Monday, July 19, 2010

Short Divide

Sunday as with every weekend this summer, the weather was hard to call. The day before was another skunk, so I was in no mood for any more bad calls - crap! Given the instability still present and possible over development lingering, we decided to drive north to the Short Divide, where there was less chance of OD.

Lisa V was set up and ready to go within the hour of arriving at launch. The wind at launch was strong but the site handles strong conditions amazingly well. However, after getting Lisa in the air I was a bit concerned about getting myself to launch, much less launching unassisted.

Cody called before I was set up to inform me that he was available for driving, and that he was on the road heading for launch. Since Cody lives pretty close, I was hoping he might be on top to help me into the air. He instead informed me he was an hour away and not to worry about the wind, "just inch your way down - you'll be OK".

It wasn't as bad as I thought, and soon I was launched and in the air with Lisa. To the south, in front of launch, the air was clear but over the back there were a few cells that were dropping virga - pre gust front conditions, not good. Once well established above 10 grand and well above Gunsight peak, Lisa headed north along the mountains on the east side of Malad Valley. I soon followed as it appeared the OD would stay NE of that area. We soon realized the wind at our altitude was out of the west, which typically makes for turbulent conditions. The air was quite textured with plenty of strong lift, as we made our way north under the building cloud development.

About as far as I got was Portage, about seven miles north of Gunsight. Lisa flew a bit further crossing into Idaho. In lieu of the strong conditions and fear of getting swamped by the OD, we both decided to call it and head back to the Short Divide. We drove back south and had nice landings in a field close to the Plymouth Chevron Station, thanks to Cody's guidence. As soon as we landed the clouds above Malad Valley were dropping Virga!

Even though it wasn't a long flight, the fun conditions made up for the lack of miles.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cody At The Crawfords

One of my favorite pictures I've taken. Cody Dobson landing at the Crawfords. Hurry up and get well Cody!