Monday, August 25, 2008

Grouse Mountain

Looked good in the city and was thinking it might be a bit too OD'd for the Fraser Valley so headed to Grouse. Hiked up, arrived around 3:45pm and watched the towering cu's over Vancouver Island, and inland too. It was very cool to watch the cells moving over Georgia Straight and disappear up Howe Sound, with virga coming out of them. Some tandems in the air and a solo glider too, so after watching the weather a bit I launched around 4:30pm.

A bit strong and slow to get away from the mountain initially, but there was gobs of lift way out front so no issues staying high. The forecast had said 2C at 6000', so I had brought my winter flying clothes out and was toasty warm while others were having to land since they were cold.

Cloudbase was somewhere around 1600m I guess, I only went to 1500m since the drift of all the thermals was quite severe and I didn't want to be pushed back into the mountains. Once over the city the wind was quite strong and I had 5-10km/h ground speeds at trim from due west (a bit weird, usually at Grouse it manifests as more a south wind due to the Capilano Valley). Was able to maintain 1500m all the way to the LZ and it was hard to get down, and the slower gliders looked like they were going backwards at times. Probably the windiest I've ever flown Grouse; I heard it was similar windy conditions in the Fraser Valley.

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