The original plan as no one else was in sight by the time i was on Greenwall was to head as far east, leaving Greenwall East from cloudbase i arrived after the first glide nice and high on the next ridge quickly topping up and hitting my next line, it was looking like a nice textbook type day with easy climbs and relatively buoyant lines on crossings. on one of these climbs i began to hear the thudding of rotor blades, flying at base and it being a very hazy day my only thought was that i hope he’s not going to be at my flight level, only having 2-3 seconds audible warning i changed my flight line and moments later see rotor blades closing in about 50m below me, it was close enough to see the pilots face hiding behind an open face helmet with big black glasses and microphone covering his mouth.
It had been smooth flying until the longer crossing over Besisahar where the wind picked up to around 18km/hr and my choice of first thermal on a massive rock face despite its strength was still broken and turbulent. At times it pays to stick the rough stuff as a few moments later i was back at cloudbase and heading for the next glide, this however doesn’t change the fact that it was not the most pleasant of places.
By the time i had reached the end of the next ridge line i started to hear some radio chatter from Mitch, Pablo and Will whom had decided to also head east, they were about 13kms behind. I decided to hang around and wait for them to continue the rest of the flight as a group. (spending alone time on the hill is nice but if cloudbase is too low and you know you will have to land near population its always good to have some other people that can take the attention of the locals and give you some breathing room or at least enough time to pack your gear in peace). on top of this you have the added safety just in case of either a bad landing or start the next day. �
Day one flight
during the night we got a nice surprise, we discovered where they get the sound effects for dragons in most movies. I awoke to the sound of dragons i mean bats swooping my tent catching the insects that had been attracted to the remains of the camp fire. if for nothing else than that experience it had all been worth it.
we were welcomed in the new day with bad haze and low visibility which later proved to be an added difficulty in line choice not to mention one kid that the night before tried to join our camp out, Mitch took off first and i followed shortly leaving Pablo and Will at the takeoff with thermal suck from all directions. after 1.5hrs waiting for them they finally made it into the air from a place slightly lower down the ridge. once we were all in the air we started to make our way east, unfortunately 2 ridges later Will and Pablo bombed out leaving Mitch and myself to continue towards Kathmandu. The closer we got to KTM the stronger the wind became around 22km/hr at cloudbase.
Approaching the final ridge separating us and KTM we were met by very strong wind and decided to take advantage of the biggest flat area we had seen in 2 days and land. coming in to land we had strong valley wind and landing speed for me was a nice and lazy 3-4km/hr
Once packed we headed to the main road about 100m away where we had to wait about an hour for the last minibus to KTM, surprisingly a pretty quick 3hr ride for Mitch and I, during which we discovered that landing on the KTM side of the ridge would have been much more difficult than we would have liked, with strong haze still covering terrain and hiding the multitude of power lines that from even the road looked almost like a spiders web, steep rice paddies that didn’t at all look friendly and a mass of buildings covering and hiding all the landable places, Pablo and Will had walked for about 3hrs from where they had landed and found out that the next bus would not be till morning. In the morning we jumped on the morning bus back to PKR and arrived around an hour before the others who had had to work their way back on 4 different busses.
Thanks to the Boys for a nice trip and hope we have a couple more before the weather turns.
this shows you that a little EN-B can keep up with the big boys, the 777 Rookholds its own.