Friday, April 23, 2010

Early start to fly XC in the Valley

Since we are back in Canada, we had a lot of good weather and great flights. Beginning of April I had several flights to cloud-base (+3000m). The thermals where big and easy to fly but my hands got cold very fast and I had no intension to go XC.
Now last Wednesday (April 21st) we had up to 27 Celsius at our yard and great flying conditions. Jeff, Dominic and I got ready around 1:00 pm to head up Mt. Swansea. The thermals came already through and we launched right away. The first 15 minutes in the air where a bit choppy with a SE wind drift, but soon I could get high enough to head north. It was a blue-thermal day which made things a bit more challenging but the conditions got better by the hour. I planned to fly to Golden and back, but once I got to Harrogate (about 4:30 pm), my ground speed slowed down to 10-15 km/h as the wind from the north got stronger, so I decided to turn around and fly back home. On the way back at Spillimachine I got up to at 4000m (with a small cloud) where I had a great view of the snow covered Rockies to the east and the Glaciers at the Purcell's in the west.
Flying home from there was easy going and I got back to our house with plenty of height. I could have flown at least to Fairmont Hot Springs of even to Canal Flats which would have resulted in a 165 km plus flight. But after 5 hours and 125 km in the bag it was much nicer to land right at my backyard watching my kids play and Penny getting ready to head up for an evening flight. After I packed up and we where just about to head up the mountain again, the North wind got to strong on the ground and we ended up drinking a "Landing Beer" with friends.

You can see the flight details at

Here are a couple pictures of the flight
just about 4000m looking south from Spillimachine

Same location looking north

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