The new launch carpet looks fantastic and covers pretty much the entire launch area, many thanks to the crew who installed it last week!
It was cold up at 1300 m (cloudbase at 12:30 pm) and the first people to fly west to Sasquatch mountain reported it was very rough and turbulent, as well as windy from the north, so it didn't sound too fun. But a few people braved the roughness and flew to Dewdney or Mt. St. Benedict and back, while I turned around at Harrison Knob to slowly climb back up over the construction site and back over launch. Cloudbase was slowly climbing, but the north wind wasn't backing off, in fact it seemed to be strengthening, so I imagined a run to Agassiz Mountain or Bear Mountain would be as rough as Sasquatch Mountain was.
But cloubase was getting higher as the afternoon went on, and with the north wind we realized that we would have a pretty easy flight to Bridal, direct, simply by getting high at launch and pointing at the Bridal launch. Finally got to 1850 m over Woodside and did the direct line to Bridal launch with Alex and Peter, while a crew drove over to Bridal to join us.
|Mighty Mt. Cheam with a coating of fresh snow.|
It was still north wind at Bridal but a tad less rough vs. the Woodside side. Cold though!, and spending hours at 1600+ m and my (admittedly expired) hand-warmers stopped working about halfway through the flight. Cheam was spectacular with the fresh snowfall and the trees still had snow in the boughs, it's still winter in the mountains!
With the return of spring comes the return of bald eagles mating and finding spots to nest. There are lots of juveniles out this time of year and they are very curious and will come right up to you when thermalling if you remain predictable. An immature bald eagle joined me near Archibald and we were wingtip to wingtip as we thermalled up to 1800 m. I actually had to fly a bit faster than usual to keep up with him/her but it was great fun to be banked up, going up, with a friendly eagle only a few feet away.
|There is still plenty of snow above 1000 m!|
from that direction involves coming over a sheer cliff instead of more friendly trees if you are coming in from the traditional side. So after a few tries we gave up, at which point Peter did a few tries and managed to get it in (not prettily, but it did the trick), saving us a walk up to get the truck. Many thanks Peter!