A super-hot day in the Fraser Valley and not really conducive to long distance XC flying, but my goal today (shared by many) was to get high and try to overfly Mt. Cheam. We usually get to do this a handful of times a year, usually in outflow conditions, but occasionally it will also work in inflow conditions.
|Archibald and Mt. Baker in the background on a bluebird sky day!|
Immediately beamed out to 1400m and I knew it was gonna happen! Booted my way over to the shoulder of Cheam and rode the thermals up to the final ridge to the summit and then things seemed to fizzle; darn! A bunch of us kept trying and trying, and we could see the summit, but not quite get high enough!
|Getting high on the shoulder of Cheam, notice the cornices on the ridge!|
But patience! Usually this works later in the afternoon or even early in the evening, and we still had hours of useable sunlight left to go. Eventually with a bit of blue-thermal scratching we were able to get higher than the summit (but out front), and then use the excess altitude to glide over to the summit and circumnavigate the peak. Finally! There was still oodles of snow, and no chance of hikers being on the peak (yet), so it was just us and the eagles and crows. Lots of cornices and small snow slides to keep us occupied while we enjoyed the rare opportunity to fly close to the rock walls in the mellow evening thermals.
|Mt. Cheam with Jones lake in the background.|
Eventually it was time to head out to land, and I opted to top-land to drive a truck down. The trees on the top-landing approach are getting a big high so we are hoping to have a work party to trim them to improve the safety of the site. A beautiful evening!
|Getting lower to warm back up!|