Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Plums and Cherries by Stefan Mitrovich

Best day of the year so far...
Lift-6.4 m/s
Flight-Open dist.

As the stats show it was a plum kinda day (Monday, March 24th 2008), this time maybe more of a cherry even. We just had to be a little patient on launch since it was shady most of the time. When that sun did eventually shine it was going off and up! I climbed out to over 5000ft just off launch and drifted around a bit and over to Squak Mtn to wait and take a few photos. This gave me some time to wait and see if anyone else was going to get off launch and go xc. Randy and Jabe finally were climbing back in the bowl so I transitioned back to Tiger and we all hooked up. They were climbing in some kinda weak lift so I kept going further in and hooked a big one. Randy came in with me and we boosted up to just under 6000ft trying to glide out of there before we hit the ceiling, leaving with the maximum height. Jabe chose to go back in to wind and we lost him after leaving. Randy and I followed the cloud street to the North more and worked some really nice climbs to between Sammamish and Fall City area before heading North to Carnation area. Eventually Randy went on glide a little early and I stayed and got back up over 5000ft and pointed it to Monroe, or I was hoping. Randy ended up landing in Carnation shortly after. I was in a good position except to where I had to glide to, the street always seems to break up just before Duvall and/or always going further Northwest. Ending up making the crossing to the plateau I found weak climbs and then not much of anything. Monroe and the Skykomish were still on my radar but I was looking at my options for landing now. I landed in a cattle pasture next to the highway just before the stop light in Duvall. Where I was promptly escorted out of there onto the highway. There is no shoulder to walk on making it a lot scarier walking with a bunched up paraglider next to cars going 60mph. Eventually, they let me pack up on their property across the highway. Turns out this guy has a big ranch and owns property on both sides of the highway. Just didnt like it when I "flew" over the livestock. After I apologized profusely for flying over there and then landing, they started getting friendlier and asked where I came from?

Meredyth broke her personal record of hiking twice with her bag back up Tiger. Punishment for the first short flight. The second flight she was able to climb out and get away to land at Snoqualmie Ridge. She launched at 4:45pm and got to almost 6000ft, so there is no excuses, there was lift all day!
Since cloudbase is slowly getting higher these days. I have been watching that the mountains looked a lot better too. Still looks cold and dark up there but its only a matter of time before it will look good enough to head in that way...
More boring cloudbase images
Peace. SM

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