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.

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