A nice spring day at Blanchard with lots of PG pilots from Bellingham and Seattle in addition to the Canadian contingent. Some moderate west wind aloft and quite overdeveloped a few kms inland so not really XC conditions, but it was nice to fly over the water and out to the oyster island. Al managed to top land at the parking lot (!) to avoid the retrieve, thanks Al!
With the weather in the Fraser Valley looking very mediocre, Andrew and I decided to get away for a few days and join the Easter Meet in Savona with the hang glider pilots.
Still some snow in the meadow behind launch and very strong-looking skies so we didn't fly for very long each day, landing early and watching it blow out on the ground during the mid-afternoon. With east wind in the forecast for the 3rd day we opted to return to Vancouver and left the hang gliders to fly at the Pimple in Kamloops.
|Watching the virgo come down across Deadmans valley.|
|More virga behind launch and over Kamloops.|
I had missed the good XC day last week but I wasn't about to miss another one so soon!
SE wind up high which is an unusual direction for the Fraser Valley, and it made the crossing over to Sasquatch a bit easier than usual. In fact, after the climb out over Sasquatch, it was quite easy getting to Dewdney, and I was having to pull out of climbs around 1700m just to give myself a buffer with the overlying airspace.
|Crossing back to Woodside in rare SE conditions.|
A group had decided to continue up to Benedict but I was thinking the return might be a bit challenging with the SE wind, and the clouds were getting a bit spread out in the area and giving large areas of shade. Arriving back at Woodside it was definitely more lee side than when I left, and I ended up climbing out over Riverside and the Fraser River.
|Dressing warm for cold April flying!|
I thought about landing but decided to do a lap to Agassiz Mountain and back; Peter and Vlad continued to Bear where it wasn't that great so I was happy to turn around at Agassiz and head back to Riverside.
|The sandbars are exposed this time of year which is nice if you have to land out.|
By the end of the day it was definitely over-the-back conditions and pilots were getting super-high as is typical in outflow conditions. 65 km out-and-return which is not too shabby for my first FV XC this year!