John B called to say he was coming as I was leaving to pick up Randy and JJ. He didn't want us to wait, but we ended up picking him up along Route 2 after taking longer than expected to gather the other pilots. Of course, we kept questioning our "decision" all the way there. We could have used some maple syrup to go along with all the waffling.
We met Peter, PK, and Gary at the top. Unfortunately, it was blowing down on launch. We waited for launchable cycles that never came. Time for plan B. It was too late to make the 2 hour drive to Mount Ascutney, but we discussed Petersburg Pass before settling on the Mohawk Trail across the valley. Lucky for us, it was trickling in nicely when we arrived at launch so I lead the way back to the cars for my glider.
New glider in New England for first time
The Mohawk Trail is only about 700 feet (213 m) above the LZ, so it can be difficult to get up on a no-wind day. Peter needed to leave early, so he didn't waste any time suiting up to go.
He managed to get above launch and hung on for awhile but eventually settled into the LZ below. PK was next. His flight was similar to Peter's up to the point he was about to start his landing approach. He snagged a weak thermal and, with us cheering on launch, managed to climb away. JJ was next. He briefly got above launch but was soon wiggling into the LZ. Randy launched into the best cycle of the day. He got above the ridge and managed to hold on. I was next. John pointed out a hawk climbing down the ridge to the left, but the wind was too cross on launch. Every time I had a good launch cycle, Randy and/or PK were right above or in front of me. Of course, every time they were climbing away, it was 90-degree cross. Sigh. I finally ran off in a reasonable cycle while Randy was overhead and climbed above the ridge.
Randy and I shared some climbs and one disorganized climb lower on the ridge where Randy finally said he had enough and went to land. I played with the birds that were also struggling to get up while PK floated far overhead at 5000 feet (1500 m). The highest I got was 3400 feet (1000 m), about 1500 feet (450 m) above launch. John launched and soared a bit before landing. I flew for about an hour before leaving for the LZ; no need to stress the shoulder. PK landed shortly after I did.
John and Randy
We packed up and stopped for dinner on the way home. JJ later pointed out that the amount of airtime a pilot got was directly proportional to their physical discomfort. Um. ;-)
We interrupted a couple in a truck when we pulled into the in the dark parking were we left John's car. We had a good laugh at their expense after they composed themselves and drove away.
I was tired of tying and untying gliders by the time I got home; I had tied and untied the straps eight times! Maybe the season around here is finally underway.
Flights: 1, Duration: 0:51