Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun in the mountains

And this is what we did when we got to the top of that 11k mountain. Heh Heh Heh. To be fair it was difficult to even stand up in the soft wet snow, but beleive me it was good fun.
video
Be sure to check out Ryans blog from the weekend also.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A nice rest day

The rest of the group charged up Copper Mountain on Memorial Day. After flying nearly 10 hours the previous two days, and the likelyhood of the wind blowing over the back, and the road up being blocked by snow and not much sleep, I convinced my group to head for Traverstine Hot Springs for a morning soak. It did the trick for me. Returning to the car, we heard pilots in the air on radio, cool, the trek payed off. We thought we might get in on some action, but the weather had deteriorated as forecast. We checked out launch anyway. After a spot of Lunch at the Tioga pass resort, we got a hot tip on a short walk up a 11k peak. At first it looked like a bad idea, trudging through the soft wet snow. But pretty soon we were at the top. Copper Mountain is now behind and in the cloud. A very fun weekend for all of us !

Monday, May 25, 2009

The forecast looked epic.

Quite a few in our group, we camped up in the beautiful Alabamas. Flew from walts again, the forecast was much better, less chance of over developement. Higher cloudbase. The winds were a little stronger but still light. I had a little trouble crossing from the Sierras to the Whites, getting down to 5700' in the middle of the valley, and working my way back up. That slowed me down considerably. The run to Montgomery peak was fairly easy, but bitterly cold. My Camelbak froze and my fingers were numb even with gloved and barmits. I didn't bother climbing to 17,999' again. Right around 4pm at montgomery peak things changed. A few cues that moments before were innocent looking starting dropping virga. The clouds were small but virga is still virga. I ran from it will Bruce got pummled to the ground (all the way) he was ok but it sounded nasty on the radio. The virga was causing 2000 fpm down and switching winds. I managed to outrun it and the way ahead to Mina looked good. But it was catching me up again, I decided to land before the chute might sound like a preferable method of landing. The turbulence was a lot like I experienced at King 5 years back. The same air that tumbled Jeff.
It was the right choice, just moments after getting the glider in the bag the sky went like this. Here is montgomery peak at 6pm.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Beautiful Owens

We knew the forecast was a little on the dubious side but we were all optimistic and went anyway.What spectacular scenery.Had to end the flight before I was ready, here was the sky.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cycling in Santa Cruz

I got hit by a car yesterday (I ride my bicycle to work most work days)
just the mirror on the elbow, but it startled my pretty well, and one more inch closer and my elbow would have had a large piece of metal go through it,
and may or maynot be still attached to me.

Its not the first time ( I've been commuting by bike for 12 years) But the driver geered, clapped and continued driving. After stopping and collecting my thoughts, I rode on shaking and irratated. Its one thing to get knocked, but deliberatly?
Five mins later I saw the same truck parking. I stopped thought about what to say. I asked him. "So, what happened there?"
He said smuggly "you hit me".
Well that was too much for me, considering I was riding straight along a quiet street and he came from behind with the whole road to use.
911, "yes hello, I am involved in a dispute after a hit and run"
I tried to restrain myself and let the officer do the rest of the mediation.

It was difficult...
My motivation is to make the roads safer, and a more attrative option than getting in a car. While one driver at a time isn't going to make a noticable difference, I feel like I did the right thing. I really wanted to let the air out of his tires.
I am fortunate enough to be uninjuried and able to head off with the intention of flying in the Owens this weekend.

I think I am venting ! Regardless I beleive public humilation should be brought back as a punishment. So here he is... Some villages in England still have stocks in the square.

On a happier note here is a link to some video footage I have been waiting to see.
You HAVE to see it

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Coyote Howl 2009

- is a festival based in Coulterville, and also an excellent spring fly-in bassed at nearby Lake McClure. Jay hosted the festivities this year and did an outstanding job. Glen was master chef, Brian welded the awards, there were many other volunteers too.
There was a pylon course, duration award, speed gliding contest, and XC challenge. Steve picked up both duration and the pylon course. He survived the challenging part of the day, that flushed many out of the sky.

