Another lovely day at Milfield ! The early tows all went down the College Valley and most contacted wave between the Tors & Cheviot. It only worked to around 5000' but there appeared to be a few slots in the cloud and also some 'valleys' which, whilst not enabling any significant climbs, allowed us to venture afield. Your blogger headed along one of these valleys / slot features getting out to between Morebattle and Windy Gyle. Turning around there was a more obvious route which, by just trickling along at 45 - 50kts enabled me to get to Berwick. Turning round again there was still a slot running back to Yetholm but, by this time, the cloud to the West was thickening. Returning along the Tweed to Norham it appeared as though wave had set up near to Ford and then further South at Wooler. I was joined by Derek Ward and we both enjoyed flying South, me along a nice slot running virtually to Callaly Castle whilst Derek, slightly later ended up puzzling over a windfarm which turned out to be at Wingates, South of Rothbury. I returned to the site having covered over 170kms flying between 4 and 5000' most of the time. Wonderful !
Saturday 14th January was a beautifully sunny, clear but cold day with a steady wind onto the Tors & Cheviot. There were quite a few soaring flights over Cheviot with one or two pilots reporting some wave. Having got to around 4,400' over Cheviot your blogger decided to explore out towards Yetholm and wondered if the low hills from Kilham to Yetholm would work. I have only soared these hills a couple of times before and it's a question of getting low enough for them to work and tip-toeing very carefully from hill to hill. I flew down towards Kilham and then pushed forward over Moneylaws Hill (where they sometimes hang glide) to burn off height before setting off from Kilham at around 1500'. I maintained this height nearly to Yetholm but went a little too far and lost about 150' turning back. Again the return run saw me maintaining height until I got back to Kilham. Flying around the North end of the Milfield Hill brought me to a comfortable high key for the circuit and landing. Although this looks, and feels, rather dodgy, it's not very different from soaring the hills from Yeavering to Wooler. What is different is that Kilham is upwind of the site and high key is straight off the end of Milfield Hill rather than a push upwind from Yeavering. A fun flight !
Mike Rose, flying earlier, reported reaching around 6000' and then flying out towards Yetholm where a weak bar gave zero sink. When your blogger followed later, at a lower height, there was certainly some reduced sink but I think Mike was the only one to get as high in wave.
Mike's Trace :-