Lubcroy in a NE

Lubcroy in a NE
Flair K8 in its element on Lubcroy

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Typical Day at the Slope

Ring any bells? Weather forecast suggests strong southerlies, and there's that brilliant slope up near Rosehall, you know the one you can drive to the top in a Land Rover. Pack the car with an Alpina 4m, K21, Simprop Excel 4004 and various small stuff and head east.

Wind appears to be very light but things are so often different once you get to the ridge. Half an hour's drive or so, turn left into the farm, head for the gate and. Guess what? Locked. Something to do with timber lorries and public safety. Bollocks.

Head back west and stop at another locked gate below the ridge and decide, nothing ventured. Trek up the hill, over ground pitted and ruptured by plantation work to reach the road at the top. No wind to speak of, and what there is is coming from the south east, 45 degrees to the slope. Bollocks.

Back down the treacherous slope and into the car. Head west to Oykel Bridge where there's a flat field and a south facing bump behind it. Open the flask. Drink coffee and eat an oat cake or two. Ah well, at least we got a walk, and without breaking a leg. No wind. Can't be bothered to fly off a flat field anyway. Bollocks. Triple bollocks.

Head west again. At Lubcroy the grass verges are stirring. Wing commander orders the car stopped, puts compass on grass stem and announces "definitely a southerly" and if it's this strong down here...

Trek up an easy path to the ridge; ten minutes later rewarded by the glorious sight of a south facing slope, brisk southerly and building, blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Up goes the Exel.

Up goes the Alpina.

Flyflyflyfly... land land land (grassy, soft, flat, no rotor).

A day that started with hope, went from bad to worse, turns out brilliant.

That is the agony and the ecstasy of slope soaring in the Highlands, indeed anywhere.

Ring any bells now?