Monday, May 18, 2009

Fraser Valley May long weekend

After battling the long weekend traffic out of the city, Alex and I finally made it to Bridal for a late-day flight. People were already in the air by the time we arrived so we launched ASAP, and it was still sweet.

Headed to Gloria via Upper Bridal and picked up some other pilots (Alex, Darren, Danny) on the way. Passed Norm and Alan who were just on their way back from Elk. At Gloria I was able to get to 1300m and continue to Elk while the others elected to stick around at Gloria (they eventually got to 1600m or so). No lift at Elk, unlike when Norm and Alan were there, so I tagged it and then returned to Gloria where I was able to top back up.

Onwards to Ludwig and it wasn't very nice lift that way. The lift at the Lakes was a bit choppy and it wasn't much nicer at the Butterfly or Ludwig. But a bunch of us were able to tag Ludwig and get around the corner of Cheam and back into nicer air.

Top-landed to drive Nicolai's truck down. Danny flew to Harrison Hotsprings to visit with Luke Stanek, not realizing that Luke had arrived at Bridal and was in the air when I top-landed :)

Spent the night at Chehalis FSR campground, which was Redneck Central because of the long weekend. Note to self: don't camp there on long weekends!

The next day was grey and overcast, perfect student conditions. Alex's friend Ryan came out for some more training and we got him 3 more sled rides at Woodside before he elected to stop for the day. It never got really soarable at Woodside, except maybe for a 30 minute window in the mid-afternoon when the clouds thinned enough for the sun to poke through. But it never really got sunny, and in fact we saw rain over Sasquatch later in the afternoon.

Sunday was a much nicer day sun-wise, but windy. By 11am it was fairly strong ridge soaring at Woodside and predicted to blow out. So Alex, Alan, Trevor B, and Rob S decided to hike up Bridal, the straight-up way, while I drove their gear up to meet them up there.

2 hours later they were on launch, very sweaty from their all-fours climbing. It was flyable but predicted to get stronger, so a bunch of people decided to launch now and fly sooner rather than later. Early reports were of strong and punchy lift, not ultra-bad, but not very fun-sounding. I didn't really want to fly in that kind of stuff so I stayed on launch for most of the afternoon and played peanut gallery.

Later in the afternoon it calmed down but by that time I was not in the mood for flying. Alan and I opted to drive the 2 trucks left on launch back down (it hadn't been suitable top-landing conditions all day so there would have been a retrieve necessary otherwise), while a few late-day arrivals showed up and launched for uneventful flights. There was a few people who went to Elk (including Greg who top-landed at the launch meadows), but nobody went much past Cheam since it was too windy for that. Derek on his new Addict 2 flew to Green Hill to try to ridge soar it, but it wasn't windy enough lower down and he landed near his house in Agassiz.

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