Posted by: 13rob | September 12, 2016

Sep 11 – Good thermals and wave for some


Great view of the Lleyn Peninsular from TJ. Guest Blogger: Ryan Berry

Much like every other day this week, a promising forecast in the morning didn’t materialise when expected – so a later start than we hoped for. However, I was first to launch in TJ focussed only on one thing. Wave. I had been pestering Robin for days trying to find out if we were likely to get wave, he was very tolerant of my badgering and went through the forecasts with me each evening. Each time we looked, it never really shaped up as he would have liked.

There was actually a chance of some local wave today, so after a quick chat about where to find it and how to use it I set off with Robins’ words of wisdom ringing in my ears! I switched the engine off at 5,500ft or so and turned down the Barmouth valley to parallel the Cadir Idris mountains. There was no obvious wave slot or lenticular cloud so very soon I was down at 5000ft wondering what had just happened! I had another look at the wind and decided I maybe wasn’t in the right place and moved closer to the mountain range. All of a sudden … smooth lift at 3 knots. I stuck it out and eventually it topped out at 13,000ft. I could hear some of the others down below who were starting to soar the ridges, but by now I was on my way across to Snowdon to see if there was any wave there. I had a good run downwind and got to Snowdon at about 11,000 and found the wave system there without too much fuss. After a little while I moved back from Snowdon to the ridge behind and contacted a nice system, which built steadily and took me up to 19,200ft where I stopped climbing to avoid going into the airspace above. While I was there, a lenticular formed up right where I was soaring which can be seen in the photo. The photos don’t really do the views justice to be honest! I could hear the other guys whizzing up and down the ridges and flying in thermals, and although it would have been nice to have been down there enjoying the flying on offer I was chuffed I had finally got the hang of wave flying!

While slowly descending so as not to damage the gel, I got the low down from some of the others on what they’d been doing. Andy S in A5 and Mark in 4M had set Bala – Snowdon but didn’t manage to get to Snowdon due to the awkward wind direction I believe. Rupert in 62, Geoff in GP, Alan H in KNV and Robin in HMK were all blasting around the Barmouth area along with some others on the ridges there and playing in the thermals too. I found some more wave on my way back and managed to describe it well enough to Robin in HMK that he got into it, and nearly to 7000ft before cold and a 5 hour plus flight got the better of him (I had already landed due to cold feet!)

Sadly the weather this year hasn’t been as good as last year, but the last two days have been truly special. To fly down the Lleyn peninsula with Robin in 13 where few, if any, gliders have ever been before was incredible. Then to top it off today, climbing to 19,200ft and seeing the whole of North Wales in one vista has definitely made the trip worthwhile!

Lastly, apologies for this blog post being mainly about my flight. I’m sure that there are many other stories from the others that are equally interesting!


Llanbedr airfield from 14000′



  1. Nice one – please put it on the Ladder even only for airspace usage purposes… Ed.

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