Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grouse July 2

Back to Grouse and this time there were a few more solo pilots flying...Mark Tulloch was out with his HG, Doug Wakefield taking photos, Bill, Miguel, Dave, Brent, and the tandem guys.  Got up top around 4pm and Mark was waiting for an up cycle amongst the cross east cycles.  There was a huge lineup for the gondola ride down (despite them running it every 4 minutes, which is their fastest rate when they're moving passengers and not freight), almost to the lumberjack show (= a 1 hour wait) so flying was definitely the better option today!

Up in the air it was quite windy from the south and the thermals were rather snarly and violent at times.  It was definitely a day to practice active flying, and keeping your hands on the brakes (no photos!) for the occasional jerk up (or down). Cloudbase was very high today...I got to 1700m easily and I think Mark got higher at times (the CYA ceiling is 1800m).   Lots of lift but equally lots of severe sink too.  I had wanted to fly back to Crown and beyond, there was plenty of lift for it, but the strong south winds made me think twice since pushing a headwind back to Grouse in those valleys can be not nice sometimes!

On the radio I was able to talk to pilots flying at Bridal and it sounded like good flying there but possibly getting windy, with reports of windlines showing on Cultus Lake.  Did it ever get blown out at Bridal or did it stay good?

I eventually noticed a band of shade moving in, and decided to take advantage of it for landing, since the Grouse LZ can be a handful before 6pm when it's sunny and thermic.  Total airtime just over 1 hour.

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