Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday at Baldy

Next year I will be at Tiger to do my share tandem. But as my T1 is just newly minted I figure the best I could do is throw one down with the XC crowd.

Sunday is a trick for me, my day of work as you may know. Making the hill in perfect time is not always possible. Today I was lucky and made the LZ by 12:20 - in time to watch Mer launch along with CJ and Martin. - Dave and Tim were already in the air.

Baldy was at its normal best in SW conditions. The wind was up a bit so it did help to wait. Dave fought the good fight staying above launch until the boomers really kicked in.
I was last off and had to play catch up but that isn't all bad. Later is better in terms of condition development.
Initial thermal was strong and topped at about 5,500 or so not real developed at mid altitude. Dave, Mer and CJ were above me and heading out and I lost the core which required a restart.

Down I went until I was well below launch, pushing out I began to wonder if that would be it. I was well high above the bumps in front the Airport and the pounder was waiting to kick my gluteus maximus. Normal bullet for the time of day - Now around 1:30. Rock and Roll to 5,800 and then a departure thermal to around 6,500.

This set up a lifty line to the normal route over the NW corner of the firing range (careful not to touch) and a set of clouds took me to the Boylstons.
The far left lift hill has worked in the past, though it is not the highest it seems most reliable. (check my track log if your interested) A real screamer took me very high almost 8,400 in two pops.
By this time the clouds were setting up for a great run. One after another they lay in wait up the Columbia. It is very common to see a convergence line right over the Eastern edge of the river running all the way to Quincy. This is the same line I took on my first flight NE of Wenatchee. Today however the clouds over the hills and West were really shutting things down and it was a race between OD and sun.
I pushed as best I could over Quincy and to the hills just North of there. The hills had just a touch of sun on them by that time, just enough to get a little bit of lift that cast me off for the next valley.

Not much more was left but a hope and a prayer - neither were to pan out as I dusted, but dusted just far enough.

One of my big time goals was to get a 50 mile point to point and a coveted USHPA XC award, what ever that is.

It was a great day of flying all around. - Both Dave and Mer had very nice flights, flying together most of the day which is one of our XC goals. Thanks to Martin for the retrieve and Mer and Dave for dogging it up the hill for the truck. -- You all are the bomb.

News from Pine is that Conrad nailed 115k and two others including Brian Webb bested 100k with a 4th going 60 or better. - Way to Go ya all.

Next year Tiger.

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