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Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 01-19-2017

19th Jan. Abernant. A clear and chilly day, wind bang on the hill, we launch around 1400, NickR SteveJ PeterL AaronB, and some kites all swoop gleefully up and down the ridge, gaining height with every beat in the brisk updraft. Away from the surface it's smoother, but I struggle to penetrate in front of the hill, so practice climbing at the ends eventually getting above the trigpoint. After 30 mins I see our clear blue day has become grey and overcast with the attendant temperature drop that occurs when the sun goes in. A nice start to the new flying year, a quick blast round a local site to shake the creases out, followed by cake!

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 03-10-2017

9th March. Seven Sisters. I only intend to groundhandle but a little gust plucks me off the hillside, I edge along the lip to the bowl, not wanting to push out in case I fall out of the liftband, and in a few beats gain enough height to push across to the cliff along to the shoulder, and back to launch, a few more beats and as the wind drops so do I, ever lower until touchdown by the car, where the flask of tea awaits. 15 mins.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 03-16-2017

15th Mar. Nant-y-Moel. The gate being locked on arrival, me and NickR trek up the nicely maintained track and find half a dozen already aloft or trudging up the slope in light wind. My first flight here as a member of SEW is a few beats either way, further along the cliff behind the trees than before, and up to the gully. A lull dumps me on top, I relaunch and join the circuit across the gully towards the new masts, scratching back along the front in the narrow liftband I avoid pushing out as I have already walked up from the gate today. Several beats later the wind drops and we all land and pack up. Polish Andy donates part of his lunch, and it's good to see Quin, Vic and Binksy. 2 flights, 20 mins. Our bags are chivalrously borne downhill and we enjoy a rare stroll down, unburdened by kit.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 04-06-2017

6th April. Fan G. An all day parawait in a blue hole, with 4 beats and a top landing until 4pm when a decent gust hooks me off and I climb over the gully, decide to do a couple more beats before heading to the layby where I left the car, but lose height with every beat despite scratching as near as I dare over the rocky face, Nick on radio exhorts me to turn out but I can't hear the rest, so I try and catch an updraft from the lower slopes, and land nicely by the fence and road, this saves me from a soggy bottom landing and I am so pleased that I don't mind the walk to the car, however Nasher is my Sherpa today and his van is a smart retrieve to the lower layby. 2 flights, 15 mins airtime, a sunset pint in the AB.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 04-13-2017

13th April. Fochriw. After  a drive with Nick to Seven Sisters where the wind is off and light, he heads for Fochriw, as we are both members, and see several up on approach. No faffing around groundhandling as it's quite gusty, just wait for a lull and push off, and I enjoy a half hour of exploring the hill, climbing to good height at the ends, following the wrinkles in the terrain, the wing feels rammed today, avoiding the half dozen or so other pilots but shadowing their flight paths in a circuit back and fore, high and low, in and out from launch, and landing in a lull down the hill. I am chilled and the sun has not broken through the grey undercarriage of cloudbase, until we are on the road home.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 04-17-2017

17th April. Hundred House, a delightful hill in South East Wales, and the BCC competition is on! At first the wind is a bit off the hill and gusty, so I leave the bag on until a shower passes to the west, the bolder souls launch and climb up and away, a second gaggle, then a huge third cylinder of pilots clear the deck and after a practice inflation or two I push off and cruise the top and front of the slope, cautiously circling here and there, getting nice height at times, not enough to leave the hill though, there is plenty of airspace for all who remain, and I land in a lull, groundhandle some and launch again for another few beats. With the vario still in the bag after charging it up, there is no audible prompt and I feel somewhat buffeted about. The clouds thicken and darken, so I topland and stroll down to await the champions. 2 flights. 30 mins.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 04-23-2017

23rd April. Merthyr. A brisk day, as it warms up I am keen to launch before it gets too strong, and join the early birds for a long into-wind beat and back again, the sun goes in and I sink along the ridge, scratching too near the rocks, I push out and sail up to the end to land out by the path and bless my lightweight kit as I walk back up. 5 mins. After that it's too windy to launch, the team has done well in the BCC, and we got back safe.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 04-30-2017

28th April. Hay Bluff. A few gliders in the air as me and Nick walk up, he chivalrously dumps his kit at launch and comes to help with mine as I am a few minutes behind. They all land while a shower passes by, and everyone gets airborne when the sun comes out again. It's so huge we can all spread out, the wind is slightly off the hill and into wind it's very buoyant and we gain nice height, downwind is faster than usual so I swoop out over the track to see if it's smoother away from the face, and stay up for a good half hour, until dark clouds loom again and I am chilled without my ski pants on so I land accurately with a constant aspect approach missing the gorse. I have exceeded my personal best at this site, as Paraventure brought me here for training. A diversion to the campsite where the hang gliders are massing for their comp concludes a great day out.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 05-03-2017

2nd May. Ebbw Vale. Another SEW site to broaden my horizons, ChrisD drives us to launch where it's a short walk through the heather to the front of the hill where there is no bottom landing. I wait for a lull as it's blustery with thermals popping off and the middle of the day, Chris launches with a sprig of lucky heather dangling from his lines, and goes on to exceed his pb! I go in a lull and am up and down like a yo-yo, climbing here and scratching there, turning in any lift, along to the high point and back, pushing out in lift and gliding back in sink, nice height but blown back over launch while trying to cross the bowl to the right, and land ok but am tugged off my feet while collapsing the wing, pulling out a reserve pin from it's side mounting. SteveJ arrives and is soon up and away with NickR, I wait for conditions to improve but the expected pre-front gusts are somewhat top-end for me, as I am now alone on the hill I pack it in and go for a drive round the valleys in Chris's car. 20 mins.

Re: Viv's Blog 2017 - mistress palindrome - 05-07-2017

7th May. Forest Fields. A lift with PeteL to the comp with NickR, great to see the tractor to carry up kit to launch, I launch after the main gaggles have left, and have a lovely long t.t.b. to the campsite and go on retrieve carefully in Pete's car to Heol Senni where they have landed. Well done team. !0 mins airtime.