Original content sourced from Greg Hamerton’s ‘Fresh Air Site Guide’, 5th edition, 2006.
BASIC + 4
DESCRIPTION: Soaring. A conical peak which rises gradually from the Atlantic Ocean to a summit which affords you a wonderful view of Hout Bay, Karbonkelberg and parts of the coastline to Lion’s Head. Soaring is usually smooth and simple.
WIND: N – NW GPS: +- S34o00.816’ E18o20.617’
LAUNCH: Parking at the gate, you can walk along the private tar road that leads to the radio mast on the front face. It is possible to launch directly to the left of the radio mast, at the end of the road, although it is not recommended due to the strong venturi. A safer launch site is further west, using the hiking trail for 5minutes to take you onto the main face of Llandudno mountain. Find a clear spot amongst the shrubbery and lay out. The wind is traditionally crossed from the left, and seems weaker than it is aloft.
ALTITUDE: 280m high, with airspace ceiling at 1200m
LANDING: The beach offers a small landing area (approach from the sea). Slope landing is safe, although there is a large amount of lift there.
CAUTIONS: If the air is mixing – you feel hot then cold then hot again, you are likely to find extremely turbulent conditions. This means that there is a Berg wind mixing with a coastal westerly. It is a site that is difficult to read – some days it appears flyable, yet it is very strong once you are up. There are very few options if you have misjudged the wind – you will have to gain as much height as possible, then run across to the venturi (and the low point) as you get blown over, survive the rotor and land in Hout Bay on the big green school-fields. The venturi near the radio mast is strong, as all the air is trying to squeeze through the neck to Hout Bay. The beach can become very small when the sand is washed away, so check the landing area before you fly. A windsock on the beach can be very useful in landing judgement, as it is often blowing SW on the beach.
DIRECTIONS: Follow the coastal road from Camps Bay towards Hout Bay. Turn right to Llandudno and bear right to check out the landing site on the beach. Continuing straight over to Hout Bay, you will find a turning to the right half way down the descent into Hout Bay, sign boarded ‘Kleinleeukop / Little Lions Head’. Take this road and keep to the right at every intersection you find, which will bring you to the (permanently locked) gate to the radio mast. Park your vehicle clear of the entrance, and walk in along the tar road to the radio mast.
HG: may be able to get a key for the gate and drive closer to launch.
RECORD: to Signal Hill, return, then to Glen Cairn (Abe Meyer, 2003)
PERMISSION: none needed.