Pemberton Upper MacKenzie July 5

Today was my first flight on my new Phi Allegro X-Alps.  This is a lightweight EN-C and I decided to get it in traffic-cone orange for the best visibility in the skies and also contrasting against trees and mountains.

Weather was quite unstable with towering cu's in the neighbouring valleys so it wasn't going to be a big day, and we were going to have to keep an eye on escape routes in case a cell developed in the vicinity.  But initially the cells were behaving themselves so we estimated we had several hours before they would mature into cu-nims.

My new glider!  Photo courtesy of Alex Raymont

When kiting it a few days ago Alex and I discovered the risers are rather long for my short-ish arms, so instead of grabbing the A's at the ends, like for most risers, it's actually better to grab them at the base, in order to not "overpull" the leading edge when reverse launching.  They are listed as 570mm rather than Phi's technical specs of 540mm, but when I inquired, Phi confirmed they are the correct length for this size of glider and the technical specs page was out-of-date.

The first thing I noticed about this glider vs. my Lynx is that this glider is much "softer" vs. the Lynx.  I think that's partly a function of the fact that I'm in the weight range of this glider, whereas on the Lynx I was 2-4kg over the top of the weight range.  The turning is "softer" as well but quite nice, and the C-handles provide a good place to lever your hands when flying on speedbar.  I also noticed the Ronstad pulleys on this glider are a bit smoother vs. the Lynx Harken pulleys, although that may be because these pulleys are brand-new and no grit inside!

After a few minutes of thermalling to get familiar with the glider, I headed downrange to Goat Peak where I met up with Alex and we crossed the Hurley Pass together to Zorah Peak.

The 3 sets of towering cu's we were keeping an eye on

Meanwhile there was a group of 3 towering cu's on the Miller side of the valley which were threatening to coalesce into one giant cloud, but they seemed to be stopping just at that critical stage where they either go "kablooie" or fizzle.  However there was a rather threatening cloud over Mt. Currie which was dropping virga out and looked to be getting rather large in the distance, so we opted to return back to Pemberton and land at the Beer Farm rather than in windy Pemberton.  Turns out the cloud over Mt. Currie fizzled in the end as well, but rather safe than sorry!

Flying to the Beer Farm with the large cloud over Mt. Currie

All in all I'm quite pleased with my new glider and hope to get many hours and XC km's on this one!  And I'm glad it's a bit larger than my previous glider, as it will allow me to bring some vol-bivy gear and not feel 10kg overloaded which can be problematic when top-landing at 2000+m!

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