Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pemberton June 20-21

With the summer solstice coming up and a full moon to boot, Alex and I decided to get out of the city and fly Pemberton, and then camp out on launch to celebrate the shortest night of the year.  The weather wasn't forecast to be that great, but it looked there would be a few-hour window before the thunderstorms arrived which would allow us time to get a flight in.

Upper launch, before the storms arrived
Cloudbase was nice and high over launch, 2300m or so, and downrange it was more like 2700m.  I could see a large area of darkness down south past Lilloet Lake, and the Interior was showing Marge-Simpson-like clouds, so I suspected the storms were on their way.  The darkness got closer and closer, and soon we got a report from the community centre LZ that it was starting to pick up and get gusty.

Judd LZ, just before the storms arrived


So we all decided to play it safe and landed down the Meadows at the Judd LZ, where it was still nice landing conditions, although picking up wind-wise as the minutes went by.  About 30 minutes after the last pilot landed, we heard the first booms of thunder over Ipsoot as the storms from Lilloet Lake merged with the storms coming up from Whistler/Callaghan.  A quite impressive gust front accompanied the storms so we were all glad to be on the ground!

Back up at Upper launch to watch the storms

Back up at launch with Alex and Paddy it was an impressive sight to watch the cells come in and dump their rain over Mt. Currie or Ipsoot.  Not much actual rain over launch but nice and windy to keep the blackflies and mosquitoes off!  The storms died off around 8pm and blue skies again by sunset.  It never really got dark since the sun set so late, the full moon rose, and the sun rose again early!

Upper launch next day

Next morning was definitely blown-out, clouds whizzing by at 30+ kph overhead and the trees were whipping around on launch.  After a leisurely morning and some exploration of the nearby fallen logs (Paddy is planning on building a second bench from one of the left-behind logs behind launch) it was back down the valley bottom to a nice Whistler Express and definitely no flying going on!

June 20 flight.










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