The best known take-off in the area, formerly associated only with dynamic soaring. It's a well visible, large meadow on the top of a mountain, between Przełęcz Kowarska (Kowary Pass) and Skalnik (a nearby summit), easy to spot from almost every place in Kowary. From the gas station by the town's bypass drive east uphill following the road to Wałbrzych. Just before Przełęcz Kowarska, take the last possible turn to the left into a lane leading through the forest to a sender antenna. This is the place where cars must be left. Driving further is strictly forbidden. It may cost some money and put you into trouble with forest guards. Walk straight on along the lane for about 300 m and then turn right onto a steep narrow path. 5 minutes later you are on the take-off: a very well prepared site 840 m above the sea level. It's a wide clearing in the forest and it gives you a chance to land on it after a failed take-off, but be very careful while landing lower on the uneven ground.
There is a big wind sleeve. The ideal wind directions to take off are 290-320 degrees. A wider range is possible (270 to 340 degrees) for more experienced pilots but you have to remember that in more westerly wind (blowing from your left) rotors are generated! Watch out and keep to the right side of the clearing after the take-off then! The vertical drop of the launch slope is 290-340 m, depending where you land. The official landing place can be seen from the take-off . It's in front of you, near some buildings with a pond next to them. It's a triangular shaped meadow on the left side of a dirt road heading northeast (the road and the take-off are situated more or less along the same axis).
Pilots who can't find any lifts after launch, keep sinking for too long, and apparently won't be able to reach the official landing place can make an emergency landing on the meadows at the foot of the mountain (flying left from the take-off ). Rudnik is on the top of a range which closes the whole valley and faces the valley winds. That's why very often in the afternoons you can enjoy calm soaring there. You can't underestimate this place in the light wind! Rudnik can trigger strong thermals. If you choose a good moment to take off and are experienced in coring thermals, you will get to the cloud base very fast.
From Rudnik pilots usually fly downwind to:
− Sobótka − flying over Wielka Kopa, Kamienna Góra and Wałbrzych
− Kłodzko − flying over Bukówka Lake, Krzeszów and the Sowie Mountains
− Jeseniky − flying over Lubawka, Broumovske Steny and the Orlicke Mountains (Orlicke Hory) in the Czech Republic
In more northerly winds you can fly left to Wołowa Góra and carry on to the main Karkonosze range. Then you can choose either to fly along the range to Śnieżka or the opposite way to the Orlickie Mountains.
Most common mistakes:
During a take-off, when you're already half-way runnig downhill and you have problems stabilizing the canopy you should stop rather than keep running and hoping that you can do it.
The second most common mistake is observed when a pilot flying close to the mountainside loses too much altitude and overestimating his wing's glide ratio, tries to reach the official landing field instead of landing at the foot of the mountain on the left side. You should also be careful with the light east wind (blowing from behind your back). It can make the sleeve show the perfect wind direction but in fact it's a rotor's effect. If the wind sleeve looks suspicious, your wing is already inflated but you can't really control it overhead, you'd better make sure the wind is blowing from NW! Otherwise you can get surprised when you're already flying over the first birches. Pilots who want to fly cross-country from Rudnik should remember to climb high enough above the mountain's ridge. Those who try to fly away too soon from the altitude of 100-200 m above the take-off in a wind-pushed thermal, usually land a few kilometers away.
Original version by: Grzegorz Olejnik
To see the launch site and the landing field watch the film Rudnik by Marcin Kostur (1:41).