2019 XC Guiding from Clough, Ennerdale and Coniston.
David Ashcroft - 29/01/2019
CSC Intermediate XC Guiding - a flexible and spontaneous event to target the best of the weather for any one of 3 classic ridge runs through the Lakes District. Only 3 ridge runs through the Lakes are proposed at the moment, these face West, North and East. Because conditions and wind direction are vital to have a successful day, we need to be flexible about the date. I'll be looking at the forecast for ideal weather for any of the flights detailed below and text you a few days in advance. To be honest, I normally only arrange one of each per year! I'll confirm the evening before that it's still on and where to meet. We'll probably meet up near goal and car share to take-off. On the hill we will have a detailed brief of the best route to get to goal, including 'saves', thermal houses', cruxes etc. Pilots familiar with flying the route will lead, and I'll probably shepherd behind.
These XC's aren't for low air time pilots, but for those who are experienced in gale hanging and have already bagged numerous 10km flights in the Lake District. Option 1 is a popular and yet awkward run down to Ambleside from Clough. There are two other routes which capable XC pilots may be interested in taking part. I'll try and grade them with some sense of Difficulty / Courage / and 'Walk Out' distance to nearest roads. It's not easy to measure the difficulty of an XC so I will compare them to the Clough Ambleside run which most pilots who fly in the Lakes will have either considered flying, attempted or accomplished to some degree.
Option (1): Clough down to Ambleside (NW - W). Can be dangerous if below ridge height between Helvelyn and Grasmere. Grade - hard / 3 balls / 0 km (ie. there is a main road all the way). Refer to the knowledge section of the CSC Website under XC.
Option (2): Only experienced pilot who has flown Clough to Ambleside (or similar) numerous times in a variety of conditions should consider this route. Northerly. Ennerdale to Pillar, then great Gable returning along the Wasdale Screes. It's my favourite dog leg through the Lakes. A little intimidating due to it's remoteness and unfamiliarity to most pilots. Grade - tricky / 5 balls / 10 km walk! I think there's a detailed write up in the knowledge section of the CSC Website, with photos!
Option (3): Easterly. Again, for capable / experienced XC pilots. Coniston Old Man to Keswick. Ambitious and exciting run across the big stuff. A few big jumps via Langdale, Great Gable and possibly Catbells. Grade - tricky / 4 balls / 6 km.
Radios would be useful, and mobiles for contact before and after. This XC guiding has to rely on you to vet yourself. Jumping straight into XC, lacking in experience and skill, might shorten your flying carrier. XC flying is a natural progression for capable and confident pilots having spent many hours on different sites in varying conditions and 100% in tune with their glider.
If you are keen to attend then please text me on 07752750869 choosing 1, 2, 3 or all 3 of the XC's you wish to do and that suit your abilities. If you are interested in joining me on any of these XC days then please text me on 0775 275 0869 and I'll be in touch by mobile a few days beforehand.
Have a good year.
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