Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Haze

West Rutland, Vermont is a long drive (roughly 6 hours round trip) so it was nice when Mike offered to share part of the drive.  I met Mike in Walpole, New Hampshire and we continued on in his vehicle.  We arrived in time to toss in with a large group heading to launch up the backside.

The wind was blowing in when we arrived but not strong enough to convince anyone it was soarable. The sky was a stagnate hazy milky white, devoid of any soaring birds, bugs, or leaves.  We took our time getting ready and practiced our fine art of politeness, "No, I insist, you first.  I'll help you layout your wing." or "Looks good, need a wire crew?".

I thought it might be soarable, but was willing to wait.  Then I remembered Mike and Sue were planning to arrive mid-afternoon, which meant I could probably get a ride back up if I sank out early.  I went to suit up when I noticed John and Kirill were dressed and walking to launch.  John launched, settled a bit, and then started climbing.  Kirill launched next and then me.

Getting help laying out.  (Photo courtesy Aine Friend)

With a little patience I found a climb and rose above the ridge line.

Airborne (Photo courtesy Aine Friend)

I climbed high enough to briefly think about XC but just didn't have any faith in the day.  Instead I enjoyed the scenery and the company.

Speaking of company, we had a small plane fly overhead at the altitude I just left.

Plane in upper left corner

The cirrus grew thicker and most of the pilots we rode up with sank out to the LZs below.  Kirill and I danced around each other as we clung to the hillside trying to stay airborne.  I really enjoyed that part of the afternoon.

Kirill eventually had enough and left the entire mountain to me.  I flew with a juvenile hawk and played with the increasingly solid lift.  Things were getting easy by the time that the late shift arrived at launch.

I made the mistake of radioing down that the air was really nice.  In almost no time, the armada was airborne.

We all flew until we had enough.  It was still soarable when I landed to avoid making Mike wait.  It was an impressive soaring day considering how unexciting the day looked.  A couple pilots even had personal bests.

Here is a short video from the flight,

Flights: 1, Duration: 3:32

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