Willi Muller XC Challenge July 26

Lots of shade at Harrogate!
The coming week is looking good so far and yesterday (day 1) was a clearing day...clouds with the occasional blue hole but nothing solid until almost 3pm which is when the first group launched.  Many pilots reported trashy and "angry" air but I didn't think so; I found the air to be quite nice and possibly the nicest Golden air I've had in a long time.  But because it was so shady in spots I had to stop and wait for sun to appear ahead of me before continuing on, or race ahead of chunks of shade.  You had to watch the valley ahead of you and plan your jumps accordingly!

In any event the forecast was wrong with respect to the wind direction.  Supposed to be WSW but it turned out to be more NW and the further south you went, the more north it got (usually it's the exact opposite!).

We did have a couple of incidents.  One pilot went into the trees just off launch but was retrieved OK, and another pilot had his reserve fall out as he was kiting his glider to the packing up area in the Nicholson LZ (he was already on the ground so it just inflated behind him like a giant drogue chute).

Final glide just before 9 pm.
A few low saves around Brisco and Spur Valley but otherwise I was at 2700 m, cloudbase was somewhere around 3000 m initially but rose to 3300 m by the end of the day.  Quite low for Golden!

Looking at Fairmont mountains on final glide.
Even though it was a slow-starting day I flew until almost 9 pm, landing past Swansea launch past Invermere for 123 km.  Alex had landed earlier at the 119 km mark, while Peter Spear landed in Radium for 90 km and Al landed in Brisco after getting low in the shade.  Lots of other pilots made it varying distances downrange.  I don't think anybody tried an out-and-return due to the strength of the WNW wind.

Today is sunny and possibly an OR day, we'll see what happens!



  1. I've done that exact flight in Golden. I'll bet we landed in the same field! Wishing I was there, big time!

  2. way to show them how it's done, Nicole!

    A second pilot had his parachute fall out on the ground as he landed. The lines fully extended but the canopy did not inflate.