Archive for January, 2010

Monarca 2010, day three,day four.

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Day three was called with a 2km start at Maguey then a 400 m TP then a 3km cylider at laguna negra then a 2 km cyl at Los Saucos then a 400 m TP at Divisa and goal in Valle. We got upwind of the start with about 50 others and waited at cloudbase which was 1,700 ft over the terrian, it was hectic to say the least. I was on top of the stack for the start but then on the way to Laguna i got drilled and was low when i got back to Maguey and then it took me some time to boost back high enough to make the glide to Cerro Gordo and then i made up some ground but i was behind and on the way to Los Saucos i knew it would be hard to get back up on the way back and i was right but i lucked out with a low save in the venturi gap that allowed me a glide to the trash dump where i boosted and then i saw gliders stuck at cerro gordo so i decided to try to crazy thermal mesa and as i dropped in to the launch bowl i was getting trashed by wind and lee side crap off the Penon but i got a boomer just downwind of it and was able to glide between the Penon and wall there i boosted high to base and made a glide to the thermal mesa i got drilled again and it flushed me down the lee side of the Espinoso and so i glided for some sunshine south of cerro pelon and there i hooked a 1,200 fpm boomer to base anbd there i glided to San Pedro and i got up off hte 600 ft site that i have lfown many times and then i glided for tree kings and got tow small therms along the way but niether boosted me high and i glided as far as i could but then still have enough to glide back to a resonable retrieve. I finsihed 9 kms short of the divisa TP. i got 446 points the same as the day before to rest in 44th posistion.

Day four was called a 3km entry cyl at launch with a TP at launch then a TP at Diente then to SUR a TP near llano then a TP at Tres Reyes then goal in Valle, but the task was way overcalled based on a forecast prediction made by X-C skies. The Sky was 90% shaded and the gaggle at El Penon and the wall as we waited was horrific and Brett Zanglien and an Italtan guy had a mid air and both pilots hucked reserves but we both okay. We managed to get high just before the start and i was wiht the leaders to the launch TP but i stayed behind at launch to climb higer instead of just glide back to Penon. It was a good move as we got high enpough to have a easy glide to Penon and then the wall but as we glided for the Espinosa i got drilled on the lee side and was forced to glide low around the corner and i made it again to San Pedro where i have launche dseveral times fromt he 600 ft site and that loc<l knowledge told me to take my altitude and run out front and hope for some lucky thermal out front and it worked although  i did have to make four low savwes from less then 300 ft but finally i got high enough top glide over to Diente and after that i just went a on a downwind glide and there i found the best thermal of the day i boosted to 10,000 ft still 1,200 ft loweer then  what was predicted by x-c skies. After that thermal i was again with the leaders, but they left the thermal for Aguila TP and i choose to glide more downwind along our lift line and i had thre or four followers to help me but we just did´nt connect where we needed to and i eventuially landed 4 km short of the SUr TP. it was for sure the hardest day so far and more shade is predicted for the next two days.

 

More soon.

David.

Monarca 2010, Day one, Day two.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Monarca is on and oversold by three spots which proves my buddy Bills theory that a Mexican can´t turn down money.

Day one was called a 66.9 km task to Divisadero, then to Santa Maria, then to Quintanilla ranch before heading to Cerro Gordo then to Valle, i was a bit slow at first but then caught the lead gaggle on the way to Santa Maria and was with the leaders there but the gaggle split and i chose to go with my group back to tres reyes and there i got stuck for 5 minutes befroe getting out then i was fairly fast getting to Quintanilla but on the way back i got stuck low at the trash dump but was able to get out ind into goal 30th for the day.

Day two was a 55.6 km task with a 1 km start exit at Diente then TP1 at Pila then TP 2 Aguila TP3 at Jovans and then TP4 at Sacamacate with goal in Valle. I was in the lead at times and with the leaders at Aguila but the gaggle split again and i chose to go with my group which went straight back to Penon and we were slow to climb out over the flats and the gaggle that went back to Espinoso got a better line and i catching up to us at launch but i was a bit low to go over top the mesa like some did and so i went to a glider climbing over tha back and as i got there he was turning right and i wanted to turn right but could´nt because a glider piloted by Tobias was on my right flying me out of the lift, i was forced to fly toward the pinitas and i could´nt connect the next thermal there i was 44.6 km 10 km short og goal. Tobias was able to get up due to a better line to the pinitas. He landed at Jovans and later apologized for pushing me out of the lift. He said he knew i would be upset about it but that did´nt seem to stop him from doing it at the time. There has been some really poor piloting skill shown here by many pilots. I´ve had several near misses the last two days and almost had a Ice peak XP flown into me from behind less than 6 inches.

Today the clouds reappeared and we hope they will stick around.

More soon,David.

Flying a PG in wave rotor?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Well it certainly is not something you´d set out to try but one day last week the winds were strong and the clouds were low and ripped and yes we flew and at launch it was not very turbulant and even as we flew over the back and then got a low thermal from the pinitas it too was not so bad but after i topped out and was headed for the trash dump when two of my clients hit some low lift and i thought i would go back upwind to help them and for the next five minutes all hell broke loose, i took a 60% hit and as i rotated thru 120 degrees i took another 20%whack on the other side which actually helped slow my rotation. then i took several more hits and after each hit i would just plummet out of the sky.

I thought that this turbualnce would soon end but it did´nt, i watched several other piltos below getting hammered, i took over 20 big hits in five mintues and no where seemed to be excempt.

