Monday, September 2, 2019

Mara Lake September 2

Labour Day was shaping up to be a fantastic-looking light north wind day, which is perfect for XC from Mara Lake.  We got a crew together and after signing in at the LZ (Little Green Ranch, there is a sign in clipboard), headed up.

It's been a while since I was last at Mara Lake, and most of my flights there have been SIV-related, so I was excited to go XC and try to fly back to the car parked at the Walmart in Vernon.  The cu's looked yummy, but the cycles on launch were very north and the corresponding lift was tough to find initially.  I was lucky in seeing a hawk coring up in front of launch and joining it to 2000+m, while most other pilots were forced to either wait for better cycles, or scunge around launch height in search of lift.

The skies are calling!
It was a bit more north wind than I was expecting but it was also helping get me back to Vernon quicker ;)  The rowdiest air I found was approaching the Enderby cliffs (which face west) where it was very turbulent and I needed to be on my A-game to keep the glider open.  Weirdly enough, despite the awesome-looking skies, I was barely able to break through 2000m so had to cross the Enderby gap a bit lower than usual.

However once on the south side of Enderby things started to change.  The climbs started getting easier and higher, but at the same time, the local airspace started coming down and I began to find myself approaching restricted airspace!  So instead of having to slow down for climbs, I found myself leaving lift in order to stay legal.  I could see Swan Lake in the distance with the Walmart at the south end and the lake was looking like light north wind...perfect for final glide and landing conditions.  Now just have to find a place to land...

Fortunately Walmart, despite not being landable itself (unless you spot land in the parking lot, avoid the long-weekend shopping crowds, and probably get a bylaw ticket) has lots of suitable fields 2-3 blocks away.  Perfect places to land and it's a 5-10 minute walk back to the car, easy-peasy!

At Swan Lake, on final glide to the Vernon Walmart (the large white building east of the highway interchange).  Kalamalka Lake on the left, Okanagan Lake on the right.
Meanwhile most other pilots had either landed at Little Green Ranch or in Enderby after failing to make the Enderby gap crossing, although Dan continued on to top-land at King Eddy.  I had plenty of height to to to King Eddy as well, but I needed to be back in Vancouver the next day, and with a 5 hour drive ahead of me, decided to land at the car and save the hassle of getting a ride back later.  I really enjoyed this flight, especially since I don't get to Mara Lake that often!

Mara Lake to Vernon Walmart flight.



Sunday, September 1, 2019

King Eddy September 1

A much more calm day, skies-wise, so more people were at King Eddy today.  Even Tyler made an appearance, tuning his hang glider before heading to the comp in the US.

It was still a tough-ish day to get away, I landed near the Lumby Golf Course and a couple pilots made it to Lumby proper.  Thanks to Jackie for coming by to pick me up!

BBQ at Paraglide Canada that night and we made plans to fly at Mara Lake the next day, with the expected light north winds.