Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mt. St. Benedict May 19

Lots of snow still at launch!
A change of pace, given the probable stable conditions in the Fraser Valley.  Last time we hiked Mt. St. Benedict we had oodles of snow to snowshoe through; this time the snow was less, more packed, and we were able to drive higher before starting the hike.

Alex reached launch first, ditched his bag, and returned to schlep my bag the last 20 minutes or so.  Sometimes a boyfriend is handy :)  Up on launch there's still tonnes of snow which makes it really nice for launching (and top-landing) this time of year...no mud or twigs to worry about.

Quite strong cycles coming through but nice lulls too; Al launched first and was immediately away.  I was second and over launch soon afterwards.  Got my highest over Shotgun 1888m (the CYA limit is 1980m) and the winds were kinda funky...north at that altitude, but west lower down, and south once you got below peak heights.

Alex over Shotgun.
It didn't feel like a day to explore deep in the mountains...the lift was in weird places and sometimes you'd go on glide for a long time before finding anything.  So we opted to stay out of the back peaks, although Al ventured further east than the rest of us.  Rob had launched with a huge tangle that he couldn't stabilo out, so he flew out to land, not making any turns and still gliding to Evan's fields at the base of Dewdney (about 20km away).  He reported lift all over the place in the middle of the valley.

After exploring Shotgun, McKay, and other points to the north, I flew south over the powerline valley and found the south wind.  Easy flying to Dewdney where the wind gusts on Hatzic Lake looked 15-20 kph; Alex turned back and landed at Durieu School where it was much less (the further north you go and out of the FV flow, the less wind...usually).  The rest of us followed suit and were packing up by 7pm and then it was time to retrieve the truck.

More pics of the day here.

A beautiful day and nice to fly a different site and in a different air mass.

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