Saturday, September 27, 2008

Woodrat

After passing through San Fransisco and seeing it fog in at the Dumps (when we arrived, some people had just flown, and had to land, since the vis was going down as the fog rolled in), we took the scenic route north to Oregon for some flying at Woodrat. We had heard that there was going to be a Club event at launch on Saturday night, and weekends there is a shuttle service, so we arranged to be there for the weekend.

Got there in the mid-afternoon and caught a ride up between shuttle rides (every hour between 10am-3pm) to meet a bunch of pilots on launch who said it was "just turning on", so we hadn't yet missed anything. Launched and went to the house thermal site to the NW of launch and up to 4400', when it got bumpy and ratty as we hit the inversion layer. Finally broke through at 4600' and could smell the smoke from the nearby Medford fire as we encountered the north winds up high (west down low).

Alex headed over to Rabies while I played around launch a bit more, and we passed each other as I headed over there and he headed back to launch, SATing his way down. Over at Rabies it was a bit windier from the west, but nicer thermals than the ones over at launch, and was able to get higher around 4800'. A couple of locals were over Rabies peak proper and joined me on the flanks, and then we crossed over to Burnt ridge.

Over there hit a mild convergence with the west Applegate wind and the north Medford wind and was able to get higher to 5400', and then flew back to Woodrat to complete the triangle. Alex had top-landed the mid-launch and relaunched, scratching around as the lift was dying, so I joined him to land at the LZ below.

The local Rogue Valley HG and PG Club had arranged a BBQ to take place at mid-launch (kind of a weekend event organized by one of the local pilots), so we joined in for some shish-kabobs, corn, and other goodies. Excellent idea as we could watch the sun set and the last of the pilots fly overhead. We ended up camping right there on launch under the stars.

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