The weather has been stupid and cheap so far this year. I missed yesterdays trip up bridgend so was keen to get out of the house and up a hill.
Rasp was giving the borders area a 4 star (foot launching) with areas of 5 star (not the dodgy 80's band). Wind speed forecasts were top end but worth a look.
Rob was keen to get out of the house too as was barry. so after a brief chat with Tommy he suggested taking a look at "Ward Law" as jubilee cairn is a bit of a challenge to get up at the moment. Turns out the hill is shown on the os map as Thirlestane hill. It also has a recent forestry track carved up the side so makes for relatively easy access.
Bob Mathews and Stephen Pegler had also spotted the rasp forecast so there was 6 of us to test fly the hill.
On take off it felt a tad strong at times. Stephen was first off. Looked very lumpy but he climbed up and away (landing by the lock of the lowes) then Bob M was off. and skyed out before heading after Stephen. Rob was up next. he didn't sky out as much as the other two but stuck with a climb from close to the hill. it looked pretty smooth. It looked like he decided to not go to far as was seen heading back towards the hill but more to the east.
Tommy had a go. interesting take off and the big ears were in pretty quickly. The air had changed a bit and things had a bit more of an easterly component at times.
Barry set up and after waiting for a lul was off. nice launch and straight out from the hill. he went up a bit. and had a go at turning int he lifty bits but said later it was a bit lumpy so flew down and landed near to the car.
I had an interesting take off attempt (or 4) must do some more groundhandling! it was quite lifty, windy and thermic. Not always the best combination. I soared along the hill to the north keeping an eye on where Barry had landed. got a bit of lift. then some strong lift. then some siink. more lift and a turn or two later I was over the top of the hill. poked about a bit for a couple of minutes. Lift was very strong in places. lumpy is a good description. I decided that being bobbed about was getting a bit less enjoyable so had a look at the landing options. not enough height to get over honey cottage. the best options had sheep in them. felt I had too much height for Barry's field so went for the slightly soggy field Tommy had pointed out earlier as one to avoid! it wasn't too bad and wasn't smooth getting into it either. nice to be in the air but nicer to be on the ground.
Nice to be out on a hill again. hopefully more flying to come.