Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Golden July 20

Nice atmospheric shot near the end of the day.
Pics of the day are here.

Well we finally had task!  We had to wait all day for it to clear up and stay cleared up; all afternoon we'd get excited but then our hopes would be dashed by a cell moving in from the west.  Fortunately, all the cells in our area were t-storm-free and we basically just had to worry about garden-variety rain :)  The freezing level came down too...it was much cooler in Golden today and up top it was definitely brisk.  After a cell passed by Moberley and off to the east, we could see new snow on the peaks, around 3000m I guess.

We had a task set in mind if the wx co-operated...the classic "fishbowl" task we like to use when it's not conducive to going downrange.  This way we could keep everyone close and know what wx was coming our way with the west winds, and not have to worry about sending people to an area we couldn't physically see and keep an eye on.  Essentially the task was 2 laps between Willi's knob and the gravel pit, and then across the valley to the bench just west of Nicholson LZ, before landing at goal in Nicholson.

Once the rain cells stopped formed across the valley and moving over us, we had a nice time of sun, but then of course the wind picked up, so we had to wait for that to die down too!  By this time it was 6pm so it was gonna be close as to whether or not we would have enough time to finish the task.

In the air it was super-sweet flying, smooth and not rough at all.  Got to cloudbase which was about 2800m.  Flew most of the course with Will and Jim (on serial gliders), while Sandor and Brett on their comp gliders were in front of us.

We could see another patch of rain approaching from across the valley so it was gonna shut down eventually, so it was a race to see who could get the most around the course before we ran out of lift.  Nobody made goal; Sandor made it the furthest around with about 1/2 the task completed.

Task 1 results: click and zoom to enlarge.
Landed at the feedstore after I was unable to tag Willi's knob the second time...I could only get to within 500m and I needed 400m!  Not enough lift and ended up in the feedlot (the mountainside field is OK to land in...the riverside field is not OK).  Talked with the owners out on their quads who said they had just spotted a cougar over the hill, so I made sure to pack up quick!

A short flight for me and a low-scoring day (~200 points to the winner) but hey we got to fly!  Everyone had safe and enjoyable flights; it's just too bad the wx couldn't have let us fly an hour earlier or else we would have had enough lift to complete the task.

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