Ridge and thermal flying are wonderful, but good wave is breath-taking and whilst I have been fortunate enough to have many wave flights to 10-14,000’, it is less common to get to the kind of altitude needed for Diamond height (a Gain of 16,400… usually needing a climb to approaching 20,000’).
A few years ago, I made a second Diamond climb in my Dg800b from Millfield (another great wave site).
With COVID threatening but with a gap in my busy calendar, I decided to make a trip to Denbigh again in September of this year, hoping for some exciting flying. I was not going to be disappointed.
The forecast was not that promising with maybe 2 days of SW winds before the wind was to turn to the South East or Easterly, so after driving for five hours I rigged and launched immediately to have some good ridge flying and some late in the day thermals before catching some weak wave which took me to over 10,000’. Not bad for the first day.
Sunday 13th showed some possibilities on Skysight, which indicated some wave in the local area but also some ‘Hot-Spots’ towards the Snowdon range. I committed this to memory and self-launched into a fresh SW wind and with some low cloud continually forming over the local town of Denbigh.
I ended up running into cloud below 2000’ so allowed the motor to cool whilst in cloud then continued on my Horizon until I broke out of the cloud on an ‘Edge’ which was continuously forming. Almost immediately, I was climbing at 6-8 knots and was above the cloud in minutes. I had already put my oxygen cannular on and selected ‘D10’, which would then allow the EDS system to administer a ‘squirt’ of oxygen whenever I took a breath once I got over 10,000’.
The climb continued and after some moving about to extract the best climb, I managed to get to 12,000’, but that seemed to be it, or so it appeared.
Initial Height ROC