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Snow on Fochriw by NorriS

I've avoided using the campervan in the snow, so this morning Cookie collected me and we went straight to Fochriw, to find the wind was off to the South quite a lot, and very light. Cookie said that he was going to kite his glider up the hill but I decided to hike up. Johnny Kayak was walking up the bike track at the North end but I just walked up from where I was. Wasn?t too bad, the snow actually helped me to get a purchase, apart from one place where I put my foot on a flat stone and slipped. When I got to the top the wind was still well off so I left my kit in the bag and went to chat to John. After a few minutes Cookie arrived at the top and he and Johnny did some ground handling. I?m getting too old for that so I watched and took some pictures. Eventually Cookie decided that the wind had come round enough to give it a go and although he did well, he finished up sat on the hill near the bottom after a slope landing, and he stayed there and had a fag.
After a while I said to John that the wind had come on a bit more and was picking up a bit; he agreed but didn?t take the bait, he just stood there with his glider above his head for a while longer. Cookie had returned to us and he just popped his Rush above his head and took off, so John watched briefly and then followed him. I watched and then went to get kitted up too. Evan had walked up and he got off before I did, but I soon followed. It was still light but we made the best of it, and even though it is only a couple of days since I was here flying, it was nice to be up again. Was nice to be able to see too!
Other pilots turned up and it started to get crowded, Dan the Man was there, with his Black and Red Spider, Mickey with his Purple Freex and Rob Browning with his Orange and Grey Gin to name a few. There was a pilot named Paul, who I don?t think I have seen before, said he was a bit out of practice but he had a go, he had a Green and Blue glider, can?t remember the type! Carl Bull was there on his Sigma6 flying as smoothly as ever. Mark Pearson was there but didn?t fly; he decided to go on to Merthyr instead!
At one stage the slightly off the ridge wind dropped a little and the resultant free for all saw me come the wrong way around someone who had come the wrong way round someone else with the result that I came face on to Rob Browning, who promptly threw his glider in to a very spectacular slide it in sideways landing just past the gully, even though he had the right of way. Cheers Rob, my fault mate! Later on, Rob had a coming together with another pilot, and again it was not his fault. Fortunately, no one was hurt!
I took some pictures during the course of the day, and even a bit of video before my batteries on the camera went flat. Caught the Cookie monster doing a nice Helicopter landing just before the camera died!
Towards the end of the afternoon I did some wingovers and finished off with a 360, and I don?t know how but I managed to misjudge it to the point where I hit the hill just by the hole with the stakes sticking up around it. I actually went in between two of the stakes and clipped the hill. I was lucky, it was only a glancing blow, but I finished up sprawled in the snow, and I managed to get flying again from there without walking back up, but it was a close call. Much too close.
A little while later Cookie asked me if I had had enough and I decided that I had. Almost at the same time Dan flew past and called his goodbyes too. I took off, did a couple of beats and then I landed at the bottom and bagged my glider up. It?s got snow inside it and my harness is covered in snow so I will lock it in the shed tonight so it doesn?t thaw out and sort it out tomorrow. It was a good day in spite of a couple of minor mishaps. Wonder when we?ll be out again!

The bird of time has but a little way to flutter..............and Lo, the bird is on the wing.

Skype name is norris411

As a postscript, my glider is now spread out on the floor in the front room, I spent half an hour working my way along the glider panel by panel to get all the snow out of it. I was shocked how much I got out. The glider is now loosely bunched up on the floor to dry and the poodle has made a nest in it. Picture on facebook later!!

The bird of time has but a little way to flutter..............and Lo, the bird is on the wing.

Skype name is norris411

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