Monday, September 7, 2009
On the wrong side of nature.
It is rare that I regret launching... The forecast was for strong winds, never a good thing in the mountains, but Indian Valley's burn launch sits in quite a venturi and generally speaking it becomes unlaunchable before it blows out. (500ft above launch winds usually drop 10mph). Not Saturday it didn't. I launched about 11:30 in 25mph winds. It wasn't too gusty yet. I went straight up barely penitrating forward with the bar stuffed and 3/4 VG. I knew this was quite a bit more than I was bargining for... From there noting there was plenty of lift I decided to use what height I could get and move east down the ridge to land in the widest part of the valley. It was very bumpy and I was having trouble just keeping the glider pointed straight. There was no-way I could make it straight out to tweetens and no way I wanted to land there anyway. 30 mins into the flight I was looking down into the valley looking for a good spot to put it down. I could feel the large mountain rotors blowing through the valley causing 15mph gusts and 90 degree switches in wind direction. I was quite concerned about "landing". Too far east I was in terrible rotor from Mt Huff, further west and rotor was coming from Hunodim Peak. In fact there was a field of light dust freshly furrowed showing the rotor caused gust fronts coming different directions across the valley. I found a large soft looking field that didn't seem to have good retrieve possibilities and set up for it regardless. The wind stay nasty all the way to the ground, I got popped from the side on final took a few steps, with the glider out of whack I let go jumped over the base tube and splated upright against the sail. The marshy grass was kind to the glider, it was as good as I could have hoped for. It is a fun social fly-in up here, Stacey and Carm do a great job of entertaining, feeeding and getting pilots together.Bruce had made a life size jenga game that has been quit the hit.