Thermaling tips for paraglider pilots (part 1 of 4)


ah such a happy sound I’m at 2100, very nice, it took a little while just to get
up a little bit slow to start off with but now got up got a very smooth climb I’m in a nice gentle climb 0.9 m/s just
touching 1 on the averager, very nice! just a little bit slow, just need
to work it a little bit. So I’m exploring the cloud trying to find the best bit
feeling the air, listening to my vario and looking at other pilots and birds having a good look around to see who’s got the lift I think this climb has fizzled and gone. I can see a glider climbing over there ah so I’ve got a little bit of a lift.
very weak but I can also see a vulture! I’m gonna fly out towards the vulture thank you birdy.
It’s important to say hello to them and to thank them for their climb as well. nice 1.1 on the averager. I have a
feeling I’m not in the best part of the lift. I’ll have a little explore around as well. 1.3 m/s there … 1.5 … 1.6 It’s a little hazy today so you may not be
seeing it quite at the glory that it is this is just had a really nice easy climb,
I feel quite relaxed just going with the flow. I’m also keeping a really good
lookout all around me so when I lose this climb or it fizzles out I’ve got to
have a good idea of where I’m going next what I’m gonna do, that climb was pretty good, about a 1, but I’m now seeing a gaggle forming and I think they’re
climbing better than I am so I’m gonna glide across, use a little bit of speed
bar because they’re not so close to me, so I’m just gonna use the speedbar, lift up on brakes and go and join the other thermal a bit bumpy on the glide. I have a few pilots to fit in with so
I don’t want to upset anybody. As I’m coming up to the thermal I’m
assessing where I can slot in without getting in anybody’s way, because that would be rude! I’ve got a guy just above me, but I think I’ve settled in quite nicely yeah and see that was worth
gliding across to, now I’ve got a 1.9 so much nicer. having a good look around as well to see
what my next options are, I can see one bird thermaling, I see a couple of
pilots climbing which includes Carlo and Crispin so I’m keeping my eye on them just bouncing around on the edge of this
cloud, so slightly broken lift as I’m going round but I’m still going up. so from the sky I’m looking more again
that the South seems to have some good options definitely got two or three
gliders there ahead of me that are playing around in something it doesn’t
look amazing but I don’t have anything right now so and I have good
height so I recon I can go and explore that So again, speedbar is on I’m heading to that cloud and those gliders in front of me.
I’ve got about half speedbar on to give me that extra little push. I tend to
play around with third to half speed bar sometimes 3/4 but I’m not racing I don’t
need to have full speed bar on the whole time I’m just trying to get from cloud to cloud in a relaxed fashion very nice … 1.8 beneath me I’ve actually got some fairly
recently plowed fields, there’s also some water as well some sort of quite large
ponds or reservoirs so it could be that I’m climbing where those dark fields are
meeting the water Quite a bit of movement when you fall out of these blooming things! I’m going to cheat slightly look at my Oudie because I have a nice trail on my Naviter Oudie 4 you can have a trail of your where you’re thermaling and the good bits of lift show as a nice red line and you get sort of amber and yellow and blue
when you’re just in sink so to get me back into that thermal when I fell out of
it I just glance down at my Oudie and have a quick look to see where that thermal was
to help me get back into it I’m moving more onto this cloud, there are areas of it that are dropping sort of tentacles down To see if it’s working any better over here, at the moment it’s not … there we are! it’s feeling more positive
do a full 360 and see if I can maintain that. that gave me actually only half a
turn in good lift so I’m not quite in the best part of that, I’ll have another go.
widening my turn out a little bit feeling it, oh that’s feeling nice!
Let’s see if I can get a full 360 in good lift oh yes! that was a full 360.
now getting 1.1 … 1.3 some back up to 2100 1.8 m/s I’m having a shuffle in my harness because when I’m starting to do lots of 360s it’s nice just to really get my body in the
right position. I’m in the Advance Lightness 3 so for those of you who’ve done a harness fitting session with me I often talk about shuffling and using
your body particularly in the Lightness 3 because we are working with a hammock style, I’m really using my core to flex and roll, push out on to my footplate and
when I’m going round to the right my preferred method is pushing on to the
left side of the footplate which I find gives me the best sort of tilt on the
carabiner sometimes you then even out and apply
a bit more pressure on the right side as well to give a sort of even pressure on the footplate Things are going a bit more
hazy because we’re in the whispies so I’m gonna do that little exploring to
the edge of the cloud so that I’m not popping into it. this is fantastic! whee! Sometimes you get those surges, I don’t like them but just catch the wing. that moment where you feel your
stomach sort of staying in one place and you lurching forward. I’m not in the best bit of the lift, that’s why. Get back in get stuck in! this
is a bit of a stronger climb Lawrence way above us is sticking in Big Ears so quite quickly got into 2.3 m/s … 2.4 it gets bit bouncy okay so it’s going back up to 2200 … 2260 Carlo is just above me now at 2300, I can see on the Skytraxx, we’ve got a nice little gaggle of four of our group You can hear on my vario it’s now not too happy, I’ve got 3 m/s down at the moment, let’s get out
of here get on that speedbar brakes come up, dont’ want to be applying any brake now using the back risers just trying to keep me on course ease off the speedbar get my hands back into play getting back up to 2300
and you’re probably noticing around me it’s getting a bit more hazy
again so I’m keeping an eye out on the cloud above me I’m on the southeast tip
of it at the moment so I might now take a glide staying
under the cloud to get myself in a better position It’s got a bit cooler the wonderful thing about Colombia is I’ve
just got a small top underneath my speed arms and it’s generally all you need out
here. so I’m gliding now underneath this cloud
pretty much almost the face really flying out to the
north-northwest tip of it if I did start to pop into the cloud I
can always escape a bit more to the east
so I’m keeping an eye on that and that’s where my window of sunshine is. Ahh, it’s so lovely here! I’m just looking around it is hazy, but looking around, I’m just seeing big
puffy cumulus clouds in pretty much all directions. Whoohoo! so I hope you’ve enjoyed flying with me
in Colombia and that you find some of the tips useful

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