Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canadian Nationals Golden July 29

We didn't go up the mountain until late...noon, since there was a bunch of cloud around, but it was projected to clear up in the afternoon.  When we finally arrived on launch, it took a while for us to get a task together since we weren't sure how the weather would hold.  In the end we opted to go north and stay north (Willobank Mountain to Table to Moberly to Chris' house) since the forecasts were for worse weather the further south you went.

By the time I got my stuff together it was getting quite strong on launch, and those in the air (maybe a half dozen) were ridge soaring but not really going up.  I wasn't that enthused about launching in the strong conditions, and was considering an intentional DNF.  At this point there were 2 pilots in the air having problems...Xavier was in the gully to the east of launch (not a good place to be in strong south winds) and going all over the place, and Jeff was on the Tits having problems too.  While I was busy watching Xavier, I missed the action on the Tits.  Jeff had a big collapse and was so close to the ground that he went into the trees near lower launch.

At this point Bruce stopped the task and those in the air went out to land.  Now we had to get Jeff out.  Fortunately he had gone in at the one place that is easy to access...he ended up about 50m from the lower launch and helipad, and there's a road right to there.  Alex and Leif went down to help Jeff, and reported that he needed a helicopter rescue due to some sort of back injury.

Since he was essentially right on the helipad, it was probably the easiest helicopter extraction ever of a PG pilot in Golden.  He's now in the hospital for further testing.

I think it's eventually been windy cycles on launch every day we've had south winds, but we've just been launched and gone by that time.  Today, because we went up late, we got to experience what we've been missing up to now.

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