away form the crowd for a bit of space, and then saw the 2nd gaggle climbing above take-off so headed back over. I soon caught a good climb, and set off over the back. There were gliders marking various patches of lift, and clouds showing the way. I got low over the back, but then connected with a great climb, and set off towards the Blorenge.
There was a growing cloud over the aerials at the Blorenge- I chose to fly around it rather than straight under, and was glad I did, as I was hoovered up towards base. The clouds now looked good out towards Monmouth and beyond, so I set my sights on the Malverns in the distance.
The next couple of climbs were textbook- long glides towards clouds were rewarded with strong climbs back up to base. With Ross-on-Wye now within range, I headed for the next cloud, but this one dissipated as I approached. A few new wisps were building, but I struggled to connect with them. I turned towards the A40, and landed at the Ross Spur services.
After packing up, I managed to hitch a lift within 20 minutes, all the way back to the end of the track at Merthyr.
61.1 km via turnpoints in 2hr 12mins. A new UK PB for me!  :-)

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2015, 20:57:50 PM »
26 April. Heol Senni.
The forecast was great, the clouds looked fantastic, and the wind appeared to be dropping off, so I headed off for an afternoon at Heol Senni.
Steve W, Viv and Nick were already there. The wind was at the top end, but it seemed flyable, so I was first to take off.
It proved pretty windy above the hill, with only a few kph forward speed, but was a bit easier out front. There were proper little bullet thermals coming through- a couple of turns at 500 ft/min, and then it was gone. Steve B arrived and ran up the hill, and soon there were 5 pilots in the air.
I tried pushing upwind to get into a good climb, but this plan didn't seem to work, and I found myself scratching up from just above the track. Eventually, after 1hr20 of flying, Nick, Steve B and I seemed to be in a good thermal, which then disappeared at 1000ft ato. Having seen a sailplane and a hangglider enjoying the day under the clouds, I took an impatient gamble and headed cross/down wind towards the cray reservoir, where the best clouds seemed to be. A blip on the vario proved to be another passing bubble. I turned in zeros over the Fan G road pass, and continued to drift in weak lift down the valley. Eventually, I landed next to the old railway track on the hillside.
I packed up and started to walk back, then saw Steve B popping around the flank of Fan G. He passed overhead, and I lost him behind the hill. I walked out to the Fan G layby, then headed along the road, when I was glad to see Steve W, who gave me a lift back to the car.
On the way home, I found Steve B walking along the same railway track and so ran him back to take-off. It looks like Nick made the best of the day- I look forward to seeing where he got to.

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 19:55:52 PM »
23 April. Heol Senni.
This time, I had fresh batteries and polished contacts in my GPS!
On arrival around 2pm, there was a gentle, variable breeze blowing up the hill, so I thought I'd give it a go before the forecast swing round to the SE.
My first flight of 45 minutes saw me scratching and catching the occasional thermal bubble, but they all seemed to top out 600ft above the top. At least I  managed to outclimb a piece of straw! There was a visible inversion, highlighted by the smoke from all the recent *-onists' efforts.
I top landed for some lunch, then launched for another go. This time, I ended up landing by the track after 15 minutes.
The temptation to head home was tempered when I saw some scraggly clouds over towards Fan Hir, so I thought I'd best give it another go. A breeze came through take-off, so I launched and managed to get some height in the bubbles. I managed to work patiently up to 2600ft, then figured I might as well give it a go and see if I could make it the Cray reservoir. The wind above take-off was virtually nil. I then stumbled into the thermal that I had hoped was out there, just over the forest behind take-off. This one felt a lot more solid, and took me up to 4000ft. I then headed towards Moel Feity, where there was a line of clouds forming. A good glide under the clouds saw me climbing near Llyn y Fan Fawr up to 4300ft. The shadowy ridge of Fan Hir didn't look too inviting at 5:30pm, so I turned back towards the line of clouds, hoping to get back to the reservoir. The line back proved nicely lifty, so I managed to squeak my glide back to take-off, and landed next to the car, 1hr20 after taking off
16.1km open triangle- this time it counted - 24 XC points!  :-D  I am loving my Artik and Ozium Pod harness!

Offline Peter Lake

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Re: Peter Lake FBlog 2015
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 19:08:40 PM »
Abernant 20 April 2015. My first (flat) Triangle!  :-) 
I couldn't get away until 3pm today, so I was worried that I'd miss the best of the day- but I was wrong!
I arrived at Abernant to a very gentle breeze up the hill, with a few crows doing their best to show me that it wasn't soarable, but the Red Kite was showing its superior airmanship and encouraging me to take off.
My first flight was only a few minutes, in pretty rough thermals and ending up with a top-landing.
A good thermal breeze then came through, and I launched into the slightly behind schedule 4:18pm thermal. Pushing out to the right over the dark ground, I found a great climb up to 4000ft, then decided to head upwind towards Pontardawe.
A second climb over the quarry took me to over 4,500 ft, with a little help from a red kite, who kindly circled up below me then pointed out the stronger climb 50 metres away.
A further push forward, over my house and towards Bryncaws saw buoyant air, and I decided that it must be time to turn to try for my first triangle. Heading towards Gordre'R-Graig, I caught another good climb, and then my vario went silent. Despite my best efforts and words of encouragement  :oops:, it would not re-start, so I made a futile attempt at thermalling in silence, with just the altitude readout on my Kobo for guidance.
Realising that the triangle plan was not going to work, I turned back towards takeoff, and arrived with over 1000ft above the car. The wind had now switched to a Southerly sea breeze, as shown by the windmills on the hill, so I landed across the hill, and celebrated my easiest ever retrieve!
On landing, my vario started up no problem with over 50% battery remaining- looks like I have a loose connection somewhere.
17.1 km open (flat) triangle - and my first XC on the Artik- but the XC League doesn't like my tracklog  :-(
Anyone got any hints of how to make a Kobo tracklog compliant? It is an igc file, but not from a 'supported device'

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« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 19:23:56 PM by Peter Lake »