Posted by: 13rob | September 12, 2016

Sep 10 – A day of surprises


13 soaring the top of Snowdon, just showing the summit railway station, taken by Ryan in “TJ”, Guest Blogger: Mike Barrowman.

Following a launch from Llanbedr following a wait for conditions to improve we motored across The Barmouth/Dolgellau Estuary and sat on the ridges of Cader Idris in varying cloudbase waiting for conditions to improve! As forecast by Robin, they eventually did and we were able to progress North in the company of Ryan Berry in Tango Juliet. The intention was to reach the summit of Snowdon and on to Bangor but, as the summit was in cloud and an interesting cloud street hung over the Lleyn Penninsula we proceeded south west, past Pwlheli and to within 5 kilometers of the tip.  We were surprised by the good conditions in the area as the peninsula is narrow at this point with sea air on both sides, so a convergence was providing a soaring route. It is an area probably not frequented by gliders very often. Having gone as far as we could we retraced our steps and noticed a route of sunny slopes leading to the summit of Snowdon which was by this time out of cloud. When we reached the summit we were as surprised by the amount of people on it as they were probably surprised to see two gliders there. For a while we entertained the crowds as we slowly climbed the mountain in a very light wind, we then proceeded to the coast between Bangor and Llandudno to explore an interesting shelf cloud directly over the shoreline. Having exploited this we then proceeded back to the summit of Snowdon in the company of Tango Juliet and proceeded to further entertain the crowds. Or not! Having tired of this we took a heading directly back to Llanbedr and arrived with sufficient height for a low pass before landing. It was an exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable 5 hour fight that I will always remember.

The main fascination for today was the convergence that seemed established along the Lleyn peninsular almost all day in various guises. It’s often there but not so often with cloudbases that allowed us to use it quite safely.


The tip of the Lleyn Peninsular with Bardsey Island beyond.

The subsequent climb up the West face of Snowdon entertained the hundreds of people that decided to climb Snowdon today. With just 6kts playing on the slope it took a lot of effort and lot of close encounters with the walkers and railway line. Fabulous day out..



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