Oh Deer! Antler sited on Morrone…..

I had a call from Ian Archer on Saturday morning to see if I was heading out. Looking up at the Haar in Aberdeen I knew there was a better chance of flying if we headed inland and up to the West! I was thinking the east side of Morrone near Braemar.

I mentioned Morrone to Ian, a new site for him. We discussed Mount Blair so I packed my wing and headed off with Mac the Dog down the A90 and met up with Ian at his place, a nice Timber Cabin in the woods, excellent.

We headed over to an East facing site near Mount Blair that Ian had flown with Murray, but I wanted to stick to the original game plan. We drove past Mount Blair and on to the Glenshee car park. The wind was blowing up from Braemar, so wrong direction for the Bowl.

We drove into Braemar and went round to the Duck Pond. Ian was not keen on the tab up, so we went round to the road access side. The gate was locked and Ian looked for a way up in his 4 x 4 but no luck.

We walked up the path and laid out on the right hand side of the hill. The plan was to jump to the east side of Morrone. I took off first and floated down the road a bit. Ian took off and landed further down the path. I walked up higher and took off again, this time jumping the gap (Murray would be proud of my slot landing).

Ian was still on the ground so I headed higher and further round the east side of Morrone. I spotted the antler (pictured) in the heather up to the front and packed the item in my harness. No messing around on the landing I thought as this would push through the material and into my back!

I laid out on a flat part near the top of the hill and started my checks from the start as I was hot and flustered. Take it back to the start I said to myself, take off the gear and lay the wing out. It is worth doing this if you have the wing over your shoulder and are walking up the hill for an extended period of time!

Pulled the wing up and I was up, up and away, the vario screaming out. The thermals were strong and I was going up at a fair old rate. I flew towards Braemar and got well above the summit. After half a hour looking at the views around Braemar (I saw a herd of Red Deer but no “Buck with one Antler”!) I drifted back over Ian who was well below me. I did several 360’s and realised I was still going up, so I flew out of the lift zone and back towards Ian and landed a few yards from him.

Conditions had picked up but I had enjoyed the flight. I was glad to be on the ground again. The speed bar setup that Murray assisted with was fine but in discussion with him I should have pulled Big Ears to get down.

Fly safe and we’ll see you on the hill soon!

Duncan

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