The lads from the Lleyn Flying Club told me they have flown off the South West slope of Holyhead mountain near the bird observatory but I have not flown there until very recently.
The wind was in a WNW direction initially, so I parked at the top of the South Stack lighthouse steps and walked up the road to the North West Slope. The speed was about 10-12mph so I prepared my light wind Top Model Ideal, which fortunately had a motor at the front, as when I launched the wind had moved round to the South giving little or not lift off the slope.
Fortunately I was able to engage the motor to get some height, then explored the cliffs to the right also known as Gogarth cliffs famous with rock climbers who absail down and climb back up – not me. There was indeed lift from the now WSW facing cliffs which showed me that I should move round to South Stack. So after a few flights I landed safely and packed up. I walked back down the road to the car and moved to the South Stack Lighthouse car park a little further down.
I got out the Ideal again and took it to the cliffs round the other side which face South Stack – see photos. The problem is that there is a vertical drop which makes me feel quesy. If you don’t get to the edge the rotor is not good, so I went as close as I could and launched off the edge. The rotor pulled the glider alarmingly off right heading towards the cliff wall. I immediately put in full left aileron and managed to pull it back straight.
Once out into the clean air, the lift was awesome and the flight was excellent.
Landing, on the other hand was precarious with all the tourists and a fairly small grassy area to aim for, and landing in lift. What I should have done is to walk over left and land in the heather where there is much more space. I decided however to aim for the small area and put the brakes out. I nearly made it but managed to land on the path which had a hump where the rudder hit. The landing through the battery to the front and cracked the fuselage. All repaired now but not what was intended.
All in all a bit hazardous. If the wind was further round I could have flown of the SW slope which is still a cliff but has more landing area.
Because the lift was so good, I reckon I could have launched off the easier South West slope to the left of the bird watching RSPB tower.