Pemberton Day 7
Task: Power House 5k Exit, Owl 400m, Miller 1k, Camel Hump 400m, Hand Car 2k, Owl 400m, Miller 1k ESS, Bruce 400m. Optimized distance: 78km.
A long task was set today, with great conditions in the forecast. Light winds and higher top of lift, so the task was set with several valley crossings and a waypoint to the NW that was further than we’ve flown before - into bear country. After the start, the crossing to Miller put us on the other side of the valley, into the higher peaks to the west. From here, we could continue north towards Camel over this high, remote terrain, or go back to the main ridge with known lift sources. The high country route would be faster if it worked.
My start was good today, and I crossed to Miller with the lead gaggle. We searched around a bit, but the lift wasn’t coming together like we thought it would. Senior, Cortella, Frederic, Pal and Orava were all there. Nobody was getting up, and some of them were getting desperately low over bad terrain. Cortella turned back to the main ridge and I followed.
We tanked up at Owl, then flew straight to Camel Hump. Weird air over Camel, and I had some mushy stuff going on. Climbed enough to get to Paulina as Cortella headed deeper towards Goat. Hazlett and I had a nice climb over Paulina. Hazlett left early to join Cortella, but I stayed and tanked up. As they both pushed on low towards Hand Car, I easily flew in above them to tag the turn point. Cortella kept pushing, and we were on our way back to Goat, Copper, and Barbor. We dropped Hazlett in there somewhere, so now it was just Denis and me. Tanking up over Barbor, we were on our way to Owl with the turn point on glide. We found a good climb over Owl to put us within reach of Miller, but we left early, knowing that the 1km radius would extend far down the hillside from the actual turn point. Gliding into the lee side of the mountain that was now in full shade, Cortella had a slight lead and we were both on half bar. With no chance of catching him with respect to overall points, I stayed on half bar rather than going to full - just to be sure I’d make it. It was a little tense counting down those last meters, looking at the upcoming hillside, watching the meters tick down. We clicked the cylinder just before reaching the hillside, and we turned around with a very easy glide to goal.
A lot of hours in the air today. The longest and most technical task that we’ve had, and another beautiful tour around the mountains of Pemberton.
Matt Senior came in in good time, but Frederic was way late after working himself out of some bad terrain near the first Miller turn point. He may have been just late enough for me to move up to 3rd overall. The last downloads are happening now. I’ll try to update with official results soon. Either way - what a week. Such a fun place to fly.
Leonardo tracks with map (click on “Task Name” and click on pilot for their track)