Fochriw SG0008

Status: Open
Site Latitude: N51.734183 Height ASL Meters: 460m
Site Longitude:W003.306362 Height ASL Feet: 1500ft
Wind Direction: WSW - NW Height Top to Bottom Meters: 50m
Best Direction: W Height Top to Bottom Feet: 165ft
Minimum BHPA Rating Hang Gliding: Not suitable for Hang Gliders Member status: Members Only
Minimum BHPA Rating Paragliding: BHPA CP rating OS Grid Reference and Prefix: SO 099 049

Latitude: N51.738939
Longitude: W003.306214

If coming from A470 take the Bogey road (through the Miller Argent open cast mine) to a T-junction. At the T-junction go right, then pull up on the right at the lay-by and park. If coming from heads of the valleys road (A465) you should take the exit for Asda (take a right at the mini roundabout immediately after coming off the main roundabout (not into Asda)) and then take the next right under the bridge. Follow this road up until the lay-by on your right, by the boulders and entrance. Alternatively approach from Deri via minor roads from the south. When driving be careful of stray sheep on the roads.

Access to the hill is not possible via the main track entrance (it is blocked with large boulders). You must park along the side of the public road in the lay-by and walk up to the take-off. If the lay-by is full (it can accommodate 4 cars), then park in the blocked entrance area but don’t block other cars in. There have been break-ins and thefts in the area, and it is difficult to see your car from the top of the hill unless you are flying – do not leave valuables on display.

Take-off

Carry up the face of the hill to take-off. A short but sharp carry up. Beware of the many deep fissures close to the edge of the hill. The ground will be boggy at the foot of the hill if it has been raining. The hill is less steep (with less of a venturi) than Merthyr Common, so strong winds at take-off are likely to be close to the real wind speed. It is common for people to take off from the foot of the hill when it is strong at the top. However, know your own limits, you are advised not to do this without assessing wind speed and true direction on the top first.

Landing

There is a large flat top landing area (A). Bottom land at (B) on the up-slope side of the mine track. Do not land on the other side of the track, or in any of the fields.

Top Landing General

South East Wales sites often have very large, undefined take off and top landing areas, which may change position according to conditions. To avoid the potential for collision, pilots making a top landing should keep well away from gliders taking off, who may in some cases have limited visibility.

Flying

Flying will give you a view of the mine to your right and Merthyr Common straight ahead. Overall a fairly friendly site. Often flyable when Merthyr is blown out for paragliders. Wave is not uncommon further out from the hill in stronger winds.

Hazards

The easy access and limited but friendly ridge space can make this site very busy at times, so make sure you are proficient at flying with others.  At the South end watch out for paramotors taking off from, or landing at, Bedlinog.

This site is often used by local schools. Please be considerate to this fact.
Ground handling is often practiced in the landing areas. School are to carry out a dynamic risk assessment to determine if this is suitable prior to starting teaching activities.

SEW Members Only Site. You must have in date membership subscription to SEWHGPGC. SEW helmet sticker to be stuck on your helmet at all times.

This site has some potential for XC especially in recent years with the open cast mining and greater thermic activity. It has often been used to maintain on XC flights from Merthyr. There was an instance in 2016 where Mark Pearson flew to the Malverns with a lot of South in the forecast.

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If you require further advice about a particular SEWHGPGC site please contact a Club Coach. Please report all accidents to The Club Safety & Training Officer Steve Millson and the BHPA. Please visit the BHPA for the most current Incident Report Form.

This document is a guide only.

We advise that anyone Hang Gliding and Paragliding conduct a dynamic risk assessment prior to flying any site. This should be continuously re-assessed due to the changeable conditions of the outdoor environment.

All individuals are advised to take the following into account when making their dynamic risk assessment:

Paragliding and Hang Gliding are dangerous sports that can cause serious injury including bodily harm, paralysis and death. Flying SEW sites is undertaken with the full knowledge that Paragliding and Hang Gliding involves such risks. As the pilot you take exclusive responsibility for all risks associated with your part taking in the sport.

Any liability claims towards the club are excluded.

 

If you are not sure. DO NOT FLY.

In the Mountains/Rivers/Lakes

Dial 999/112 and ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue. If you are away from the road side then dial 999/112 and ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue explaining your circumstances. If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 Emergency Services by SMS. NB you must register this prior to an emergency.

In an emergency 999 need to know:

Who is Calling?

Your name and mobile number.

What?

Briefly, what is the problem, including the state of the casualty. Ensure you use the buzzword Fall From Height

and Remote Location.

Where?

Fochriw Mountain 0.8km from Fochriw village. 4km SSE of Dowlais Top on the A465.