Once Upon A Time.
Five star day over the Cairngorms. What a cracker! Southeasterly forecast, Spittal of Glenshee start. Met up with Ben W. And climbed up the wrong hill. Most everyone else was on Mount Blair. Whoops! Luckily it worked pretty much wherever you launched yesterday, with folks having a cracking day and with a few personal bests recorded.
The bold pilots at the southeast corner of the Cairngorms, opted for the daunting task of overflying the Cairngorm plateau. Lots of walk out potential. Essential to have a good gaggle assembled before you embark. Ok, two pilots, so a Scottish gaggle possible. Ben and I made a plan. Straight downwind to Ullapool, on the west coast.
Spectacular fail. Not ten minutes into the flight, I'm alone, scratching 2k downwind, despite a near perfect climbout to base in front of launch. No sign of Ben, but lots of pilots streaming past in a Mount Blair gaggle. Although, it too was beginning to thin out quickly.
My second climbout was a slow affair and the potential for a very long walkout crossed my mind briefly. Beautiful day to get lost in the mountains.
I trundled on, climbing in every scrap of lift. Ten kilometres in and a bit of luck. I was about to meet up with a very able member of the Mount Blair team. Could hardly believe my luck. We topped up in a very slow climb and slithered onto the plateau, proper. I pushed on to find a climb and found myself virtually kicking the heather at 3000ft. No notable ground features, barely a slope. As I turned into wind I could see the remainder of our gaggle heading straight for me. Noooo! I shouted. He must have heard me. Anyway too late. I have no idea how I ended up back at base. Alone again. Ffs. Apologies to my teammate for a crap leadout.
Anyway, that was the crux of the flight. The remainder was joyful and unbelievably straight forward.
Journal entry for the day reads: -
Climbed a hill, assembled my aircraft, flew over the Cairngorms, including the region that has polar bears and tigers. Rendezvoused briefly at Cloudbase with like attired mates. Flew over the Great Glen and Loch Ness. After 100k, landed at Cannich with Warwick and Connor.
Cannich is in Warwick's home Glen. He and Connor having completed a cracking goal flight.
What a way to notch up your first 100k UK flight. Well done sir.