Chelan PG Nationals July 7

Camp Canada at Beebee!
Late yesterday afternoon a grass fire started just north of McNeil Canyon and it was quite spectacular to watch the glow growing overnight.  The Canyon was closed to all non-local traffic which meant no retrieve possible using that route, and Mansfield was a no-fly zone due to the air traffic basing out of there plus all the smoke drifting over the town (in fact I believe there was a sort of evacuation of the town at one point due to embers coming down).  So we had to devise a task that would keep us out of that area and allow for retrieving on the flats using another route.  Wenatchee wasn't an option either as a fire is currently raging there too ;)
McNeil Canyon fire.

So we devised a 107 km triangle from Waterville to Sage and back to Waterville via a TP towards Banks Lake.  This would take us over new and very scenic territory as well as keep us away from the smoke clouding the northern end of the plateau.

Skies were blue with the odd cu and winds were light, perfect triangle weather!  The portion that we thought would be upwind, from Sage northward, was actually downwind lower down since the valley flow through that area was south, nice bonus!  And it was north up higher so the final leg was downwind too if you were high enough, which was necessary since if you got too low, you'd hit the south wind and be on the ground.
Heading for goal in Waterville.
Many pilots came into goal at 3000+m so after tagging goal they simply flew back to Chelan to save the retrieve.  Not me, I was too tired to keep flying after making goal with almost 7 hours in the saddle (2 of them waiting for the start as I'm an early launcher!).  Many other Canucks in goal as well...Keith, Jim, Al, Andrew, Simon, Guy, and possibly a few others I'm not aware of.  We are all punched and need to sleep before we do it all again tomorrow!


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