Monday, April 20, 2015

Pemberton April 18-19

High pressure and forecast to be somewhat stable in the Fraser Valley so it's time to head to Pemberton!

Upper launch in a milky Saturday.
Unfortunately the forecast for Pemberton was somewhat stable as well...just not as stable as the FV.  Saturday was WNW winds and difficult to get high until past Owl Mountain, where we finally got to 2400m.  The zipper on my outer jacket had blown so I was quite cold!

Doing the milkrun with Andrew.
Andrew and I turned around at Goat (I wasn't liking the lift enough to want to continue NW) while Peter kept going until just short of Spindrift Mountain.  Alex had headed over the back at Mt. Fraser and was circumnavigating Birkenhead Peak (where he was getting to 2700m) and made it back out via the Birkenhead/Anderson valley for a nice figure-8 tracklog.

Oops!
Sunday looked to be more of the same but it was more stable down low; it took a bunch of us 1.5 hours to get from lower to upper launch (and those that launched from upper sunk down to lower anyways)!  By the time I got to upper launch height I decided I wasn't enjoying the air in MacKenzie basin anymore, so I was considering going out to land.  However everyone at Goat was reporting a lot of north wind (it was showing up at MacKenzie too), so I thought it may be better over at Mt.Currie.  Patiently waited for a climb which took me to 2300m and then headed over the Currie where it was indeed nicer air compared to MacKenzie, but not much north wind at all.  In fact it was light SW.  So instead of ridge soaring as I had hoped I ended up trying to thermal up in the lee and in the shade...not the ideal combination!
Both LZ's: the new primary (the oval) and the secondary (field immediately left of the oval) when the primary is in use.

I did find a lee/shady climb to 2300m and then had to decide what to do with this altitude...use it to go to the Currie summit, or use it to recross to MacKenzie or the LZ.  I opted for the Currie summit glide since getting high on Currie is so rare; as I glided next to the summit I was able to watch small avalanches and rockfalls as I passed by the numerous cornices.

Majestic Mt. Currie
About 5 pilots heard I was over at Currie and came over to join me but I don't think many got high as they experienced the same lee/shade issue as me.  In the end some of us landed at the airport while the rest glided back to the LZ.

Heading for the summit of Mt. Currie
All in all, a rather average weekend at Pemberton; it was too stable and
the funky north wind kept us from doing really interesting XC's.  But it was fun nonetheless and very hot on the ground!

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