Saturday was a classic nice spring day between fronts. Saddle projections looked almost perfect for a XC thermic day but my begging, cajoling and pleading reaped no takers. Next pick on the list of sites was Tiger so 9:00a.m. found me on the road up over Manashtash looking East at developing cu and wishing someone had said yes. As it turned out weather reports from Saddle and environs proved out with light N winds till 12:00 then switch to South. Temps in the mid 40's with cu and blue sky. Was it the better call - we will never know. So goes flying in the spring.
The 12:30 Tiger shuttle was full and it was great to see Mike although his tree avoidance radar seemed in need of adjustment. On launch Stefan and Steve launched after the first wind dummy rocked and rolled trying to figure out surge control. It was working on the South launch. The skyrockets lifted and caught a bubble and were soon out of sight. If they can work it I was sure I could kick it as well. - Well not so fast - lift was out there but I missed a couple of turns or the timing was just off, in any event I found my way to the wall and unable to bench up and had to succumb to gravity and ground.
On landing I had a nice chat with the folk and awaited the van for the 2:30. Looking up I saw Randy L. cranking up and I wished I had waited till he had launched. He reported topping out well over 5K. The van couldn't leave soon enough for me I helped load and forgot to grab my coat and flight suit from the picnic table. This time we missed the tree and we were safe on the South launch by 3:45. I almost ran to launch in hopes of getting the last of the big lift. A look in my kit confirmed my dread and no jacket or suit was found. - The pilot standing next to me unpacked his jacket and flight suit, (one of Mark's crew) said I could use his jacket. -THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to the forgotten named saint who saved my day. The Jacket was left at Mark's) - A quick launch was the right call, a little back and forth heavy weight shift figure eights and I was over launch in the sweetest little light lift constant no edge thermal I think I have ever ridden. Beep Beep beep and the first off stayed at the top of the stack with only a momentary race with one other Blue bird wing. I topped at 4,762. Word has it that Steve Wilson with good karma aboard worked up later to even higher with at least one other high bird in tow. Well done for all who enjoyed the day.
I followed the ridge up and on to top the towers and started looking XC - I was happy when Randy radioed back his willingness to take retrieve. - Owe you Randy and thanks Conrad. A nice little glide with cold hands and I was hovering over the new soccer fields in Preston. Step one in my Tiger Tag XC portfolio. - The beauty of Tiger and the foothills in the sun and snow is hard to describe and being high is an awesome privilege and joy. First time up high and out at Tiger was a great pleasure.