Mt. St. Benedict March 29

 Al Thielmann very kindly offered his truck to drive up a bunch of equipment while pilots hiked up.  Unfortunately, his driver did not want to attempt to drive through the still-snowy upper part of the road, so we all had to hike up our gear from that point onwards.  Then when Al arrived from his hike, he walked down and Hammered his way up the snowy part and got the truck to launch anyways!

March 29 windgram for Mt. St. Benedict.

There was quite the crew on launch today; I counted 19 pilots!  And cloudbase was very high, above airspace, plus very cold, something like -10C at 2000m.  Dress warm!

Several pilots including Alex flew the back way to Woodside and onwards to Bridal, while I decided to stay "local" and fly the Steelhead region, as I needed to land near the car since we were continuing inland to the southern Okanagan after flying.  Staying legal, airspace-wise, was difficult as cloudbase was somewhere north of 2000m, and after I hit the convergence between the upper level NE, and the incoming SW, I briefly exceeded the ceiling according to my GPS.  But as it's actually barometric pressure that matters and not GPS, after making the necessary instrument adjustments I came in at 1980m, 1 meter under the 1981m ceiling, that's cutting it tight!

The water levels in both Hatzic lake and also Stave Lake are extremely low, making for some nice emergency LZs if need be, although it would then be a long walk back to a road.  But as the conditions were so "on" that wasn't really a could fly anywhere and it was hard to get down!

33km FAI triangle.  

Woodside March 18 and 22

 First flights of 2023 and on my new Swift 6!  Since I'm a lot more picky nowadays about the days I fly, I decided to step down to an EN-B (my first in 20 years!).  I'm happy to say it's not much of a difference, performance-wise to an EN-C, but has an easier mental workload.  I'm also happy to be on a brightly-colored glider for improved visibility and safety.

I hadn't flown since October 2022 so definitely some cobwebs to dust off.  Not really XC conditions but it was fun to fly around for 2 hours in light lift and make sure my reflexes and instruments are still up-to-snuff :)  I think Alex and myself were the only ones to get high enough to drift back to the cellphone antennas.