Jaca 2014 From The Ground Pictures Page 2

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Pictures From The Ground

Wednesday 26th March 2014 - Santa Cilia Snow.

I took an early wander outside to take pictures of the snow that had fallen overnight. There were 2 inches of snow on the cars. The road atleast was slushy and melting. After breakfast I couldn't resist a walk just after 9AM to the broken bridge to take pictures of a winter wonderland over the Rio Aragon.




The view from the apartment when I woke up. Lots of low cloud on Cuculo. Pictures of the main square.





Pictures of the main square. About 2 inches on my windscreen. Walking to the broken bridge.


2 panoramas taken from the broken bridge. The iPhone one looking North to a 'winter wonderland' and the 360 degree FZ200 panorama.



Peering over the roof tops to a cloudy Cuculo. Bob has the perfect hat for these conditions! One more view of Cuculo's low cloud.

Wednesday 26th March 2014 - Airfield Snow And Before Flight.

I got to the airfield at 9:50AM and took some snow pictures. The high peaks were obscured by cloud. We got the gliders out and had an impromptu snowball fight before briefing at 10:30 as the snow started to melt. In the briefing Jose reported there was northwesterly wave! There was a chance of soaring to 10,000 feet maybe. Then it would probably be thermic tomorrow and Friday before weather the weather closes in on Saturday. I was due up first with Bob in 776 and Mike T with John in 775. We watched the rotor clouds above while a long wait ensued for the tug to be brought out.





Looks rather different to Monday! 180 degree panorama of the airfield looking North. Beyond the hangar the mountains are obscured by low cloud. Low cloud in the valley. Others driving to the airfield along the access road.




Oroel. Runway already starting to defrost. Cloud lifting on Cuculo. Getting the gliders out.




The snowball fight. A large wave bar to the West. Lined up and ready to launch.

Wednesday 26th March 2014 - Airfield After Flight.

See the main page for the flight description and photos.

I was down at 1:24PM after 1 hour 37 minutes in the air. I helped Richard take over from me and launch, and Jon B in 775 who took over from Mike T. Then I returned to the clubhouse for a late lunch and to warm up around 2:30PM while chatting to other pilots. Outside it overdeveloped and showers brewed in the mountains for a while before clearing up again. Some time after 3:30PM the 2nd flights ended. Ayala got in 776 and Richard bagged another go in 775. The sky by now had cleared a lot and a lenticular set up not far away. After they launched I returned to the bar again to warm up as the cold wind had picked up. As 5PM approached it was getting very windy and I could see showers upwind. The snow caps were obscured by cloud now. Cloudbase was dropping on Cuculo mountain to south of the airfield and the top cover thickening up. All the gliders were down and away by about 6PM.





Richard and Bob ready to launch. Mike T and John towing back to the launch point after landing. Jon B getting ready to fly 775. The tug releases its rope in the rope drop area as it comes in to land. Richard and Bob landing.




Jon B and John landing a short while later. Top cover and showers building. The office without the snow cover. The buggy used to retrieve the gliders.



Another view of Oroel. 776 and a vulture. Moody cloudscape late in the day.

Wednesday 26th March 2014 - Evening.

After warming up in the bar and a quick trip to supermarket Mercadona for supplies Richard and I went to the bar at 7:45PM to find Mike Evans and Mike Nashworthy about to head to Jaca for dinner. Richard and I decided to join them and I volunteered to drive. So we piled into the small Fiat and off we went. We ended up in the Restaurante Asador Cobarcho which looked like a cave. After a nice meal we left at 9:50PM. We were all tired so headed straight back to base to retire for the night.


Sunset in Jaca. Restaurante Asador Cobarcho.

Thursday 27th March 2014 - Airfield.

It was a nice sunny start outside with chilly crisp air and some scattered low cloud early on. It looked hazier too. The plan was for Ayala to go first with John followed by me. Mike T was first with Bob followed by Jon B. Richard was number 3 today after his 2 flights yesterday. I got to the airfield around 9:30AM and walked over to the hanger to help get gliders out before briefing. I di'ed 775. At the 10:30 briefing lighter winds were expected today. It looked like it should be a good cloudbase in the afternoon, up to 3000 meters before showers form on the French side of the mountains. Then we waited in the pleasant sunshine for it to warm up, thermals to get useable and cloudbase to rise. While we waited Bob gave us a very good briefing about mountain flying. Then more waiting for cloudbase to rise above the higher peaks in the distance. At the launch point it was still a bitingly cold wind. I was standing in the lee of a car in the sunshine to warm up. The gliders were put in line around 12:30PM, behind the first local glider to fly all week. Ayala and Mike T were launched by 1PM. 775 called in at 2PM, earlier than expected, while another glider had a turbo out. So maybe conditions were not as good as expected? A subsequent call suggested 775 had found lift and they were staying up longer. Then after a while 776 returned. Jon B was nowhere to be seen so Richard took his place instead and they launched. 775 finally returned at about 3PM ready for me to take over.

See the main page for the flight description and photos.

We landed just before 6PM after 2 hours 36 minutes in the air. Soon after, 776 also landed and all the gliders were put away. Then we returned to base for a tea (and to review my photos and videos) before meeting in the bar at 8PM to go to Restaurante El Porton in Jaca. Ayala had suggested it and 6 of us went - all 5 expedition people as well as Jon B's wife. We arrived at 8:30PM and had a good meal. We didn't get back until 11PM and it was soon time to retire for the night.






Bob's mountain flying briefing. Clouds on the high peaks. Soaring vultures. Preparing to launch as conditions look lovely with cumulus everywhere.




A Cub aircraft by the hangar. Clouds getting rather big towards stages 1 and 2. Gliders soaring. Keeping an eye on the mountains as clouds continue to shroud the highest peaks.



A kite. More overdeveloped cloud behind stage 1. Sun dog late in the day.