Saturday, April 11, 2009

Woodside April 9

It was quite overcast but with some sunny skies around. The reports around 11:30am were of people getting above launch and staying up for up to an hour, but by the time we arrived at 1pm it had overdeveloped again and was sled rides only.

While Alex and Rob worked on the hiking trail up, the rest of us waited at Eagle Ranch to see if it would a)get sunny, or b)get windy. Around 4pm we started to get spit on with rain in the LZ but decided to head up anyways as we were already out and may as well.

The road up was clear of snow due to the very warm temps we'd had over the past few days so we were able to get right into launch. Nice cycles but not quite ridge soarable, and there was so much moisture in the air we couldn't see Sumas or anything much past Chilliwack. It spat on us a bit but not too bad, and after watching Tom on a tandem launch and disappear around the corner to Harvest West Robin launched.

He stayed up around launch height which gave us the impetus to also launch while the flying was good. Pretty soon Robin, Alex, Alex W., and myself were playing around the south knob in the light thermic lift. Not quite as light conditions as GV Brazil, but pretty close!

Cloudbase lowered and we found ourselves at cloudbase at a mighty 730 m! It wasn't that sucky though so it was nice and easy to fly in and out for a while until the lift died in that spot and we were back to launch height over the cutblocks and the south knob.

Kent, Miguel, et al had showed up just as I launched and were starting to get ready, and there was a sunny spot headed towards us. But we were sinking out in the meantime and it was a bit of a push to get out to the peninsula, as the pilots who had flown out that way earlier had experienced a fairly significant SSW headwind.

Robin and I took the SSW line over the new subdivision while Alex took the middle route over the swamp. Our line was a bit better, getting us to Eagle Ranch at a much higher altitude than Alex, which was nice as it was definitely windy closer to the water and starting to get bumpy down low. Total airtime was about 40 minutes.

It was a nice treat to get such a nice little flight. When we were driving out we were very excited, then showed up and were somewhat disappointed at the conditions, went up to launch expecting a sledride, and were rewarded with a nice thermic flight. So even though it didn't turn out as nice as we initially thought, it was still nice to get out and play around. Our last flight in the Fraser Valley for a while as we are now off to Nova Scotia for 2 weeks. Hopefully upon our return the Bridal road will be cleared up a bit more and it'll be warmer too!

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