Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chelan July 10

Finally the winds changed to the "normal" SW direction and fairly light, so a straightforward out and return to Sims Corner (95km) was called.  Getting over to the rim on a SW day is much easier and less stressful so getting established wasn't much of an issue for me today, and I was able to connect to the clouds on the way to Sims and stay high for most of the flight.
On the way back to Chelan Falls, looking NW.

The winds on the plateau were actually very south which meant it was a crosswind both ways rather than a headwind on the way back.  Cloudbase was around 3900m and up there it was nice and cool, and actually a tailwind back from Sims!  Lower down it was a headwind, so I tried my hardest to stay high and avoid the headwind.

On the way back I saw a reserve toss just east of Mansfield and the pilot came down right next to the main road in a wheat field, no injuries.  Don't know why he tossed but the landing looked soft (as the wheat is 4' tall) and he was very convenient to the retrieve :)

The clouds also co-operated in that a nice cloudstreet set up just as we were coming back from Sims, and when the inevitable blue hole appeared near the edge of the rim, I tanked up to 3600m at the last cloud and was able to make it over the rim no problems and into goal with a bunch of other pilots.  PS the rim is actually higher than the plateau, so when you are trying to make it back over the edge to Chelan Falls, you have to take into account the fact that you are gliding into rising ground and adjust your glide ratio calculations accordingly :)


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