Because the previous task had worked well with a start and then turnpoint around Miller, we figured it would work again to keep the field spread out a bit over the ridge. However when I launched I didn't immediately zoom to cloudbase like in previous days, so I could tell it was going to be a slightly more difficult day to get up over McKenzie and getting to Miller would not be a cakewalk!
|Looking back at Mt. Barbour. Forest fire smoke in the distance from the BC Interior fires.|
Of course those who were high at the start were able to get away much easier, and they had the choice of which route to take to the Hurley Pass and Tender Mountain: either take a chance on getting high and taking the shorter but riskier Miller route to the Hurley Pass, or tag Miller and run back to the sunny side, and take the longer but more reliable route to Hurley Pass. I saw pilots on both routes, and I think the Miller route was indeed a bit faster. I was not so lucky in that I was still not very high from my bad start, so I had to take the longer route anyways. Sigh.
|Final gliding to the Miller LZ under a perfect evening sky.|
The rest of the flight was a very fast ridge run with strong climbs (6-7m/s) and cu's popping around 3000m. The final turnpoint at Goat took a bit of careful work, as we (the task committee) had miscalculated and put a 1 km turnpoint around the peak, and it turns out that is very close to terrain, and in a turbulent spot when it's windy from the west. We should have made it 1.5 or 2 km I think. But as far as I know, there were no incidents, just a word of caution over the radio (thanks Jesse!), and it was uneventful from then on. I ended up making goal slowly after my bad start, but that's better than not making goal at all!