Skiing and Paragliding – All In a Day

I spoke to Murray last Friday 23rd March from Heathrow Terminal 1 after my regular visit to the BMI lounge and the use of a laptop PC to log on to the ESP Club site and click on the weather link. I saw Joe’s posting on the Club Forum for the weekend and with a Monday flight back down to London I knew I could negotiate with Jacqueline for at least one day out.

Both Saturday and Sunday looked like flying days on the Bracknell Chart so I kept my fingers and toes crossed.Saturday morning came and I phoned Murray at 7.30am to check his plans. He was heading out PDQ to use his Season Skiing pass at Glenshee and asked me what shoe size I was and I knew what was coming next…. I did fancy a go at skiing as I have not been for a few years but my heart was on getting some air time as I had not been in the harness for quite a few weeks. Into the TT and headed out of Aberdeen. Stopped at the Aboyne Glider site and watched plane and glider take off. Wind was light and variable. The blue skies beckoned.Through Braemar now and saw a car at the track leading up Morrone so I knew some of the Aberdeen Club members were out. I looked up at Morrone but could not see any canopies in the sky.Pushing on to Glenshee I saw Murray’s Pickup in the resort Car Park. Speaking with Murray on the phone who at the time was enjoying some skiing I took his advice and went to the South Car Park.  

The wind was blowing up the valley so I took the decision to head up with the paraglider and make a flight.The wind was square on the slope. I saw Murray at the bottom pull up and lay his wing out. I laid my wing out and took off, working the weak lift coming through. Helmet camera was on so I was recording the flight. 10 minutes in Murray was flying out in front and I landed just behind him. During the flight I experienced tip collapses which worked themselves out very quickly. I should have leaned back more though. I had to scratch and fly above the snow several times. Thermals were weak and punchy. 

Ian heading down to land next the road.

 

Ian came out and we chatted about conditions. A kestrel or hawk was hovering in the bowl at the top right. Murray advises to move round to the bowl which I did. Ian flew round to join us.A number of flights from the bowl were had by all, including one I had into a pile of snow which was great fun. Murray flew the other side of the bowl and Ian had a good flight after showing us up with his ground handling skills. Well done Sir!My last flight was down to the Car Park after flying over a family enjoying some sledging. I landed just short of the road and my canopy settled onto the road. I should have carved round and headed nearer to the south side as the valley wind would be disturbed downwind. I have posted a video onto www.YouTube.Com , search for Paragliding and Glenshee.     See you on the hill soon.  Duncan  

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