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18/02/2016 Rhossili

Travelled in hope rather than expectation as the Inshore Waters gave force 4 to 5 for the wind in the Bristol Channel(3 to 4 is ideal). Viv and me arrived just after midday to find very little wind :o but with  a beautiful sunny vista, the conditions were ideal for some parawaiting and chat with the numerous hopefuls up on the launch area(Steve B, Nasher, Gerry L, Leon, Chris D, Des and many visitors).  As the afternoon progressed, a light breeze made for some pleasant if weak soaring conditions but after 15:00, the forecast wind came in quite suddenly along with a slightly menacing, squally looking cloud which did dissipate just a few rain drops ; enough to land, call it a day  and pack away!

Still, a first bit of airtime this year for many of us and with such a turnout on the hill, it was good to see that the paragliding scene is alive and well Big Grin
22/02/2016 Rhiw Wen

Driving up with Nasher, the clouds looked to be whizzing overhead but upon arrival just before midday, the wind was rather light :o . Steve J and Viv were already at the carpark and after some chat and a light lunch, we went up to the launch area.

The wind was a bit fickle and we were in no hurry to launch but I picked a good moment and ascended a few hundred feet that enabled me to sniff out a few weak thermals and enjoy a good floatabout up to 1200' a.t.o.  Clear air gave superb views of the distinctive landscape and I flew for around an hour before returning to the take-off area.  We were joined by Nick Winder, making it a trio of Advance gliders - Sigmas 7, 8 and 9!

As the afternoon progressed, the wind got lighter and large areas of cloud put us in the shade so we packed up at 16:00. 

All good practice and  the air was not as cold as feared. " XC "days are just around the corner Big Grin
23/02/2016  Heol Senni

A gorgeous day but not much happening on the hill!  Arrived late a.m. with Nasher and Viv and met Des in the parking area. Steve Bain was already flying and the day looked quite promising.  However, the wind soon became intermittent and even the Red kites were not doing much climbing. We were joined by a newly qualified CP to make the number up to six on the hill. The drift started to back to north from mid afternoon so Steve and me launched and glided to the north end of the hill where we found the weakest of thermals and I managed to climb away with a few hundred feet and dribbled along to the Fan G layby - first XC of the season, well a mere taste but enjoyable nonetheless Big Grin
10/03/2016 - Fan G

A breezy day but I had opted to believe the forecast that said the wind would be light in the afternoon.  Arrived up at the big bowl with Viv to find the wind still a bit strong but still felt quite pleased as the new key procedure had worked well and we exchanged a cheery wave with some of the farmers as we drove up the track.  At the launch area, we were joined by Pete Lake and his walking poles that had helped him stomp up from the layby. 

Up in the air, the wind was quite brisk but manageable but although the sky looked great, the thermals were weak and not easy to use and we did not seem to get much more than around 1000' a.t.o.  The views and visibility were incredible(we could see Cadair Idris).  In fact,  I was enjoying the views so much that I failed to notice Pete wafting away over the back of the hill(he almost made it home to Ynys meudwy)!

Great to be out on the hill Smile
11/02/2016 Cwmafan

Arrived just before midday to see a kestrel hovering over the field and facing the right way for flying so a good sign!  The cloud drift was coming from the southeast however so I figured that there was some sort of seabreeze interference going on.  The breeze seemed quite light and perhaps not good enough to soar across to the main hill given that a large swathe of the forest(the front of which helped us with dynamic lift) has  been felled. 

Viv and me decided on some grounhandling practice in the field but just as we got ready, the wind picked up and we launched into some somewhat punchy conditions.  The transition to the main hill was little problem and I was soon cranking into some small thermals and getting up to 1300 a.t.o and enjoying a good cruise around the valley.

