11 Januar 2010

No place like cloudbase - Mt Beauty Timezone UTC +11

Oli took me up in the sailplane yesterday, winching up at Mt Beauty airstrip. It looked stable when we took off, but Oli managed to stay in the air, we eventually broke through 3 inversions and found cloudbase at 4000m. A great reward for the suffering in 42 C on the ground.
The 4 hour "walk" took us all the way to Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Feathertop. The first time I saw that part of the Victorian Alps. Very scenic. And it was fun working together with Oli to find the fastest thermals and the best line to get there.
We met Craig in the air (can you find the tiny spec on the Feathertop photo?), he used to fly pg comps, and also Heather and Mart were at the airfield. Heather already soloed as well, seems like the club is taken over by hangglider and paraglider pilots ;)
The paraglider pilots who flew at Mystic yesterday reported that it was their worst flight ever, with a lot of turbulence - even in the sailplane we had zero gravity once, but it is still very comfortable in turbulence compared to the "biting base bar" of a hangglider.
Very good training for the Bogong Cup, and I hope Heather forgives me that we went flying cross country, as she had wanted to go up for a short flight as well. After two hours of hard work at Mount Bogong, it was just too tempting to try and reach the clouds further south...and I didnt have to beg Oli for too long to fly into the mountains that I had never seen before;) a great adventure.

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