Woodside triangle April 14

After a very wet beginning to April we finally had a forecast that was looking pretty sweet, the kind of day you blow off work, if able!

Woodside windgram for April 14

Not much inflow wind early in the day, and Harrison Bay was *very* low (it looked like you could actually walk across the Bay!) which made the crossing to Sasquatch very easy.  Up to cloudbase and then time to make our way west towards Dewdney.  My plan was to turn around at Big Nick (and not make the final Dewdney crossing) and then do the Raymont Triangle (Woodside-Bear-Ludwig-Bridal-Elk-Woodside).

Crossing from Sasquatch back to Woodside.  A very low Harrison River!

Cloudbase was comfortable under the 1981m airspace limit, so as long as you remained out of the clouds you were fine!  Crossing back to Woodside was also easy, but it took me a bit to climb high enough, once at Woodside, to glide to Agassiz Mountain.  But finally made it over there and then the crossing to Bear, where some pilots were reporting it being a bit "rough".  Personally I didn't find it any worse than usual, and after getting to 1600m crossed over to Ludwig.

Hwy 7 with the November 2021 landslide still visible, and Hwy 1, looking east towards Hope.

The Bridal side was shady in lots of spots, fortunately the Ludwig/Butterfly location was sunny enough to get high and then do the big glide to the other side of the shade, with a pitstop at 4 Brothers to tank up in a shady thermal.  Despite the shade there was lots of lift and also several pilots flying the Bridal side already who had launched from there.

We weren't really feeling any inflow wind yet, but those who were attempting to cross back to Woodside from downwind (Agassiz/Bear area) were reporting significant west wind and landing short of Woodside, near Harvest Market or Harvest West.  So it sounded like crossing from as far upwind would be best, ie. Elk.

Final into-wind glide to the Riverside LZ.

Cloudbase at Elk was something like 1800m, but you have to be below 1676m when crossing the TransCanada highway west of the Agassiz/Rosedale bridge, so it's a bit of a challenge to make the glide.  You almost always need a flatland thermal partway across to make it.  Fortunately there were still lots of mid-valley cu's forming (not a common occurrence in the late afternoon!) so Tom and Kevin and myself started the glide across.  As per usual, there was a thermal popping off just downwind of the golfcourse at Little Mountain, which got me another 400m and an easy glide to Riverside.  In fact, once back at Woodside, it was tough to get down as everything was lifting off!

78 km FAI triangle flight.

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