Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Drillology 101

Quite a showing for a weekday at Inspo. I impulsively threw things together this afternoon and jetted down to Provo. I thought I'd be flying alone, but to my amazement there were six other gliders almost set up! Ryan Voight, Mitch McAlear, Dave Gibson, Dude and two guys from North Carolina made up the field. Mitch and Ryan were off before 3:30pm and had to work to get up. Finally their work paid of and they were out of sight.

Ryan Voight


I was the last one off. Most of us waited through a strong south cycle that lasted over thirty minutes. Once the wind straightened out, the remaining few trundled off like lemmings. I was able to maintain over launch and climbed to three hundred over. Because of the strong south component, I drifted north to a bowl that typically produces when it's south. I encountered zero sink and basically drifted with the marginal lift until I was across the canyon and had the primary LZ on glide. I landed after less than thirty miniutes. Most everyone else had longer flights. Ryan, Mitch and Dave got on Temp and and had great gains - 12asl+.

Dude making a South Side style landing.

Mitch lands after an impressive aerobatic demonstration - including consecutive loops.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The crew headed south to Milford Tuesday, with plans to fly a site called Frisco. I met the gang close to the South Side at an Iceberg burger joint. Jeff O'Brian and Steve Rathbun were there as well debating weather or not to go. After an hour or so the group was defined and we drew straws to determine who among the four would drive. Lucky me!

We spent the night in Milford. The next morning, as soon as we downed a hardy breakfast, we were off to launch. Steve talked the whole way up to launch, giving us advice about the wicked ramp as well as flight strategy. The ramp really was scary! It just extends out, perched precariously above the rocky terrain below. By the time Steve got through with the horror stories associated with the ramp, and once on top actually seeing it, he had our attention.

Everyone got off safe and almost immediately caught nice fat thermals. Cody had his highest gain ever, topping out at over 18,000ft! They made it easy for me, as all three landed close to the highway that follows the route.

What bored drivers do, while waiting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Patience Luke. Not long after this pic was taken, the force took Cody to cloud base (almost). From 6/08/08

A few flights to note. Inspiration Point (Inspo) in Provo has been consistently great the past several flights. Sunday, June 1st started rather slow. The conditions didn't look that great. Steve Rathbun and I were the only hangs that showed up. There were an uncountable number of bags in the air and on the ground (literally), when we arrived. I ended up with a 2hr+ flight that yielded many gains over 12agl. My highest gain was close to 15agl. It was a somewhat easy soaring day, one just had to bumble into one of the giant thermals out front and turn! One of my first thermals landed me at 13agl, which I used to make my way north to Mt. Timpanogos. The air was quite a bit more textured close to Timp. It was an experience hard to describe. Emerald melt water ponds dot the backside of Timp and the recent snowfall freshened up the lingering snowpack. Beautiful! The air was exceptionally clear, which made for a great kodak moment - no camera. The odd thing about Timp is when you are looking east, the range looks so remote as though the terrain belongs in Wyoming or Montana. However, a glance west over the sprawling Salt lake basin puts it all into perspective. Steves flight was very similar to mine.

This past Sunday there were six hangs and a few bags that showed up at Inspo. Everyone got high and enjoyed a super clear spring day.