King Eddy August 31

With the weather not looking too good for the lower mainland over the Labour Day long weekend, I decided to get away for a bit to the Okanagan and the fly-in at King Eddy.

Big clouds forming to the west!
Despite the huge clouds around it was very light conditions in the air and most pilots sunk out.  Glenn and I flew around for an hour or so before going out to check out the bears resting in the corn fields next to the LZ.  From above they are little black piles of fur resting on the shady sides of the crop circles they created, hidden from everyone except birds and paraglider pilots ;)

Getting close to time to land!
It's a good thing we decided to fly there earlier than usual, since it overdeveloped and a nice fat rain cell with thunder and lightening rolled through later in the afternoon.  Initially I thought it may clear up in time for an evening flight, but a last-minute cell passing through right over launch nixed that idea!  I spent the afternoon on top of Mt. Middleton with a perfect view towards Kalamalka Lake and the approaching thunderstorms.  But it was time to take cover when they got too close...there's no shelter up there and besides, it's the tallest thing around, not a good place to be when there are lightening strikes going on!

Atop Mt. Middleton.  A lull between the storm cells.

Pemberton Aug 3-4

After last week's Canadian Nationals I was ready to do relaxing sightseeing flying!  We were forecast to have light-ish winds and from either the north or east...that usually means drier air and higher cloudbase, with little chance of an afternoon Whistler Express.

Sugarloaf Mountain
Saturday the north wind was a bit more than I was hoping, and the climbs were a bit ratty and all over the place, so I ended up turning around at Goat Mountain rather than continue over the Hurley Pass and to Spindrift.  But it was kinda fun to use the north wind to drift over the back at Copper and Goat, and not have to worry about getting too far back and not able to make it back out to the nice LZs!
Rhododendron Mountain and glacier.

Sunday the wind switched to very light east winds, which I find to be a nicer direction vs. north.  It was a bit of a late start however...I didn't launch until around 1:30pm and it took ~30 minutes to climb out, but when I did, it was to 2500+m and an easy glide to the Miller side of the valley.

Big climbs on the Miller side to 3000m and it was easy cruising over the glaciers and Sugarloaf Mountain to view the alpine lakes and the Pemberton Icefield.  I'm glad I was wearing my puffy pants and jacket as it was close to 0C that high (even though it was 30+C on the ground)!

Rhododendron Mountain, Mt. Miller, and part of Ipsoot Glacier.
Over on the miller side it was actually SE winds, which meant coming back on the Miller side would be into the wind, and it was starting to blue up on the Miller side (while there were still cu's on the MacKenzie side) so I jumped over to Camel Hump, grovelled there for about 20 minutes (until I found a climb I thought I might have to land out and thumb my way back!), then jumped over to Copper for the return flight.  Even though it wasn't a long flight, it was certainly scenic!