09/04/03 - Alex Coltman, 22.9km from Pandy
An afternoon off, with ice.
To Pandy SO 318 234 at 15:00
After sitting in a lecture all morning watching an amazing sky drift past I decided to bunk off at lunch time. Headed up to Pandy to find Robin was holding his demo day there. Lots of new shinny wings but not many pilots (where were you all?).
The sky looked a little over developed with lots of spread out but a hangie was climbing so decided to brave the cold and fly. Headed along the ridge and round the first corner to be greeted by a nice thermal which I shared with Pete Douglas. Although the drift was reasonable I pushed up wind under a line of darker more defined base where there were short lived climbs all the way (convergence?).
Once near base I decided that I had to leave the hill as the dark line stretched at least as far as Crickhowell and had a distinct step. Over the back the clouds really started to suck and I had to spiral out of cloud twice (big ears and full bar resulted in a 2-4 up) staying in the spiral the second time till 500ft clear of base where height was more easily managed.
Here I noticed that I had ice crystals covering both my harness and my gloves and started to wonder about the wing(and my fingers which I could no longer feel!) Over Crickhowell now and the dark line had a long gap in it till past the Beacons. I spotted a smaller dark patch over Tor y foel (otherwise know as William Hague, think about it) and headed for it.
It didn't work and I was on final glide over Talybont reservoir with not quite enough height to make the start of the Talybont hills. A nice walk down, a quick lift to the main road and another easy lift all the way to my car made even the retrieve pleasant.
A very pretty flight followed by a few ciders with Simon and Robins crew in the Skirrid.