Dales 2024

Date: 

Thursday, May 9, 2024 to Sunday, May 12, 2024
£95.00
Price: £95.00

Address: 

The Dalesbridge Campsite and Cabins
Austwick
Lancaster
LA2 8AZ
United Kingdom

Dales round, to be held at The Dalesbridge centre near Austwick from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th May with registration on Wednesday 8th May – 4 tasking days. Cost £95

The Yorkshire Dales, a paragliding Mecca if it doesn’t rain! - by Ed Cleasby

The Yorkshire Dales, although co-joined with its near neighbour the Lake District, is quite different in terms of landscape, weather, feel and from a paragliding perspective ... possibilities. Carved from the same ice, the landscape is gentler, the valley network more random and situated in the neck of the country, subject to complex weather patterns from two sides. A real puzzle on some days. The most common phenomena is convergence –  of various types and an influence both on flying a site, site selection and xc planning decisions.  You’ll meet it most days in some form or other. From any hill you’re never more than 30 miles from either the Irish sea or the North sea and usually one or both are in play. Into the mix you can add airmass and topographical convergence, occasional wave disruption and booming moorland thermals.  On a good day few places south of the Scottish border can compare with the stunning scenery, the number and variety of flying sites available or the quirky effects of the weather.

At the latest count there are over 30 flying sites covering the Dales, the majority overseen by the DHPC, they are generally large with generous take off and landing areas.  For the most part ‘big and safe’ sums them up. The main ones,  Semerwater, Wether Fell, Dodd, Windbank etc are well known, but the best are shrouded in Yorkshire mystery and secrecy. Only a few are let in on the delights of World’s End, Middle Earth, Three Men, Middleark, the superb Cotterside or Johnny Barnes.  For the purpose of any competition though, the default is the tried, tested and well known. It’s just the way it is with only the lucky, casual visitor being introduced to the full flying delights of the Dales.

All wind directions are covered. Most prevalent being any sort of west or east facing ridge … south is a more spartan feast, due mainly to size, number limits or permissions (comps), and northerlies are what you really don’t want … can be done, but options are limited.  The last few years (Covid aside) and according to (my) logs and the league tables, shows that March into May are the best months, with spring now coming earlier and the weather often drier than it used to be (I base that on over four decades of flying the area – but I can’t be quoted on that if you’re sat in a rain sodden tent in a gale). Yes, it can be tough up north, but with a touch of good fortune it’s amazing.

Aside from the flying, lots of great villages, pubs, cafes and a reasonable Dales bus service. The natives are friendly, landing out rarely a problem (although it’s worth mentioning that the Dales BPC will be in late lambing, hefting and meadow growing time so pick your fields with that in mind).

The Dales is a great place to fly, the Club very active and the potential, especially for close circuit flights, starting to be exploited. In short, a super arena for a competition.

Your competition entry fee includes:

  • Safety trackers
  • A competitors meal one evening
  • Subsidised retrieves

If any pilot has a postponed booking from 2023 with The Dalesbridge please email info@dalesbridge.co.uk with your booking reference and your booking will be transferred.