Coaching Day ramblings - by Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson - 16/05/2006

Saturday 6 May - bumped in to Malcolm Grout and a couple of low airtime pilots on the flanks of Souther Fell. As the day was blown out they were going to do a tour of Souther and Blease Fell flying sites. Not wishing to miss a chance of having a scramble over sharp edge, I duly joined the trio. Once at the top of Souther, Malcolm gave us a site appraisal, landing options and the essential site rule of speaking to the farmer at Beckside if bottom landing in his fields. As is the norm when free flyers get together, a lot of flying talk ensued as we made our way up to Scales Tarn and over the top of Blencathra. The wind by now had got up quite markedly and we sat down for a spot of late lunch looking North over Mungrisdale Common in the lee of the strong breeze. We had picked a good spot as it gave us the opportunity to look over the back of Skiddaw and Carrock Fell. In addition to XC possibilities in the area from various wind directions, Malcolm gave a talk on triangle flight options from Blease and Jenkin and what to do and not to do around the wind tunnel between Lonscale Fell and Blease. A walk to the edge of Blencathra gave us the chance to look over good thermal spots on the scree spurs running off to the South of the hill.

It also gave us an ideal vantage point to discuss other flying sites we could see including Wolf Crags, Clough and Walla. A short walk saw us at the take off at Blease and a brief on landing options at the playing fields and the car park near the Blencathra Centre. At this point the wind appeared to drop off and we saw a lone pilot trudging up towards us which turned out to be Bob Calvert who was trying the site for the second time that day - 10/10 for effort Bob. Right on cue - as soon as he got his wing out, the wind picked up again. Bob sat down for a quick chat, before we made our way down to the car park and through the pastures (never seen so many tadpoles in a puddle that size!) to Threlkeld and the waiting cars at the playing fields. Maybe not a flyable day but certainly not considered wasted by any of us who joined Malcolm. We all went home with more knowledge and understanding of free flying the hills in the area and a bit of a sun tan to boot. So any low (and maybe not so low) airtime pilots who want to benefit from the extensive knowledge our club coaches have to offer, get yourself along to the next meeting at the beginning of June. Even if its not flyable you can still learn a lot. Thoroughly recommended! Thanks Malcolm.






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