On arriving I heard the previous few days were spectacular - there is quite a bit more snow this year than previous years and the lift went high. I had high expectations. The weather had other plans however, top of lift was 4400ft msl and not 6500 like the previous day. No matter, we'll give it the old college try. In the above picture the south route goes to the top left, not much in the way of bail outs... Scott Huber followed, alas I didn't see him until over in Hunters Valley. Here is the GPS tracklog. From the same vantage point there are landing options upwind, so just stick in that thermal and dribble downwind while hopefully climbing. This was pretty much the strategy in the Florida Flytec Rally too. From Hunter ridge you could see Yosemite Valley highlighted with snow through the haze (just right of centre). Click on the picture to make it bigger.
From there I hopped back over Hunter ridge into Bear valley, only finding sink and light lift. I figured a reasonable goal was Mariposa airport, and I probably would have made it, but the consequences of the last glide look a bit dire.
Instead I opted for this field, which worked out well if a little tight.
My Girlfriend Tracey was there 2 minutes after I landed. I was pleased to see her fly Saturday. Somehow she launched after me, flew, packed up, and retrieved me all in the space of 2 hours! And after a bit of a pounding, she did not feel up to flying Sunday. Now I owe her big time.
Sunday I went up and had another go at the Speed Gliding, and did quite a bit better. The Coyote Howl event has a number of fun events like the Horseshoe Dash (Horseshoe out and returns) won by Brian Horgan with no less than 9 roundtrips! Also the Pylon course (specific points to fly over), won by Bruce Bousfield, Cross Country won by me with a 16.3mile flight, duration won by Steve G. And Speed gliding, also won by me with a 1:01 min time. Here I am being goofy for CRV.
The Mother Load Sky Riders really go all out to welcome pilots, it is a fun time, thanks guys! One day Noman I will take your record! (shortly before you take it back, I am sure)