Pendle

Wind Directions WNW - NNW OS Ref SD 782 403 (Sheet 103)
Height ASL 1745ft (532m) Rating CP
Top to Bottom 1056ft (332m) Notam 17.01

Directions

From A59 near Clitheroe, turn off at the Sabden sign. Follow road up past the cattle grid.

Access

Park in one of the small ‘quarry' car parks, or below the Well Springs Pub at OS ref SD 772 392. Do not drive up the track from the Nick.

map

Airspace

Keep below FL55. Airspace above West and North face is at FL55, Class A. Dropping to 4500 asl to the South and East side of the hill.

Safety

Beware of the gully between the Pimple and Mearley Moor. In West winds, the compression there is not to be trifled with. If the wind is off to the North, the wind rotors over into the gully from Mearley Moor. Keep well out.

Notes

Important

Pendle Hill is one of the best soaring sites in the country. It is also the subject of long and delicate negotiations. We may still lose the use of this site if we do not adhere to the current agreement. Please read these rules carefully and help us to preserve the use of this important site.

There is an East face owned by the same landowner.

Restrictions

At present only PSC members may fly here

WE ARE REQUESTED BY THE LANDOWNER NOT TO USE THE EAST FACE.
FLYING THERE MAY LOSE US THE RIGHT TO FLY THE NORTH WEST FACE!

The landowner is sensitive to flyers - particularly paragliders - flying low down and close into the hill. Paragliders should launch from Mearley Moor, with the Wellsprings and Pimple launches for hang gliders only.

The site is often ridge soarable for a long way both East and West of takeoff, BUT to the West of takeoff the slope becomes quite shallow, and to the East we have been asked not to fly past the the North face,


Area A -Wellsprings area (NW - SW)

This covers the area between the Nick' and the ‘Pimple'. The Nick is where the road reaches its highest point. There is a small car park here, used by hang glider pilots wishing to carry to the Pimple (the high point to the NE of the Wellsprings hotel.) The Pimple is the main take off point for hang gliders. It is quite possible to launch here and cross to the main face of Mearley Moor. We share the hill with modellers. Be courteous. They tend to be out of the way near to the Nick anyway. There may be training schools present at times.

Area B - Mearley Moor (NW)

This is the main face of Pendle Hill, access to which is usually via a very obvious footpath up the West end. The agreement has complicated rules for numbers flying at particular times of the year – when sheep are on the hill. Check before flying. There are no specific take-off and top-land areas. Bottom-landing is anywhere below the Pimple on the hill side of the road. Watch out for school activity as you cross the Pimple area. Do not land in the walled fields especially containing Barns. A fence runs diagonally up the Western end and across the main face half way up, try not to land below it. Do not climb this  fence, find a gate or stile.

Paragliders

Although it has been customary to take off from the Pimple and attempt to cross over onto Mearley Moor. The current agreement that we have with the landowner, states that paragliders should ONLY take off from Mearley Moor. It is the pilots who take off from the Pimple and fail to cross the gap onto Mearley Moor who have provoked this situation.

Please abide by this rule. Most days you will see people wasting hours trying to fly across and then only managing to land low in the tall bracken – the walk to the top is only 15- 20 minutes. It really isn’t worth it.

The club has to attend an annual meeting with LCC and the commoners (farmers); in addition, regular visits are made to the chairman of the commoners. The chairman lives directly below the main face and sees all.

Beware of the strong compression and rotor in the two large gullies (see Longridge picture, Pendle is in the background)

From Pimple, bottom land anywhere except in the walled fields. The area adjacent to the Ski Slope is quite sheltered, but cross over the road with plenty of height. Not only are you likely to distract motorists, but the air can be quite turbulent as you pass over the rough profile of the ground next to the road. Lower down by the car park, Do NOT land on the “Putting Green”, its too close to the road.

Hang Gliders

For most hang glider pilots the best practice is to carry up to the 'Pimple' and rig there.

Take off to the SW of the cairn. There is rarely anything to be gained by trying to soar the face in front of TO, and in no circumstances fly into the head of the valley; there live serious rotors! To avoid sink from air flowing down Mearley Moor fly straight out from TO heading for the large barn then turn towards the hill when you are level with the main face.

The ridge running to the pimple is fairly flat on top on the windward side with a steep NW face at its Western end. In winds in the mid-teens it is possible for experienced pilots to TO from about 200m along this ridge, gain as much height as possible and head straight for the main face. Beware model aircraft and paragliders, especially if PG trainees are flying the slope between the hotel and the 'Pimple'.

Top landing on the Pimple

If you decide to TL on the Pimple you must touch down on top of the hill to the SW of the cairn. There is always severe rotor behind the crest and in the head of the valley.

Top landing on the Ridge to the Nick

Loose height above the back ridge, roughly in line with the hotel and then crab sideways onto the flat area behind where the modellers set up their base. Do not get low behind the back ridge, it always rotors; you can land on top of it, but you must not fall behind the crest.

If you think that you are going to overshoot, keep your speed high and go for the bottom landing near the ski slope.

It is possible to land close to the car park on the flat areas near to the road. But, there have been some nasty accidents in the very severe rotor in the gully. If the wind is off to the West there is likely to be turbulence caused by the hill sticking out in front of the face to the West of the road. Pg’s are requested NOT to cross the road, or attempt to land on the
‘Putting Green.’

Bottom landing below the main face

DO NOT LAND IN THE GREEN FIELDS. The rough pasture slopes away from the face too steeply for you to land by flying out towards Clitheroe.

Because of 'valley' effects any wind at the foot of the main face is always along the face. You should have little difficulty if you land into what little wind there is at the foot of the hill. If you are not in the mood for the climb back up to the top, it makes good sense to head for the foot of the Pimple for your bottom landing.

Bottom landing below the Nick

Study the terrain and plan your landing before you start the climb. DO NOT be tempted to land into wind if the wind is off to the West unless the wind is strong. There is very little flat area in the W/E direction below the hotel and if you miss it you are in big trouble; you will ground effect into the trees or the valley at the end of the slope.

There is a shallow valley containing the ski slope between the ridge from the Nick and a reasonably sized flat area below and to the West of the pub. Land up-slope near the top of the far side of the valley or on the flat area. The slope is gentle and rotors do not form. If you overshoot the flat area, the ground slopes away from you and you must now try to land on the small flat area to the West of the cattle grid.

XC Potential

Very good, but watch out for Class ‘D’ airspace downwind in Leeds Bradford CTA we are not allowed to fly in this area at all.