Saturday, April 12, 2008

X-Country season started

What a great day we had today. Sunny, sunny and sunny again. Not a cloud in the sky, Lots of white Mountains and tons of blue thermals.
Nick, Jeff, Brett and I hiked up Mt. Swansea (2 cheated by getting a ride half way up). It was just beautiful and the snow was not as bad as it was a couple weeks ago where I had constant hip deep snow. Today it took only 1 hour 10 minutes and it felt great.
On top we all had a struggle with the takeoff. The thermals rather came straight up and the snow was knee deep and made running harder then it should. I had to abort my launch 2 times, but the 3rd one was perfect.
Today the thermals came straight up. So it was a little different then normal as you had to stay more away from the mountain then normal.
After a couple scratches and sink outs I learned quick, flew out and got what I needed. After I let Mt. Swansea heading south, i watch how it looked very stable at Canal Flats (40 km away), but we said we would go to Fairmont and go from there. So getting to 4 point Ridge, I hooked a 7 m/sec thermal and got up to 2300m then it seamed the inversion started. The more south I flew the lower the workable thermal got. Eventually at Teggart Mountain summit, I decided to turn around and on the way back i see Brett getting high at 4 point ridge. Right after this he headed south not following the ridge, heading to a ridge running into the valley. I watched him and he got high there and kept on going south. Well, I thought I better follow as Fairmont was the goal. So I got up high enough to follow Brett to the ridge, got high as he did but I kept watching where he went from there. I saw him once lower and trying to get up, so I thought I hang here for a bit enjoying the great view and see what he does. I was not interested to glide to Fairmont and then to try to find a ride back home. I wanted to fly to Fairmont and back home. Anyhow I watched how stable it got at Canal Flats, I did not see Brett going anywhere, so I decided to fly back to Mt Swansea. Wow, that was the best thing I could do. The wind turned slightly south and the more north I got the higher the thermals where working. So I passed Mt. Swansea, #1. got even higher, then to #2 got even higher and this all at 6:00pm. so I decided to keep on going to the North and when I had Dry Gulch below me (just south of the Radium Golf Course) I decided to head back home as it would get to late. I had to work my self back against the wind but nothing to hard and I landed at 7:00 pm right in front of the house.
This is great, first x-country from Mt. Swansea, landing at the house and i do not have to worry about any retrieval, Happy kids and Penny was getting me a bier. How much better can it be.

Thanks again to Penny and the kids to let me have this great day.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Review of March and the Easter Meet

I decided to continue my blog with the blogger instead my website.
Anyhow, March was a great month. We got lots done with work and it looks we are getting to the end of the development of The sales are picking up and a lot of bigger companies looking at us.
Training was a bit slow due all the work, but I still got in at least one hike up Mt.Swansea with a flight. Penny and I started to free off every Thursday afternoon to do what we like to do. Most of the the time we ventured off to Panorama for a flight and a couple runs (ski).

The highlight of March was our 10th annual Easter Meet. We had 26 Pilots and great weather.
On Friday some pilots had up to 6 flights. Saturday was like in the picture book. Most people had about 3 flights and a lot of people made it up to plus 9000 feet. Only 6 flew out into the valley and others decided to land due cold hands. Saturday evening we had Pizza and then went to the Pup. The party started slow, got into Boat races (with beer), then to our annual "Tray" race and than a great 80th music and dance night. For the Tray race we had great conditions on the hill but after 2 races on food trays security shut us down for out own safety. Sunday morning the weather was ok but you could see that snow was coming in. We got about 4 flights in total and then stopped due snowfall. At noon we handed out the prices and then we finally could go for a couple ski runs. Overall it was just picture perfect and everyone had a great time.

By the way, we forgot to clean up the landing site with all the attempts to hit the Easter Nest. So Penny and I send the kids to friends for a couple hours and headed up the mountain to clean up. We where looking everywhere and could not find any. We even looked at Taintan Bowl without any luck. Eventually we went home as we had a hard time to find any under 25 cm of new snow .