It was a blustery day by Lookout standards. This history of Lookout Point shows gusts to 25 between 2 and 7pm when I was flying.
My airspeed (bottom chart) indicates > 30mph until the late day smooth flying. I just didn’t know when the bottom was going to fall out. After bouncing less than a minute off launch and a rocket ride for the first 200ft, I was flying with my guard up (among other things).
The clouds were helping except some of them I just fumbled around in punishing sink. Even when I’d get to one in it’s wispy-infancy. The sink was stomach turning at times. With the vigorous base wind and the solid lift, the lee side of these thermals was an unfortunate place to be. More than a few times, I’d approach a cloud, hoping I got my aim right to connect with it’s lift and would just have a trap door open below me. I spent a good 2kft just trying to define thermal drift to overcome my floundering of the first 1.5 hours. I guess it’s like a free roller coaster though.
On the return trip, I was in marginal lift over Coal Creek peak and a sailplane came smokin by maybe 100ft below me. He banked hard and hooked a good 600fpm so I jumped in right at his altitude. He didn’t flinch a bit and I could see him looking up at me through the window. Pretty cool and I was wondering if it was ex-HG pilot Bob Ferris. This thermal, and the huge cloud over Ralston Butte got me back to Lookout. While I was able to out climb the sailplane, his glide performance left me in the dust. Huge highlight of the otherwise lonely flight.
Great adventure of a day! It took about 2hrs to get to Lyons, and 2 more to get back.
Wing: Atos VR
Airtime: 5hr 22min