Saturday, July 31, 2010
Eastern Washington Going Off
Thunder with all the clouds to match. - 360 degrees, building all day and now letting loose. Big Exciting Storm!
Two days ago, looking for tandem sledders, Bob and I went to Bill and Nancy's new place.
Bill is a PG & Hang pilot who has not been flying all that much of late but is getting back in the game.
Their house on the hill sits right in the middle of the Needle in Yakima. High on the hill behind Bob's it has always tempted, but rotor worries and access has kept us from flying, though lots of flying was done round-about in the past by others - here? Don't know.
The face is classic ridge with a rounded top, a cross between Eagle and Kiona. Textured topography out front including a gauntlet gap make for some touchy exploration issues. It is generally a bowl with great SW heating and stands as the highest wind break ridge of the Yakima Ridge.
This morning before all the heat broke loose I made the calls and arrived at what we will now call "Nancy's."
Bill has been thinking lots about the best launch but I figured I would just use the hill in front of his porch. Sweet stuff - launching from you own "lawn." Not me yet but soon for Bill.
The flight, starting at 11:30 was increasingly thermic - flow speed was 5-7. Lift in the low 100's - defined house in SSE to S winds. Clearly a launch site on big Thermal days for those who live close. - where to go? West to 410 - North to Baldy and around. - ESE to Sunnyside(not often from S facing launch. And top landing sweetness. Pure ridge days will be a whole new story.
I flew for maybe 15 minutes and then slid down the gauntlet and learned some stuff. All in all a neat new site. It will take some careful exploration due to the topography, but slowly worked it may prove a very fun place to fly.