How & When to Paraglide from Lions Head
In Part 2, of Our “How & When to Paraglide from Lions Head”. We discuss how to Paraglide in a Southerly wind. Whether you are a beginner paraglider or have a few flying hours under your belt, knowing some of the tips of the trade from experienced Fliers with 100s of flights is a must been for those wanting to move from Novice to Pro.
The Southerly wind
The picture below shows the Southerly airflow from Hout bay. In it, a “wraparound” southerly can clearly be seen with the change in wind direction as the air flows around Karbonkelberg and into Campsbay towards Lions Head. The Southerly wind now presents itself as SSW at the landing field in Camps bay.
The first thing we recommend is that you check all the relevant Iweathar stations to see if the predicted Southerly wind is indeed South.
1) Clifton Glen Country Club – S to SSW not stronger than 20km/h
2) Signal Hill – S to SSW not gusting stronger than 40km/h (this is in the lee-side, the wind is always stronger here)
3) Lions Head – S to SSW not stronger than 40km/h (this is in the venturi of the mountain)
If the wind is stronger: DO NOT PARAGLIDE!
In the picture below the Southerly wind can be seen as an SSW flowing towards the landing field
Light Southerly Wind
This picture shows the general Southerly airflow in light winds.
Stronger Southerly Wind
The picture below shows the Southerly airflow on Lions Head when the wind is too strong to take off from the Top take off – 30km/h. The yellow circles are the areas that generally work well to get to the top of the mountain. The purple areas now become areas of danger and should be avoided at all costs. Due to the shape of the Lion’s Head, the wind accelerates on the sides of the mountain creating a dangerous “venturi” effect. If you find yourself stuck in the strong wind just below the top take off and try to use the ridge to climb as much as possible, if you can climb then make a wide right turn away from the ridge and run for the Sea Point promenade.
The small yellow circle on the picture below is the Bottom take-off, If you are standing on the Bottom take-off facing the ocean, you will see that there is a spine running down the mountain towards the Camps Bay High School sports field. If you are unable to get up, follow the route marked with the yellow arrows. This is the windward side of the spine. The lee side of the spine is often a little turbulent and chances are good that you will get flushed here.
The yellow arrows indicate the best line to take when flying out towards landing. The wind is often stronger on the landing field, always approach from the upwind side and then drift back to land in the field.
We often experience some strange convergence that sets up just above the Camps Bay High School field. The yellow area is where you would find this convergence line, don’t be frightened by this. Try to avoid the blue area just above Clifton 4th beach as this area is often very turbulent.
The convergence usually sets up just before it blows out, so keep your eyes on the ocean for signs of increasing wind. If you see white horses/whitecaps it is time to go land.
In the next part, we will discuss how to fly Lions Head in a South Westerly wind.
Contact Fly Cape Town today
For more information on paragliding or to book your next paragliding session, Please feel free to contact us at Fly Cape Town and we will be glad to help you.
The Fly Cape Town team are a group of highly experienced Tandem Paragliding Flight Instructors who can provide you with the best paragliding Cape Town has to offer. Come and experience the joy of a tandem paragliding flight in the beauty of Cape Town.