Chris "!! PREDATOR !!" won the speed gliding on the Predator.
Brian took the golden hammer award, I missed the event that earned it.Sunday was a better day, I launched later and climbed straight to 5.5k headed out towards La Grange. I didn't hit a bump and turned back before it was too late. Flew Horseshoes a bit, then went and climbed above launch again. Carm had generously offered to pick me up on the way home, So I was trying to follow 132 as far as I could. I didn't have high hopes after the first attempt but nothing too lose. Looking back over Lake McClure. Horseshoe Mtn middle right and Launch to the left, you can see Hiway 132 cutting just below launch.The wind was NW15 mph 45degrees off a complete headwind. La Grange (left of the Tuolumne river) is a funny little town, it is tiny but with more character than most citys. Just west of it there is a swimming hole, that maybe subconciously suckered me in. It was 95'F on the ground, and probably 40'F in the river! Had to be done. Many thanks to the McClure guys again, great to see all my friends I haven't seen in 6 months :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

A very fun couple of weeks.

The final day was a struggle towards the end. The sea breeze came in and slowed everything down. Jonny won the day, the Jeffs and Glen made it in. Zippy was just short, and showed up on a ride on lawn mower, I wish I had a picture of that.
I landed just passed the prison. Managing 10th for the day and for the meet.The festivities after the awards, were way fun as usual :) Yesterday many of us just relaxed on site and watched the alegators in the pond behind my tent. On of which is 8 feet +

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Final day of Flytec Rally at Quest.

A few days have passed since the last update, unfortunately a my teamate had a bad landing and broke her arm into 6 pieces. Hearing half the call for help I tried to get closer for better reception. Unfortunately I flew at a tangent to her position, thinking she was on courseline. The move put me on the ground and ouut of communications entirely. I should have stayed as high as I could, just for relay. Lesson learned. The e911 service is what finally found her after a hour. Thats a long time to be upside down with a broken arm. Linda is already recovering and in good spirits. Healing wishes to her.

The end of that day, the weather turned bad, and the rally did a U-turn to quest, so we could get a couple more valid tasks in.Yesterday was a great day for flying. We flew 25kms south, back 43km north, and back to Quest. This morning the Blue eye boys, did a photo shoot for their sponser. Jonny, Dustin and both Jeffs gave a good show coming across the lake.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flytec Rally - day3

This blog is live from the back of the truck. We are following Jamies car, with Jonny, Carl and Dustin in it. Moments ago it looked like it was on fire, we stopped to help unload it, but they drove off. Hope we make it to goal!
Speaking of goal, I had a great flight today with Alex from Reno, we landed just short of the Georgia border, in the shade of a decomposing CuNim. The task was 140 miles and we made it around 70 I think. This morning we started in the town of Williston across the street from a drive through liquor store.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flytec Rally - Day 2

On day 1 of the flytec rally we flew up to Quest from Florida ridge. Its about 126 miles and passes over some really nice country. Lots of lakes and tidy towns, and many Landing options too. I don't have any pictures as i have to concentrate on just the flying, unlike jonny who makes video as he is flying along. Check out his blog for some great clips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpinM9h1YmQ&

Day 2 started, where we landed the previous day - Quest. No need to break down, retrieve or even setup in the morning. Luxury :)

The seabreeze blew in early and strong prevented all but a sailplane from making goal at Williston. Up until that point it was fun though. I got to fly with Jonny and Jeff a bit. Tomorrow we continue our journey north 146 miles into Georgia.
Fun, fun, fun.
results are in : http://soaringspot.com/flytec2009/results/ Not quite sure when I became Canadian ?

Davis has a good account of the weather and the day, and a link to an amusing video too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

flytec race and rally

Next up and starting today is the Flytec Race and Rally. Starting at Florida Ridge and going up to Lookout Mountain Tenesse. Its a 1000kms in 7 days. Today we should fly to quest, it looks like a great day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dustin wins Florida Ridge

It was a close race in the points totals, between Dustin and Andre. Dustins 8 minute lead on the final day was enough to take the title. Overall results.
I got low, slow and downwind of courseline on Task3. I wasn't able to climb through the inversion into the lighter winds, I did manage to get to goal eventually. The final task, I got a bad start and got stuck in cirrus, while most everyone else, charged ahead into a convergence line. I battled on but ran out of sun light and landed at 7:30, 17km short of goal, after flying 151kms.

Florida was a little different than I expected. Its much drier (it is the dry season just now) but it looks more like western mexico, than the states north of here. With the exception of huge lakes and levies everywhere. Here a little critter I found on my arm, looks more like a cuddly toy.