11 January 2011

Dion's dive north east slope adjacent to Inanda

With the last Saturday wind looking useful but "beastly easterly" and off the right corner of Springfield, it was eventually decided by the Springfield Chickens to meet fearless leader Russ at Sasol garage and convoy up to the north east slope mountain, first Google earth discovered and explored by Dion Thompson and Ziggy way back. Dave made a complete klutchkop of himself by contending this was indeed not the same slope but fortunately Russ stuck to his guns and tested the short but possibly treacherous access road before phoning us to proceed.

The slope offers a vista from NE right through SE (quite handy on our coast) and looked gorgeous and unblemished on our arrival. We of course had to learn all over again that the Kzn NE slopes are overly thermic on very hot days and extremely treacherous in the sink cycles between the booming thermals. Lots went walkies and one of the walkie visits to the far left bowl by Mark and Dave for the encouraging Dyna-mite sloper prompted the realisation that we were in fact flying from the wrong spot for that wind direction! A revisit to the left hand bowl is looked forward to, especially as the access is less problematic for vehicles and folk.

Russ's Zagi refused to co-operate whilst the Nelson clan were quickly in the air with the srtreamer trailing Griffin and Zagi racer. Dave maidened the newly winged Toksix and Mark and Paul tried the camera mounted Middle Phase. Kobus was till charging. Then it all started to go wrong for a while with the aforementioned patches of sink and then a huge crunch as Russ comprehensively mid-aired his Toss 2011 destined Shongi, which put a real damper on things (but now fortunately almost repair complete). Lasses Kelly Conradt and Claire Phillips kept us all well behaved and the view in to the valley was really quite magic.

After various fetchings, it was obvious that Kobus was now having a ball with his OD PSS Mustang, which now had the slope to itself and was pretty impressive. When the noises were made to start heading home, yours truly started to twig that it was not all Mustang and the conditions were in fact getting more pleasant - and consistent. Fortunately Kobus and (new;-) Pete agreed to stay a while, which turned out quite a while! Pete had his first Gentle Lady slope fly since Springfield 18 years ago (including take off and landing) and Dave got to grips with the four servo winged Toksix. It is interesting that the moderate wind was smooth enough for the gas bag but also more than enough for the Toko winged Toksix.

Yes, a Switchblade it is probably not but certainly a useful scenic alternative for those Springfield days when the wind is good but not straight on. Probably wise to travel as a mob ala Switchblade, though (whereas the SW Inanda Ziggy site is completely void of spectators). More importantly, later in the afternoon on steamy days (only mad slopers and English men go out in the mid day sun ;-)

Mark's Missus, Claire Phillips, with the newly four servo winged Toksix, which flew a treat. Thanks to Russ for the hard work in getting it all together.

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