Bridal May 13

Initially we thought it would be really good, unstable etc, so on Woodside launch we decided to try over the back for the Woodside-Bridal-Woodside triangle. But once in the air it was apparent that it was not as great as the skies were showing, stable down low and sharp-edged thermals and low climbs. Al and Jim bailed on the over-the-back idea, while Alex and I went for it after only getting 1000m at launch or so. Al ended up landing at Woodside, then going to Shotgun, flying there, landing, and then going to Bridal for flight #3!

Agassiz Mountain wasn't much better at 1100m, and the crossing to Bear was brutal for me; getting there low and nasty thermals there too. We were able to get to 1200m a couple of times, which is barely enough to make it across to Ludwig on a good day. But fortunately there wasn't too much wind which made arriving on Ludwig low easier than usual.

But for me the flight was over at Ludwig...I arrived at 200m, got to 160m before finding something to 350m at the usual quarry thermal, and then sunk out on the sandbar at the base of the quarry (the thermal was drifting me too much away from a safe LZ...the only one at that point would have been a sandbar not connected to the mainland and I would to have swum to shore). Alex was able to get to 600m or so which was enough to get established on the range and he continued to Bridal and then Elk, eventually landing in the middle of the valley between Bridal and Woodside.

Oh well...if I don't sink out once in a while, it means I'm not trying hard enough!

This is the second and third times arriving at the quarry, and it seems there is a semi-reliable thermal out front these days. I think it's related to the big sandbar just upwind, with the Ludwig ridge behind, which makes this spot work. Something to keep in mind for others who want to do the crossing there and are looking for a reliable thermal trigger on the Ludwig side.

It got better later in the day and Bridal fliers were top-landing at Upper Bridal and getting to 1700m as well. Mt. St. Benedict may have been the better call on a day such as this...stable in the Fraser Valley but unstable further off the main valley and in the mountains.

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