Pemberton August 2

Differing weather forecasts today: some were saying light NW, others were saying light SW, still others were saying strong north.  And cloudbase was different in all as well :)  Which was right?  Well it turns out, all of them, depending on the time of day and where you were!

Lots of new faces on launch today as there was a whole crowd of Americans as well as a half dozen New Zealander's, all here for the Nationals which start on Sunday.

Flight number 3 on the new glider and she was a lively ride at first in the strong west winds. The going was slow to Copperdome and many pilots were doing the run really low.  Peyman and I opted for the high route :) and had no problems with glides out etc, while I saw other gliders heading out to land past the Owl gap.
Sugarloaf Mtn, looking NW

It was quite strong west wind but as you reached cloudbase at 3100m the winds switched quite north, so by the time I got to Copperdome it was almost lee-ish; I don't think anybody tried crossing the Hurley Pass today in that kind of wind.  But I wanted to fly the other side of the valley (the Miller/Ipsoot side) so I backtracked a bit to get a better angle on the crossing and headed over to Camel's Hump.

This is where the IP6 is really showing her strength...on my old glider it would have been a dicey glide into wind and with a long glide back out of the Ryan River Valley to the LZ's in the main Pemberton valley.  But on this glider I made the crossing no problem and was loving it.  Got up on some sunny faces while a glider lower down had to bail and head to land, and was soon cruising over the lakes and snowfields on Mt. Ross.  I eventually ventured over towards the edge of the Ipsoot glacier at 3100m, something I don't get to do everyday!

Mt. Ross with ice lakes.
Wondering what Mt. Currie was doing in the NW winds and headed over there.  But the winds were actually picking up (mixing down?) and pilots were starting to report strong winds in the LZ.  Now I've learned over the years that when the winds pick up in Pemberton, they usually stay that way for a long time, even after dark, so there's not much point in trying to "wait it out" in the air, as you will be waiting a long time and then landing in the dark!  So since I was not hitting any lift on Currie and the airport was on an easy glide, I opted to land there and have a ginormous LZ to back myself into, if necessary.  Gusting to 25 kph but smooth for the most part.

It was a nice flight from a "getting to know your glider" point of view, with some interesting strong air mixed up with some gentle thermals and nice long transitions.  I'm starting to feel the extra span and appreciate the extra feedback it's giving me...I can feel the air even more and use that information to follow better lines and improve my glides.  I may need to add a couple extra kg's though so I can be a bit heavier, as right now I'm in the middle of the weight range and not the top.  On a day such as today, being heavier would have been an advantage!

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