Epic Camrose May 12

165 km in the Alberta flatlands

The daysland group of HGers getting set up.

Two days in a row of nice XC conditions!  Today was a bit of a later start with less cu's compared to yesterday when Brett had his 207 km flight, and it took me 3 tows to finally get away from the Daysland N-S tow road.  The first 25km or so were rather painful...slow climbs and I didn't really want to fall out of anything so close to the tow road and ruin a potentially awesome day by landing so early, so I had to be patient until it started to really turn on.

Leif Hanson taking off.

Once I had achieve cloudbase (initially around 3000m) I wanted to start munching the km's, however to the south it was a blue hole and the cu's were all to the north and east of me.  With the strong NNW wind it was pretty much head SSE and I kept coming to the edge of the blue hole, and would have to wait around for the more moist (more unstable?) airmass to catch up to me before I could continue on.  I kept this up pretty much the entire flight, coming to the boundary between dry and moist air, waiting around for it to migrate south, and then move on.  It was kinda frustrating to know that I could be flying much faster if the cu's would only form ahead of me instead of behind me!

Rob Clarkson getting ready to tow.

Cloudbase just kept going up until I finally stopped climbing just past the 3300m mark as it was just too cold (-10C plus windchill) to stay up there for very long.  Good thing about getting low: you get to warm up!  But I opted to stay high and cold rather than low and warm as I wanted to get as much out of the day as possible.

Tongue-cam!  The only part of my body that would activate my phone's camera since I wasn't about to take my gloves off in -10C + WC to take photos!
Finally the cu's stopped popping to the south and were only popping to the east.  Time to veer more easterly but the north wind was still quite strong (30-35kph) so flying crosswind wasn't really working too well, and I kept being pushed south into the blue.  Finally around 5:30 pm it was time to land in some pretty remote territory with 165 km under my belt (160 km straight distance) for a new Canadian female OD record and a new PB!

New PB! (Clock is an hour off due to timezone change)
Thanks so much to Brett who opted to take the day off after his big flight yesterday and be the retrieve driver...it was a 3 hour retrieve (or 6+ for him!  I'm very stoked about the flight even though it was slower than I would have liked...if the cu's had been popping in the right direction it would have been a 200+km day for sure!


  1. Good work, Nicole, and thanks for the blog posting.

  2. Nice going, I have to learn the tongue cam thing , seemed to work very well , nice picture,

  3. Nicely done! I hope I can get one more crack at some of those big prairie miles some day.