Monday, April 16, 2012

Blanchard April 14

Enjoying the view.
More photos can be found here!

Time for the 2nd annual Blanchard fly-in and the weather co-operated again with clearing skies and light thermic conditions.  Initially it was sled rides to the LZ as the wind wasn't strong enough for ridge soaring, but there was the odd pilot staying up for a few passes until around 2:30pm, when Kevin launched and was solidly staying up.  I was able to get in the air a few minutes later and avoid the line-up that inevitably followed, with the NW wind switching to a more SW flow down low which helped things a lot.

Up high it was still NW but it was still preferable to the SW of down lower as that meant being in the traffic, many pilots being rusty after a winter of not flying.  Cloudbase wasn't that high...maybe 1000m at first when Alex crossed over to Lookout Mountain, but by the time a bunch of us got to cloudbase it had risen to 1300m and it seemed like some sort of convergence was setting up...the NW up high meeting the SW down lower and cu's forming all over the place.

I decided to stay local and not go XC and eventually headed to the LZ, then it was time to head to Jeff and Stacey's for the BBQ, bonfire, and party!  Once again they outdid themselves with salmon and chicken on the grill, salads galore, and plenty of deserts.  The roaring bonfire as darkness set in provided the perfect backdrop for the zip-line, as many pilots commandeered the apparatus so they could swoop the crowd.

RV's and tents were set up all over the place, and the next morning we were greeted with pancakes, sausage, and eggs before pilots geared up to head up the mountain for another day of fun in the sun.  The fly-in was a success with excellent weather, lots of pilots (~100), and lots of fun and food.  I hope Jeff and Stacey put it on again next spring!

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