Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thoughts on the King Meet.

With two flights to Salmon, one to May, one to the cement plant on route 3 only good enough for 6th, you can tell it was an exceptional year.

Even with flights that good I find myself asking how could I have flown better ? What, where and when would have made a difference ?

Probably the first day, made the biggest difference. While flying along route 1, there was a wall of light virga with a gap or window of opportunity to fly through. As a team, and after good discussion we flew threw it thinking conditions would worsen through the day. There was an unfreindly gust front some 8oooft below us after gliding through the window. We crossed into the valley behind where we would be safe from that gust front. The turbulence crossing the mountain range was enough for my carabiner to be facing the other way on landing. We got flushed in that next valley, and were all happy to be safely on the ground. An hour later, those more patient flew 10,000ft over us And glided 40miles passed into Salmon.

The third day, route 3 was called, but I got a very late start, maybe 1.5 hour after those that did well left. I also took an interesting route (around Arco a 15 mile detour). This was a challenging 10 mile punt into a 20+ mph headwind. But it payed off as I ended up up wind of courseline under a nice cloudstreet. As I was gliding I tried to skip a cloud that didn't work (with the little attention I spared it) and the sink was too much to reach the next street. That mistake put me on the ground. At the time I was OK with that as the sky ahead looked not so great,
but of course 20mins later it looked fabulous...
The last day, had amazing conditions. If I hadn't neglected my vario, so that it was actually working, I am sure I would have made much better of the day, and got to see more new terrain (for me).

During the meet, there were definately some key moments where I knew I was at a strategic decision point, and where I was unsure which was the better of two options. In the end (especially in open distance) patience appears on average the better strategy.

The final scores are published
here :

Dave Aldrich, Jared Abrams, Rod and more came out to collect ariel footage for the Movie "Dreaming Awake" (link). I Can't wait to see what they got :)Trey also made this very entertaining video. King Mountain

The event has been over a couple of weeks now but the stunning scenery, wild weather, the camaraderie all live on.

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