Monday, September 19, 2011

Woodside September 19

My first flight back in the Fraser Valley after getting back from Spain.  It's definitely fall; the thermic window is much smaller than last time I flew here a couple of months ago!  Cloudbase was quite low all day, but 1050m was enough (barely) to cross west to Sasquatch, arriving at just over 300m before finding lift.

The west wind was just kicking in at Sasquatch and cloudbase was still low on that side, but Alex and I were able to head to Deroche.  (Miguel and Rob also went across but ended up landing next to Harrison Bay.)  The spines were producing quite a bit of turbulence, and the spine between Deroche and Big Nick is especially un-nice in west winds (when you're low).

I opted to turn around at this spine after getting my highest of the day (1300m) and watching a bunch of high cloud move in, while Alex kept going and got around the other side of Big Nick before turning around.  The high cloud shut things down and it was a bit touch-and-go as to whether I'd make it back, but I found a thermal back at Sasquatch which gave me the extra oomph I needed to make it back to Eagle Ranch (it gave me 200m, and I arrived back over the LZ with 200m to spare!).  In the end I got just over 28km in XC, while Alex did 40km.

Alan over at Bridal reported 1300m and there were also people flying Elk earlier in the day.  Nice clouds all over and the wind never got up too much (except around the corner at Big Nick).  Lots of people were out today to enjoy the possibly last really good day of reliable thermals and XC potential, although I'm sure there will be additional thermic days between now and the November rains.

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