Monday, July 24, 2017

Pemberton Canadian Nationals July 24

Glider storage!
Today was forecast to be light winds but also some high clouds, but we were hoping the high cloud wouldn't impede our tasking too much.  So we came up with a task to Zorah (on the other side of the Hurley Pass) and then some back-n-forth between Camel Hump and Copper, before returning to the Miller LZ.  We wanted to do this so we could show pilots how good it can be beyond Mt. Barbour, and keep them in the higher terrain where the presence of high cloud would matter less.

We arrived to schmoo which stuck around for a long time.

However the high cloud was quite thick, wasn't dissipating, the wind technicians weren't "sticking", and it was getting late in the afternoon for starting a task, so we decided to shorten things a bit.  This way we could still have a taskable day without going so late it would become a safety issue (in case we needed to find a downed pilot during daylight).  So instead we did the classic Goat-n-return run, which would keep everyone on the ridges where the lift would be good despite the high cloud.


Crossing the Owl gap to Barbour as the shade disappears and it turns on!
Of course after launching in the shade a bunch of us beamed up to 2500m, at which point we realized we could have probably kept the original task as it was easy to stay up.  However since pilots were already in the air we were locked into the current task.  Oh well, at least it will be easy, short, and most pilots will make goal, which will be good for morale!

And of course the high cloud suddenly disappeared just as the race started, which meant it went from scratching in the murk to full-on drag racing for the entire 50 km.  Pilots were full-barring it along the Owl ridge and across the gap to Barbour with hardly a turn, and of course on the other side it only got better!

It was probably the fastest run I've done of that course at and it just kept getting better and better.  On my way back from Goat I climbed to 3100m and the climb was still going strong; I only left it because I was getting way too high and didn't want to arrive over goal at some ridiculous altitude and waste time.  As it was I ended up arriving over the Pemberton goal in 1 hour and 24 minutes with something like 700m of extra altitude.

3000m and on glide for Pemberton and the goal field.
The leaders were already in goal and the sky was full of landing pilots.  I think a good portion of the field made it, with a handful misjudging the final glide and landing just short of goal, bummer!  And it was very festive in goal with lots of happy faces and "there I was" stories.  As it was, we could have had a longer and more difficult task, but it's so hard to judge if and when the high cloud is going to dissipate that at some point we have to pull the trigger and commit to a task.

Tomorrow is looking very good with big lift and a possible Whistler Express, so we will have to keep that in mind when selecting a goal field away from Pemberton.

Today's results should be here!





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