Saturday 27th. The frequent snow showers and the state of the airfield prevented any flying but an intrepid band managed to transfer the derigged and now nicely cleaned and hard waxed K21 KLW into its trailer ready for its transfer downhill to North Yorkshire Sailplanes (NYS) for its ARC.
Sunday 28th. A repeat of Saturday’s weather and airfield conditions meant no flying, but Derek Taylor managed to pick up and trailer K21 KLW to NYS before the weather turned even nastier.
Monday 29th Nov to Thursday 2ndDec. The snow showers continued in a biting wind that went into the ENE and strengthened during Monday into Tuesday, causing significant drifting, so that access to the club was not possible.
Friday 3rd. A light NNE’ly and sunny skies greeted Friday morning, albeit with very low temperatures (-14C at home), so after a few local errands I set off for the club late morning. The A170 from Thirsk up Sutton Bank was virtually clear of snow and the temperature rose from -9C in Thirsk to a relatively balmy -3C as I passed the Visitor Centre, the car park of which had been cleared of snow. The access road to the club had been ploughed, through some quite deep drifts approaching the sharp right hander, as the following photo shows.
Arriving at the turn onto the club road, the depth of snow made the decision to back up the access road a no brainer, as the following photo shows, although a tractor had obviously been in towards the trailer park.
A long reverse to a previously spotted, partially ploughed patch off the access road near the sharp right hander, followed by a bit of judicious shovelling, saw the car safely reversed into a little lay by, and with wellies on, a trek back to the club followed. The only signs of previous visitors were the previously spotted tractor tracks towards the trailer park and ski tracks along the club access road to the club hangars, the average snow depth being 12-18″. While the snow was still deep in front of the hangars, there were no large snow drifts there. There were, however, significant drifts around the corner towards the main entrance and around the back of the buildings. The following photos show the general scene, including a nice ice sculpture down the outside of the simulator room. Somewhat alarmingly, the right hand end panel of the doors of the barrel roofed hangar was found to be partially open.
After having taken the above pictures and with no one else on site, I set off to return to the car but then met Andy who had dropped off Josephine at the front door and was proceeding into the car park in his Land Rover, using low ratio 4 wheel drive. After transferring some boxes into the office from the Land Rover, Andy set to to start clearing snow from the approach to the back entrance to the club house, a mammoth task as the following photo shows.
Meanwhile, Josephine set-to to wade through a plethora of emails, while I phoned up the weekend’s Trial Lesson pupils to tell them that no flying was going to be possible. After a coffee, Andy and I started the Red Tractor in an attempt to attach the hydraulic bucket to start the clearence of snow at the entrance to the club road, to at least provide a turning area for member’s cars. However, the attachment of the bucket to the tractor proved impossible, as the arms of the bucket had been left in a lowered position, and more man power than available from the two of us was required to raise the arms sufficiently to allow connection to the tractor. Andy will probably be trying to drum up more man power sometime in the near future to do some snow clearing along the lines suggested by Chairman Graham in his recent news letter.
I then left Andy and Josephine to complete their many tasks, and returned to my car, where a little digging was required to get out of my temporary lay by, onto the access road and thence home.