Tapalpa January 14

Tapalpa launch.  Colima volcano in the background.
Light east winds so it was a Tapalpa day, but I wasn't too hopeful since XC Skies was calling for 90-100% cloud cover all day, and it was definitely overcast on the way there!

It was my first time to Tapalpa and there are actually two launches (both at ~2200m), both located on the rim of the Tapalpa plateau.  There is the "free launch" which is smaller and has a powerline running below launch (you may remember reading about this incident back in March 2011).  The other launch is much larger, has been used for comps, no powerline, but costs 100 pesos to access.

We ended up using the larger launch since Derek had a tandem.  I launched and thermalled right off launch, but it ended rather suddenly at 2960m.  Hmmm.  The shade was getting thicker, I couldn't find any more lift, all the pilots below me were landing, and Derek was already on his way back up from the LZ, so I opted to top-land behind launch and save an unnecessary retrieve from the bottom.  Other stories from Tapalpa can be found here.

Everyone else had landed and it seemed like the day was done as the shade had progressed into overcast, so it was a leisurely drive back to Jocotepec to pick up Ray and Lee who flew into GDL this afternoon.  Tomorrow is looking much better, no cirrus forecast, lots of cu's, and high cloudbase.  We will be back at Tapalpa again tomorrow!

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