Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where is home?

One last day to enjoy with my parents. We went to Wilder Ranch for a stroll along the ocean cliffs where it was blowing about 40mph. Then up onto the plateaux that was the old ocean bed in recent geological history.

I waved goodbye from a mountain top, after dropping my parents off at SFO. I hadn't explored Sweeney ridge park before.
Like it says...
In just 30 mins the view opens up to the west, with Pacifica below.
I ran back over the ridge and watch a queue of planes take off. One of which was the one my parents were in. It was nice to see them and while I haven't seen them for a while, we picked right back up from where we left off. It is strange to think that I don't know when I might see them again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Award ceremony

Prizes were made by the one and only Liza Tate.

On the podium :

See All results

________________1st____________2nd _____________3rd______
Class 1_____Zac Majors_____Jeff O’Brien_____Dave Gibson
Sport class__Jon James______Karl Yates____Christine Nidd
Female____Christine Nidd
Rigid_______Bill Vogel

The pilots.
The paparazzi.
The Drivers.
Zac taking in the weeks' events.
Gail and Katie enjoying the wonderful party and food the Gail prepared for the masses.
The Lasagne was awesome. No Onions especially for me!
100 others had no onions either. It was delicious! Everyone was clearly having a great time. Mike and Gail really went above and beyond to make sure everyone had the oportunity to enjoy themselves - it surely worked !
Zippy, OB & Katie.
A little later on in the evening...
The following morning in the dinner bell.
What a great week :)
Final goodbyes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hang On - final day

The final day. We called a task from Sugar up to Tagues Butte and back to town and into Hunters. I flew Ben Rogers' glider again (Thanks Ben). Bruce benefited from this too as he had bust a tip wand landing in the sage at Hart mountain. Between us we had a pair of wands. It was a challenging day. There was one climb at Sugar that everyone got into and went to 13k, then nothing for 20 miles. I met up with Gerry, and Bruce at the quarry before town and got a ratty climb back to 9500'. I found a slightly better core to the north of Blackcap and climbed to 12K and got the three pictures of the flight. Looking south at Lakeview and Goose Lake.
Looking east to Hart lake and mountain where we landed the day before.
Looking north to Tagues butte turn point and Aberts Lake and Rim. I made the turnpoint, but the lift was scary turbulent and difficult to work low. I came very close to landing in a small mountain meadow between the rim and the valley. I almost had the bar ripped out of my hands at 300 feet and got whipped upward for enough altitude to land somewhere sensible. I would have love to have made goal the final day, but I was also happy to be one the ground unbroken.

tip wand in the desert.

After helping set the Hart mountain task, I went to set up my glider and found only one tip wand. Oh No ! I had left it in the dirt after landing in the sage brush near doherty slide! I sent my parents to grab my battens from my other glider, but Wayne rescued me having transported Ben Rogers glider for the meet. I borrowed it and came 3rd for the day. I was stoked and exhausted by the drama and the flight. Hart mountain was stunningly beautiful. Alas I did not have my camera this day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day4 - doherty slide

At the end of windy Wednesday Blackcap glassed of and there were nice conditions. However I had other plans and got a massage for my shoulder. It was excellent! I would love a few more of those. The headquaters here at the Hunters Hotsprings have lots of great resources provisded by Mike and Gail. It is really great being here and having all the pilots in one spot.
Thursday was a fun day, we called a route over doherty slide, toward Winnemuccamucca.
It goes over high desert plateau. launched at 6200msl and landed at 5700msl.
Crossing over these cool drainage patterns.
Here's Bruce with my excellent ground crew :) We stopped at Doherty launch to check it out on the way home.
Fun day Zippy, Jeff and Bill made it to goal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day4 - hmmm ?

results are here :

weather is looking iffy again today, but that would not be the first time it has been iffy then turned out to be epic...

check Jeff OB's Blog here
Chris makes Town : Blog
Joe finds a new "LZ" Blog

The rest of the week looks better.

A low presssure system is moving through to our north and taking a lot of air with it.
No rain here hopefully.

Day2 Goal, Day3 cancelled

I have found myself with the privilege of being on the task committee for this comp. Everyday I am learning something new about calling tasks. Weather is a huge factor and when the course is 60+ miles the weather can change dramatically with terrain as well as time. Taking pilots over land-able and retrievable terrain is a high priority. Terrain turbulence due to wind direction and leg difficulty progression needs to be factored in too.
The route chosen for Day2 is below. It was raining when we decided to go up the hill. But you see from the pictures it turned into and epic day. The course was about 145km. We went up to Lakeview, struggled for a climb on Hill2s with probably 12 pilots in one thermal. Then across the pass toward the Plush-cutoff road. And on upto Plush. This is Plush looking north-east toward Hart mountain antelope refuge.

From Plush we were to head north parallel to Aberts rim. This is after a good climb looking south at Hart mountain.
Looking NE from the same spot, Wagontire is up there somewhere. This stage of the course became fast and relatively easy.
Arriving at goal much to high. At least I was not the only one to do this.
Looking southwest from goal at Aberts lake.
Goal I came in 4th for the day.
The beautiful drive home along Aberts rim.
Day 3 was cancelled due to strong winds at launch. It was launch-able but only for the bold.Task setting was challenging today due to those winds. There are a few cliffs and canyon that would be tricky to land near. The eventual task kept us in the Lakeview valley, which was a smart move for the wind and retrieve time with the late start. However as soon as a few pilots landed to day was cancelled. The wind was probably gusting to 35+mph at times.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lakeview Day1

Here we are at the Hunters Hotsprings meet headquarters.
Camp bubblehead.
Pilots meeting.

Day1. Launch Sugar 8km Start circle. Lodge, Ennis, Hunter. 145km Task. Everyone enjoyed it :)

Alex landed next to me, maybe 10km passed the first waypoint. The sage field looked way better from the air. I really didn't want to land in the same field that Dad landed in a couple of days ago, I flew over that at about 600 feet.

Here's one of the strange clouds that made me think I should fly faster. That decision put me on the ground, half an hour before everyone flew over at 11k +. Ooops lesson learned.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dad flys Hadley Butte

Friday was to be a practise day for Dad to get oriented in Lakeview, get the radio and gps logistics test flown and have a great flight. He was to fly with Bruce.

I was driving with Mum to show her the ropes of navigation and radio usage.

The day started slow and there were long gaps between thermals. Judging from the large variations in altitudes this didn't change much. After an hour Bruce was over the valley half way to Lakeview, and Dad was higher and not too far behind.

The views of Abert Lake and rim must have been spectacular.

Unfortunately the glider was not behaving as Dad wanted. He thought it had a turn. This could have been a big factor in the landing mishap. In the final S turn it appeared to me that the glider hit some lift and got turned away from the spot slow. It looked like the glider side slipped out of view toward the ground.

It was not a pretty landing but Dad faired quite well. At first we thought his arm was broken, but fortunately it was just badly bruised with a small bone chip on the wrist. We went to the hospital to get Xrays to be sure and get the spine checked out. Things could easily have been way worse.