All good practice Smile
Nick, and everyone, - Re : Fan G 10/3/16
I was glad to read your bit about being pleased with the new key procedure - thanks.  I feel it's an honest and reasonable one, which is also good for P.R.  I think I've managed to sort something out for future access to Seven Sisters ....  so watch this space.  By the way, I passed by Seven Sisters this week after a having a 2 night mini break at Craig y Nos Castle.  (I strongly recommend it as something very different and quirky - especially if you can have a Groupon deal as I did!)  Any way - I drove up the track to check on the gate to the site controlled by Natural Resources Wales, only to find it wide open.  I met a gentleman walking up the track and had a quick word with him.  He was on his way to the small drift mine which is up there somewhere - so there is some activity going on.  However, there was no sign of any tree harvesting at present. 

05/05/2016 Bryncaws

Arrived at 11:00 as intended.  The flags on the bypass were showing southeast as were the windmills on the far side of the Neath valley.  Alas, the wind on the hill was stubbornly SSE or south!  Shortly after midday, some smallish puffy cu's appeared and  thermic cycles were pulling the breeze onto the hill enough to tempt us into getting the gliders out.  I tested the air for around 20 minutes and found conditions to be disconcertingly unpleasant down low(wind sloshing along the face and mixing with thermals) and higher up, I had barely any groundspeed so I decided to slowly glide towards the bottom field and land. (I declined to topland in the gusty conditions!.  Better days are worth waiting for methinks.... Tongue  .  I think conditions would have been equally rough at Cwmafan with sea air mixing in.
Good to see a few others out on the hill  - Aidan, Chris W, Steve J, Alan R, Viv and a rare visit from Steve Parsons!

One plus point of the day though - the track up to the hilltop has been smoothed out and should be top drivable for standard cars this year providing one can get around the first bend where the cows seem to have deposited quite a bit of the slimy stuff!


06/05/2016 Abernant
Arrived with Viv at 11:30.  The wind was on the hill at 15-20mph but there were signs of wave in the sky.  We flew for while but conditions could best be described as rough!.  We then settled for a groundhandling session which I found more enjoyable than the actual flying(maybe I've been spoilt by the Spanish flying conditions in Algodonales) ;D .
14/05/2016 Hundred House

A great day out at the BCC with the club team of  Rhun, Steve W, Jon M and me. I travelled up with Rhun(many thanks) and we met the others at the 09:30 briefing in the campsite. Early cloud quickly burned off to leave glorious sunshine but lighter than expected winds made it a bit tricky to get up and away.  During the early afternoon, a few small gaggles(including Rhun) escaped at various intervals but conditions became somewhat quieter leaving a few of us "becalmed" on the hill :Smile.  However, any  thoughts that maybe I had left it too late were banished as  my patient waiting was eventually rewarded with a climbout in broken disorganised lift Big Grin. I managed to climb to just over 5000' amsl  after leaving the hill along with two others and I spotted Steve W climbing up from the western edge of the ridge.  Unfortunately Jon who had been climbing out with us aswell had to return to land after realising he had a twisted legstrap.

The flight proved to be quite demanding.  The first part towards Brecon was quite slow in mainly blue conditions but it was good to see a few other gliders in the distance along with a few sailplanes one of which showed me a thermal just northeast of the town.  I then glided towards the lower shoulders of Pen Y Fan where I was thankful to still have some height to play with as I found some of the most turbulent conditions I have experienced for quite sometime.  Safely over the Beacons, I found a lovely climb over the open moorland and glided to Aberdare where I met some seabreeze convergence and headed east.  Strong lift over Merthyr saw me on full bar with big ears in to escape cloudsuck and stay below the 5500' airlane.  After that, I meandered along, staying upwind of the seabreeze convergence until I saw that I could make it to a line of nice looking convergence heading over the higher ground towards Newport.  Alas, the line dissipated away leaving me in a seabreeze headwind and I landed near Ystrad Mynach after 3hrs and 30 mins.  Distance with dog leg 71km Big Grin

Found a bus-stop nearby that had a timetable on the wall - bus to Cardiff coming through in 20mins -sweet! Caught evening train back to Swansea.

Nice one Nick :-) The problem I had was my leg and chest strap is all one thing and it had a big twist in it which made the glider and the harness behave and feel quite odd. I have never done that before and will never do it again! Very frustrating because that proved to be the last good cycle of the day but you live and learn I guess ...
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