Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Woodside May 18

Not a big day for me, but since I had a such a great flight yesterday, I'm not too broken up about it :)

Cu's were popping but Woodside wasn't working that great early in the day.  I think it was still inverted above 1100m (XC skies had predicted this) so it was tough to get high.  Went to Agassiz with Alex and it was snotty there, but made the transition to Bear OK.

Alex opted to head for Ludwig with 1300m, but I wasn't comfortable with leaving that low, with no real LZ's on the other side, so I stayed behind being patient and hoping to get higher.  But despite the cu's continually popping over Bear, I was unable to get to more than 1200m.  But Alex had gotten a mid-valley thermal which got him to Ludwig OK, so when I got to 1200m I went searching for it.

It was there over the recently plowed field, but the south wind had kicked in, which meant it was drifting me the wrong way (back towards Bear).  All the height I'd gain in the thermal would be all for naught once I punched back towards Ludwig.  So after spending about 40 minutes surviving out over highway #7, bouncing between 300 and 800m, I landed at Seabird Island.

Took me 1 hour and 2 hitchikes to get back to the car at Eagle Ranch (pretty quick, actually), where Alex was just coming in from his Raymont Challenge.  Despite it being named after him, he's never actually closed the triangle by returning high enough to climb back out.  This time, after getting the climb at Little Mountain, he arrived at Woodside with 400m which is enough to climb back out over the south clearcuts.  We really should mark that Little Mountain thermal with a waypoint, since it seems to be pretty consistent!

Meanwhile, over at Bridal it was sounding pretty good.  Lots of pilots in the air and also some top-landings (crashes?) in the deep snow at Upper Launch.  It looked like it would have been soarable until 8pm.

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