It started yesterday morning with my habitual review of the day's weather. Even though I wasn't going to fly, I posted on the local flying forum that it looked good for flying, especially at Cannon Mountain. Moments later Greg called wondering if I was going to fly Cannon. I politely, and honestly, told him I probably would not. Somewhere between the following email, phone, and text conversations with John, JJ, and Greg, I "found" myself committed to another day of flying. ;-)
We were late getting started so I dashed around the house tossing equipment together before hitting the road to pick up John in Chelmsford and JJ in Manchester. The clouds west of Concord towards Mount Ascutney were enticing but any thoughts of carrying equipment into to launch quickly suppressed any idea of flying there. I explained the details of flying at Cannon during our drive north to JJ and John since neither had flown there before. After looking at the bail-out LZs at the bottom, John was tentative about flying and JJ decided to pass. Neither were being weenies; everyone avoids landing there like the plague.
We loaded our gliders onto the tramway and enjoyed the comfy scenic ride up. Dan, Dave, and Greg were ready to launch when we arrived. The wind was blowing from the NW instead of the desired NNE, but was still blowing in nicely at times. I quickly rigged as they slowly launched. Dan and Greg climbed above launch, but Dave had a long glide to the airport LZ 3 miles (4.8 km) away.
I finished rigging, took a few pictures, and moved to launch.
I ran off the flower covered ski slope and took a few turns in light bubbles before heading away from the mountain and the undesirable LZs below. I started the long sled ride to the airport but bumped into a weak climb that slowly lifted me up as I drifted back towards the ski area.
The little thermal turned into a strong climb over the mountain and quickly shot me to base at 7000 feet (2100 m).
View to the northeast
Mount Lafayette across the notch from Cannon
View to the south; launch in lower right corner
I relaxed once I didn't have to worry about landing below the mountain. Flying at cloud base also helped!
Dan, Greg, John, and I joined up in a strong climb at the mouth of the notch and glided west in hopes of crossing into the Connecticut River valley.
We played around, but weak climbs, lack of LZs, a moderate headwind, and the lowering sun made it tough to go anywhere. Eventually we landed at the airport in nearly calm wind. JJ showed up shortly afterwards with the car after hiking down the mountain. Thanks JJ!
Update: JJ wrote about the trip as well on his blog.
Flights: 1, Duration: 1:19