How to know if you’ll clear a ridge (or not!)
|Will you or won’t you clear the ridge between the peaks?|
Basically, you simply look beyond the ridge you want to out climb, to something on the other side in the distance. It could be distant hill/mountain or another ridge or a distant field or even clouds*. As you fly closer and closer to the ridge keep watching that distant item.
|Notice distant ridges have now vanished. You won’t clear the ridge|
If you start to see less and less of it (i.e. it’s disappearing below the ridge you’re trying to clear) you’re not going to clear the ridge so need to adjust your flight profile.
|Slightly more of the distant ridge has come into view now|
If you start to see more and more of it, you’ll clear the ridge no problem. It’s worth nothing this method works for all stages of flight; climbing, descending and level flight.
|You can now see more of the distant ridge, so you will clear the one between the peaks|
Just a little disclaimer; don’t go and attempt this on your next flight into a steeply sided dead-end valley. I’d suggest practising this on a safe, open bit of terrain somewhere with plenty of escape routes should you find you really can’t out climb it.
*If you do use distant clouds to judge things, do remember they can also be rising so not quite a safe as using something fixed like a distant mountain or field. However, when you’re trying to clear the highest ridge in an area, sometimes there’s little other choice.