Upon returning from FlySpain´s Tow and Winch training camp in Argentina i got back to greet some familia faces all set to begin Mays first Pilot thermalling course. It was really nice to catch up with the EP, CP trio of Nigel, Rob and Laura who had all trained together with us the previous September on our paragliding beginners course. It was nice to welcome a new face as well. Sam Jenkins was joining us for the first time along with Stefen who is fast becoming part of the FlySpain furniture as he was on his 4th Pilot Thermalling course with us this year. We also had Mr Joe C. out to help out and drive for us and add to the good banter of the group for the week.
Summer has well and truly arrived here now and we headed out in blue skys and sunshine (to the tune of 28 degrees) to Montellano. It was a nice way to start the week with the stability keeping the air nice and calm and the guys got a nice light thermalling stroke ridge soaring flight in. The afternoon took us to Ronda La vieja where the increasing high pressure meant good tans but light winds which were to light to soar. All was not lost however as it gave us the chance to make the cross valley flight from the top all the way through the Villiones valley down to the road. After 15 mins of sunset smooth air photo taking flying later all was done and it was time for beer and medals.
The next couple of days offered good South easterly so we spent the mornings thermalling up to well over 2000ft above take off. It was great to see the group climb out as for most it was their first thermalling flights. It's always a bit special to watch ex EP, CP students getting their teeth into thermalling and Rob didn´t disappoint staying up for well over 3 hours and only came down as his hands were getting cold from being so high.
After a leisurely lunch and a quick dip in the lake to cool off it was back up to the South Easterly for some evening restitution. After the mornings hard core thermalling the evening flights allowed for some nice chilled, relaxed evening boating. By Thursday the hours were racking up and all the low airtimers were really building confidence and getting stuck into the flying clocking up the hours and for some earning the ritual of removing the Red Ribbon.
The conditions towards the end of the week had switched more to the West and so we found ourselves soaring at Ronda La Vieja which gave everyone the chance to practice some top landings and Nigel the chance to keep up his tradition of landing at the bottom and hiking up the front face, always achieved with a big sweaty smile.
We rounded the week off at El Bosque and although it started a little strong the evening came on beautifully and we had the ridge to ourselves apart from the gaggle of Vultures that marked the way around the sunset sky.
What impressed me most with this group was the standard of ground Handling and the calmness on launch. Ian and Maria although living in the highlands of Scotland had been out over winter ground handling as had Rob and Nigel and this really paid off when launch conditions were more challenging. Sam as well showed some very good control off launch despite a long gap between his previous flights so well done to all. If your interested in a good ground handling clinic we head to Dune de Pyla in July for much fun and flying.
If you´d like to join us for any of our guided weeks see our available dates through out June and on in to September on our Dates and bookings page.