Monday, June 13, 2011

Gap in between comps, flying Monte Cucco

So, the last 3 comps suffered from bad weather and now there is a 2 week intermezzo until the next comp, the Austrian Open at the Diedamskopf in Tirol. It is difficult to find good flying weather over Europe these days. I left the Italian Nationals at Feltre (canceled comp) and drove to the Monte Cucco.
Flying has been very good on the first day, but I had no retrieve so I decided to fly locally and practice top landings.

The second day had thick cirrus and the locals told me not to expect anything more than a sled ride down. I said I was an optimist because the sky looked very unstable low down and that I would wait a little longer before launching. Two hours later, Gary Wirdnam arrived and when we launched we almost bombed out but managed to climb out again. It turned out that the day was very unstable indeed and an hour later I toplanded because I got scared by the developing storms. I was a bit overcautious however, it was still perfectly flyable for another hour and a half... This was the beautiful post-storm sky (and the colors in the valley were magic):

I camped on launch, which was a nice experience on Thursday night, but not on Saturday night. I think Saturday night started with a drug deal on the parking space, than had a sequence of drunk people having a little party there and it probably ended with the same guys ending their drug deal for the night... Anyway, during the week, it is a nice experience:

Yesterday turned on very soon. There was a north wind and the north east side of the ridge showed thermal from 8:30 AM. The other side, the Sigillo valley, was completely covered in fog. It was a nice view to wake up with! Gary and I set a 120 km task, flying over the valley near Matelica to start with. By the time I returned to Monte Cucco, the sky had overdeveloped and Sigillo had heavy rain. I decided to land on the north landing field, where the car was already waiting by the time I came in. At last another XC flight. Almost half the task, it was good to be covering some distance again. And over terrain I had never flown over before.
Click here to see more pictures on Facebook.
The weather forecast is not looking very good for the next days, so I'm heading to Slovenia, to Matjaz' place. Looking forward to flying there!

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