Monday, 10 December 2012

Stormy day on West Lomond

With the promise of a sunny day and a good north west wind I headed up to Craigmead car park and the long walk to West Lomond. The car park was a sheet of frozen slush/snow and very difficult to walk on! The path along to West Lomond had a patchy covering of the same melted and refrozen snow which made the walk up a challenge because a lot of time was spent walking on the margins of the path or stepping very gingerly on the ice. The strong headwind didn’t help much either.  

The final climb up the path over the shoulder of West Lomond was hard work and by the time I got there I was cream crackered and doubting my sanity!! I had the same doubts later on as I struggled to hang onto my Extreme at the launch point. Turbulent conditions on the edge and a real challenge to hold the model level before letting go!! I had to abandon my second launch because I just could not hold the model level with one hand. It was blowing between 40-50 mph with frequent big gusts.
Low winter sun shows up the folds in the terrain down the hill near the Bunnet Stane (bottom left)
Once away though my fully ballasted Extreme was ballistic in the bumpy air!! Yippee. Landings were a bit hairy because the rotor seemed much worse than usual. The wind was more NNW which swung  it off the slope a bit and may have contributed to the hairy landing approaches.  The low sun on the landing approach was also a real problem and I had a couple of moments where I could hardly see my model. Ahem!!

I had a couple of flights before Peter arrived and having someone else to launch made the whole thing much less fraught. Landings were still hairy though.
Extreme trying to bury it's head in the snow hoping I won't fly it again!
Peter flew his Stinger first it if went like a scalded cat in the big air. He was able to carve some excellent turns although flying a uniform course was tricky in the turbulent air. Peter’s Freestyler also went well but seemed a bit unsettled at times in the bumpy lift. Peter proved the strength of the FS when it fell out of the air on landing and went into the frozen ground nose first. It actually stuck in nose first but survived fine. Strong model!! 

My Extreme resting on the snow in the low winter sun

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