Early start, or so I thought, but parking was already mobbed. Westerly forecast lured me to the west face of Parlick, but the smart money was on Fairsnape. First away was Murph, on what looked like a doomed glide, but he worked it and was away. Death glide to Fairsnape: fail. Sweaty walk up, faff, faff while the Jones was next away and climbing out. Stern talking to needed: stop being so desperate!
Nice gust, good inflation, off, climbing, phew! Huge clouds, needing massive detours around them, circling on the edges. Stocks reservoir went past, nobody else around, but lots of radio chatter about how rough it was everywhere. Inglebugger coming up, my own bete noir; so often gone down here and it looked the same old story as I approached below summit height. Something's got to work here, surely? Oh boy did it work! The wildest climb I've ever experienced, anywhere. I barely glanced at my instruments but I saw 8.9 m/s, and that wasn't the strongest surge. The tracklog only shows max 5.8 m/s over 4s average - this was the problem with this climb, the strength was varying so much. Much improved nearer the clouds, and I was catching up with the Jones.
Virgin territory now, never flown past here so it took me a while to recognise Dodd and Wether Fell. Somewhere around here I hit 7300 ft, so a UK height PB. And where was my camera? Fabulous cloudscapes all around but they'll just have to live in my memory. I could see Barnard Castle, and always wanted to fly there, as I have friends live locally. That was my downfall, there was still plenty of life in the sky, I could hear Chris F on the radio suggesting a line further inland would be better, but like Ed C said in another storyboard, I'm getting too old to face long sweaty walk outs from the middle of MAMBA, so B C sucked me down.
85 km, no great shakes on such a great day, but a PB that will live in my memory for a very long time and an easy retrieve even if it took ages rounding up some more waifs and strays. OK for an old codger with a bus pass.