A lovely day for a fly-walk in the hills.
Which is true but we kind of hoped for a bit more flying and a little bit less walking!
The forecast implied a relatively steady West / West North West breeze and rather than get frustrated by being on Mount Benger and have the wind come along the hill rather than up it a plan was formed to head up Bodesbeck. Tommy, Rob and Myself met up about 10:45 and made our way along to the parking.
The hill itself is ideal in a WNW and has a westerly end (quite small) and also South West face (again quite small) but in theory that gave us a couple of options.
There was also a slight chance that Fiona might pick us all up if we lobbed off and flew down into the Moffat Water valley.
Heading across to the parking at Potburn a buzzard was spotted soaring "Lochy Law". Tommy had scoped out the "lochy law" hill the previous day and was keen to take another look.. The buzzard was seen to be tucking in it's wingtips (which they do when the wind is strong apparently) so rather than take a walk up and join it we continued on towards Bodesbeck.
Lots of chat on the way up kept the pace a little bit slower than "Tommy standard" but still felt suitably brisk to me and got a bit of a sweat up but the time we got to Take Off. Very little wind on top meant discussions started about options and alternate sites almost straight away. A very shiny Barry then appeared followed closely by Neil.
As there was not a lot happening I decided to have a go at some forward launch practice. Very useful it was too as I really struggled (and eventually walked down) at mount benger. After my first failed attempt Rob assisted by pointing out what I was not quite doing right. He also filmed a couple of attempts on my dodgy camera. In my head I was doing everything right but the wing was at fault. Rob pointed out my hands/ arms were going off to the side and so I was pulling the glider rather than launching it.
A bit of practice and I got it all working again. Pilot not wing error!
a slight breeze started but from the south west rather than north west so a flydown was proposed. Fiona was almost called to see if she might pick us up but I think we all chickened out of a forward launch with back wind off such a big hill! So. alternate plan #23 was put into force - continue the bodesbeck loop path back down to the car park.
this took us down the South / SSE face of the hill and down the old road (or part thereof).
As I had the glider un-packed I decided to fly down. several almost launches later and I was in the air. I have a habit of slowing instead of accelerating when forward launching so need to practice more I think..
a 2 min flight later and I was down. 10min later the guys had caught up with me pretty much as I had all the kit packed away.
a very pleasant day out. more flying would have been better of course.
It's also interesting to see the other faces of bodesbeck. I think it's a great site and if it wasn't for the long walk in I think we could make a lot more use of it. The southerly fly down option is good to know about too as it is a lot less hassle (and shorter) than the fly down to carrifran / moffat water.