A Few Notes & Pictures of AHPC Flying in 2006 by Matthew Church
I started the year in April when I went to Glen Coe with Julian on the promise of using the chairlift. Due to the wind we walked up Beinn a Chrulaiste on the opposite (East) side of the Glen for a bit of a soar in a fantastic landscape of snowy hills before the sea breeze came in. The following day we used the chairlift but with snowboards rather than paragliders.
At the start of May Jules flew from the Tap to Lossiemouth, at 47km a club paragliding record.
A few of us went to Arran for the Scottish Paragliding Nationals round there: (see August 2006)
The AHPC round of the Nationals saw too strong wind inland on the Saturday so spot-landings at St Cyrus where it was too light. On Sunday a few got flying at the Cairnwell before the showers came in. At least we used the cablecar.
A few days later Simon and I had great flights in a SW from Meall Odhar (below Glas Moal). He landed near the top of Lochnaghar for a 4 hour walk out while I landed at Bridge of Alford for a 4 hour wait in the pub. A new AHPC record.
Start of August saw some great flying. Pressendye first off with Simon going to Banchory while I went past Alford before rain interrupted play:
The following day Julian flew from Morrone to Ballater while Simon and I flopped over the back a bit later in the day.
Monday saw Simon, Kev and myself back at Morrone and had great flights, Kev flying to Ballater before getting scared of trees and landing, while I got to Dinnet, not wanting to go over Glen Tanar, where the sail planes were climbing, for the same tree reason.
Later in August saw Simon doing his first tandem flight having got his license with Zabdi on Arran. I was almost his first passenger but luckily a passing walker was kidnapped, strapped in and told to run.
September continued with good flying. First off with Steve Blackler who wanted to fly the Cairnwell while the chairlift was still running. In a blue hole but good for scratching around up to the inversion a bit above the top.
More soaring at Tom Dubh on the road to Tomintoal (after being blown out at Cairnwell) with Adrian (below), John and another new boy Tom Kemp.
Tom got some good flying at St Cyrus, though it was a bit on the claggy side.
A week later saw a group of us at Tap, where Guilleme introduced another French pilot, Sebastian. Scott and Hilary Rigg and Adrian also joined in the flying:
Scott Mather and I popped over to Ben Lawers in October for the Ochils round of the Nationals (yes, I know that’s not in the Ochils) but it was just for a top-to-bottom in the clag. The rest of October was spent at Leadlich, either getting bounced in the wave, top-to-bottoming or watching Big Ian get trashed on his Discus hang glider.
November I went to Braemar on my own to find it SW despite the W forecast for Morrone. The Cairnwell & Meall Odhar were in cloud so I walked up Creag nan Gabhar halfway between the two. Launch is mid-bottom of the picture (and yes, the cloud had cleared):
Good decision as it was in the sun for thermals up and I got to Braemar via Glen Callater before returning in some sort of wave off the west side of Glen Clunie. It was so good I headed back to Braemar again, despite my hands being completely frozen.
This time I got some good height so hopped over the back down the Dee until I realised the wind had picked up a bit much and landed almost backwards.
SHPF duties saw me back in the central belt so I stayed with David Thomson and got a flight in strong winds at Dungavel – great fun, just don’t go too high.
Finally my Scottish flying finished with a day plkaying around in the snow on Morrone with John and Scott R before a final flop off with Duncan Booth. A puncture for John slowed the retreive but added to the entertainment.