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100deg Blue Day

posted Jul 15, 2012, 5:33 PM by Mark Adams
 
July 11, 2012, Wenatchee, WA

Yeah, it's hot. 100 deg.
Yeah, it's smokey from the fires.
Yeah, it's blowing gently from the East.
Yeah, it's clear, not a lift marker in sight.
But, the numbers look good.

So what to do?
Take a tow, then struggle to hold the ridge at 3300' for 45 min.
Finally, break the grip of the trusty ridge and climb away from the simmering heat.
10,000' over Badger offers cooler air, but still no shade.
Returning from Waterville yields climbs near 12,000', ensuring a run to Jumpoff.
Mission Ridge takes the LS3 and cargo to 12,800', but not cannula time.
4 hrs into the flight we are circling over frozen lakes and dazzling snowfields, with
layers of mountain ranges stacked to the horizon.  
Ahhh, this is why we fly. The panorama is spectacular.
SE to Clockum, huge blades sucking energy out of the atmosphere (as are we).
Final glide skirting Quincy is easy, with 80 knot ridge passes in zero sink for dessert.
Just shy of 6 hrs and 387 GPS miles, we are back on Pangborn grass, earthbound again.
Shuffled sailplanes safe in hangar, I am off until next time, eyes glancing periodically
skyward as all pilots do.
Amazing stuff for the soaring pilot, of which most of the world knows nothing.

Mark Adams

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