Tuesday, May 6, 2014

OD day in Pemberton May 6

 One of those days where it could go either way in Pemberton but given all the FV flying we've done lately it felt the time was right to head north.  Lots of city folks today in addition to the locals, as well as some big clouds forming over the back and to the east.

Mt. Currie in all her glory.
A fairly substantial NW wind meant heading to the Hurley Pass would be slow, and with all the development around you had to be careful not to get trapped on the wrong side of a cell and have limited escape options.  So I opted not to go too far but rather play locally and dodge the cells and use the uber-lift to fly over to the Miller side where it was actually much nicer than the MacKenzie side.

The lift was quite abundant and I was leery about cloudsuck so even though cloudbase looked to be 3000+m, I kept pulling out of the thermals around the 2400-2500m altitude.  Even so it was a bit of a mental game to see how the clouds were developing so I could keep away from the virga and hail that was coming of many of them.

Raining/hailing around Wedge Mountain.  Whistler/Blackcomb in the distance.
Mt. Currie had been in shade or OD for most of the time I was in the air, but I noticed a window of opportunity when the latest round of OD moved off towards Whistler, looking to put Currie in the sun for the next 30 minutes or so.  So I flew over there since Currie is such a cool mountain and we don't often get the chance to fly over there and so high easily.  It was smooth enough to fly against the jagged black cliffs on the NW face before the next round of OD was approaching from the Duffy Lake Road area.

Looking back at Pemberton from Mt. Currie with a decaying cell above Pemberton Meadows.
Not wanting to get caught out with limited places to escape if I started to get cloud sucked from the approaching cell, I got out of there and landed at the Church LZ.  On launch it was reported to be quite strong 25-30 kph but in the LZ it was switching all over the place...I think all the storm cells around were creating localized wind suck.  All in all a nice play session and an excellent chance to brush up on my cloud-suck-avoidance-skills.

Small OR flight in Pemberton dodging OD cells.

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