I’m starting a new series of articles on Paragliding Cape Town Classic XC Routes.
The first one in the series is the magical route from Signal Hill to Kommetjie. This may not be the longest flight in XC standards but definitely boasts as one of the most spectacular flights in Cape Town with absolutely breath taking views all the way.
So, lets start with the basics, the weather. The best wind forecast would need to be a NW going W, preferably post frontal or even in between fronts.
Try to stay away from the nasty pre-frontal NW winds.
1) We start at Signal Hill, turn right after take off and try to get up. Dont waste too much time on trying to get high. Once you are 80-100m above take off turn left and run all along the ridge to the NW face of Lions Head.
2) Work your way up the NW face of Lions Head. Be carefull of the Venturi effect on the sides of the Mountain. Once you are above the summit of Lions Head you can make your first crossing. Do not go straight over the back. Veer to the left and then run downwind along the SW face of Lions Head towards Table Mountain.
3) Aim straight for the Western face of Table Mountain. This area often goes up at 3-4m/s, woo-hoo!!! Work your way up to the Cable car station.
4) Once you are above Table Mountain you can take the most beautiful ridge soaring run that you have ever done, “The Apostles Run”, glide all the way to the last peak, Judas Peak.
5) At Judas Peak you have to make sure that you have sufficient height to cross over to Karbonkelberg via Litte Lions Head (depending on your altitude)
6) You will probably arrive at Karbonkelberg quite low. Work your way up till you are at least 80-100m above ridge height. If you can climb higher, please do so. The higher you can climb the bigger your chances of making the Hout-bay glide crossing.
7) Take the gap between Karbonkelberg and Little Lions Head, worst case scenario you will end up landing on Houtbay beach.
8) Back to some hard work, this area is not always going up nicely but if it is still NW you can scratch and ridge soar all the way to the top.
9) Now you can glide to Chapsmans Peak, be careful of rotor if the wind is still NW. Try to glide out towards the ocean first and then down to Chapmans Peak.
10) Once you are on Chapmans Peak you need to maximise your climb. try get as high as possible even if it means squeezing the last o,5m/s out of the lift. The higher you are here, the bigger your chances of making the Noordhoek beach glide to Kommetjie, unless you’ve got a Two-liner, then its a piece of pie!!!
11) Now you can glide all along Noordhoek Beach to Kommetjie.
12) Congratulations, you have reached Kommetjie. There are plenty of landing areas all marked in red and cold beer waiting for you!