Friday, January 27, 2012

Superfinal Day 3

Flight is here.
Pics are here.
Results are here.

OMG yet another awesome day, this time with clouds and generally light winds.  This meant the task committee set a nice ambitious task of 103km, taking us all over the place: after Divis it was over the flats to the other side, then out to a rather remote TP before returning to civilization near the Monarcas and back to the lake.

I didn't feel as pummelled while waiting for the start like yesterday...with all the cloud action there was plenty of space to hang out so we didn't have to deal with a "death gaggle" very often.  But it was still nice to finally be flying someplace, even if it was just to Divis.  And yes, another reserve toss #1 on the way to Divis so the organization sent a rescue helicopter once we were all out of the area.
Heading to La Pila

There was a bit of south wind on the way to La Pila which made the going a bit slow especially trying to make it across to the windward side of the mountains.  Not much cloud action over there too so we had to work together a bit more to make it across and to the Llano area from yesterday.  Here we had clouds!  And really nice ones too, base was about 3600m and it was cold!, lots of pilots doing the hand-swing-thing on glide.

Our next TP was actually not that remote, but the direct route didn't look that nice with few clouds and lots of canyons, whereas if we detoured to the east and went further into the mountains, there was mucho clouds and base was more like 4000m.  At this point it was nice easy cruising under the cloudstreets, doing upwards of 60kph and a wonderful view of the volcano (it looked so close!), until it was time to rejoin with the Monarca ridge.

The Monarca ridge was indeed working (too well it seems as we had reserve toss #2 in the general vicinity) and then it was time to leave the juicy clouds and look for a convergence line.  There was one, not well-set-up, but enough to reach the other side and the final push to Serro Gordo.  I could see pilots ahead of me appearing to have trouble penetrating the SW wind as the lakebreeze had set up on the other side of the convergence and they were going to Serro Gordo low, landing at the base of it, etc, and generally not doing so well.  It looked like Serro Gordo was going to be my downfall yet again.

Yep, this time it was the horse ranch in the saddle between Serro Gordo and Escalaria, and I could see pilots heading out to land all around me, so I wasn't alone in not making goal.

So even though this is the 3rd time missing goal by something like 10km, I'm still really happy with my flight.  The task committee is setting some really imaginative tasks and it's an eye-opener to see just where you can go on a paraglider.  The scenery today was just stunning especially in the high country to the east, and I'd love to do some more tasks involving this area.

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