Heading up to Korchone.
I’m much too lazy to trek up to Korchone, so here are some tips for the non trekkers among us.
The flight starts as usual Sarangkot-Greenwall-Korchone Ridge and here it changes, rather than flying west to Dhampus we fly north along the ridge line.
unless your comfortable flying in strong valley winds with rough strong thermals stay as high as you can..
The flight up toward the Korchone takeoff can be very rewarding you just need to remember that the valley height has now changed to 1200mASL which is 400m higher that in Sarangkot.
If your flying high then the flight is pretty straight forward on the way to Korchone with a good combination of dynamic and thermal lift that will keep you high and a nice almost tail wind will assist you in getting there pretty quick. as your flying along don’t forget about your height, its easy to get comfortable and slowly drift lower and lower, you want to try and stay above the ridge line all the way up.
monitor the clouds up ahead they tend to want to over develop with winds coming from the east and west sides of the ridge line feeding the cloud that will soon be above you.
once you get to Korchone take off and conditions allow for it, take a photo as not many people venture this way and you just earned bragging rights at the bar (that’s if you get all the way back to town). leaving Korchone you really need to keep your height, a combination of cloud suck and head wind will slow your progress down. if you start to get below the ridge line get height before attempting to get to the next spine along the way. You didn’t fly all this way to take part in an SIV.
as you are approaching the southern point of the Korchone ridge line this is the time to consider which way your going to be coming back to PKR.
if you don’t see clouds your probably not going to find lift..
there are two main routes to get back to PKR you can continue flying the Korchone circuit or return to Greenwall.
Before choosing which way to fly, check what time it is.. are you still seeing clouds developing to the west? if not head back to Greenwall as it tends to work the longest, even if you don’t get back to Sarangkot its much easier to find transport back to lakeside from there rather than Dhampus..
For both options your going to need height so take the time to scan the sky along both routes as your climbing back to cloudbase. Now depending on the strength of the wind coming along the valley from PKR your going to need around 2700masl to get back onto Greenwall, when you get there the return trip is pretty basic (as you by now have mastered the Greenwall Run)
now if you have chosen to continue the Korchone Circuit get as much height as you can at HT7,8,9 before you head south east toward Kaski, these points can be found here. when your back at cloudbase head straight for Kaski/Kaskikot on a good day you should find lift along the way to top up on height before continuing.
if you get low around Kaski late in the day try not to waste too much time on lift that isn’t getting you up, keep moving and most times your going to have enough dynamic lift to get through to something better along the way. If you bomb out there are busses that run along this route to lakeside. or if your like me your punish your bad flight performance with a walk all the way back. it gives you time to consider the mistake that lost it for you. plus you get to meet some of the locals which is an adventure in itself and very rewarding.
Very important, in these parts if something goes wrong make sure you have told someone what route you are planning to fly.. its good to know where to start looking if you don’t return. a lot of the terrain is mountainous with the majority of flying being done in areas where people seldom venture. have your phone charged, be in radio contact with other solo pilots and if you have it fly with a Spot. even a phone live tracking app can save your life.