I finally got high enough to glide over to the next valley where the trash dump is but the winds were too strong to get on the west side so i was forced to be on the east side of the gap and i took several more hits as i glided thru. I landed just past the high tension lines.

I think that was the longest most sustained big turbulance that i have ever expereinced, i´ve hit bigger turbs but never sustained for over five minutes without break. later that day we noticed many clouds showing wave type lift signs and even some obvious signs of wave rotor at our flying altitudes. Pretty much all pilots agreed that day was the worst they have ever expereinced.

Now conditions have improved but it has also dried out very fast and now we are on day three of serious high pressure.

The skies here in Valle have been more crowded then i´ve ever seen and there has been at least one serious incident daily.

At least when the comp starts the crowds will be easier to deal with.

More soon,

David.

More rain!

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

It´s almost unbelievable how bad the weather has been this year in Valle, given our average of one lost day per season over the past 9 seasons. Last night as i looked over the weather satellite map i saw that the majority of the storm had passed to our north and it looked like we would not get the rain like forecasted, then i walked out of the internet shop and it was pouring down rain and it continued most of the night with two very obvious dumps that woke me up from a good sleep.

This morning it was cloudy with cloud base below mtn top and the winds were ripping, we thought about going up to Penon just in case it was flyable but then the concensus was to bag it and wait for tomorrow.

I headed out to pick up my nextr clients who were arriving mid afternoon and after i passed the butterflies and was headed for Meson Viejo, i heard a large boom at the back of my van i swurved to the left and saw a huge part of a tree roll of the back of my van. the strong winds have knocked down many large trees some across the road and the locals were out in force clearing the trees(firewood) and asking for pesos for refrescos. Lucky for me it was not the whole tree and it hit the back of the van. one second later and it eould have smased thru my windshield.

Hjopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

David.

Windy day in Valle!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Today we headed up to Sacmacate again but this we were greated with stronger cycles of wind and crossing from the right and the clouds were zipping by, we were all able to get off once some shade came thru and cooled things off a bit.

Only one of five pilots got away today but i certainly ad a couple of cances to get away but i blew the first one and then it was just a rough raspy ride after that with a few times having my glider shoot off the the side with a hard surge.

The Penon was working better but still the numbers that flew the Penon were much less then the previous days.

The weather was calling for rain tomorrow but i think that we may have dodge this new bullet storm and it looks like things should improve.

More soon,

David.

VIVA SACAMACATE!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The traffic lately at El Penon has been so bad that we just could´nt take it anymore, we desperately needed a break so yesterday we rounded up some gringos and machetes and we spent two hours cearing the launch at Sacamacte and today we flew it with 8 pilots and 6 got up and away.

It´s so nice havng some options, while we climbed to cloudbase with virtually no traffic the others at El Penon graveled in a ugly mass many sinking out to the l.z. below.

Total madness!

Monday, January 11th, 2010

After three days of nearly no flying everyone was ready to get airborne but with about 40 new pilots on launch who just arrived when the rain broke out it was madness!

I witnessed at least five near misses off launch, which easily could have been mid-airs, there was one reserve thrown without incident.

Cloudbase was very low at 1,800 ft over launch, and the clouds grew very dark and tall and was shutting down the lift at times.

I had Ricjk and Susan hovering around base for about 30 minutes as i waited to get airborne and it was only 5 minutes later i was at base with about 20 other gliders and many of them went insdie the cloud and as i was trying to avoid them i was sucked inside the cloud too. I took a headed away formt he others and after about two minutes i popped out in the clear and called Rick and Susan to follow and we got a nice line over to Sacamacate and there we hooked into another core that got me back to base but Rick and susan where´nt able to get there so we glided off toward the trash dump and then toward Jovans and there i got hovered by a large black cloud and had to fly away twicew to get down.

We had a nice evening flight as well,

The next two weeks will be very busy air traffic but after a few days at least a few of these pilots will figure out the traffic and it should get less crazy.

Good weather conditions look to be ahead.

David.

All night rain in Valle!

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It´s not very often that it rains at all in Valle this time of year, but for it to rain all night and still it´s raining today, is very strange.

Despite the cloudy conditions of the last 8 days we still managed some great flights but now that the heart of this huge storm has set in on top of us, there is no flying at all and on average we have about one lost day per season here in Valle, and now that average is being destroyed.

Some locals say that the weather reporters are calling this the largest winter storm to hit the heart of Mexico in over 120 years. I believe it.

When this storm finally clears it´s going to be excellent flying conditions, but for those who have just arrived on a week long tour they are not so happy.

Two days ago we counted over 100 pilots flyng the Penon. 

Hasta Pronto,

Cuervo.

El Nino! en Valle de Bravo!

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

 I´m starting to think that the El nino weather effect is behind the recent slump in the flying conditions here in Valle de Bravo as we have had about 6 days in a row with 80 to 90% shading thruout the whole day with periods of complete shading, the forecast is showing several days more of these type of conditions ending with a day or two of solid rain. We´ll have to see what really happens as many larger weather effects are usually supressed locally by the volcanic plateau convergence.

Despite the odd weather here we have still been flying for several hours each day with a nice mid day thermal x-c flight landing lakeside in Valle. Cloudbase has been a bit low for this time of year but lift has still been fairly strong with some pilots reporting 1,200 fpm spikes with sustained 1,000fpm lift. Large Cu´s have been forming under the high cirrus.

I flew my comp glider(SR7 24) again for the first day today, i had been flying the new Aspen 3 24 which i really have enjoyed flying super solid stability with reat handeling and amazing glide and speed. In the pat three weeks i took one collapse in about 40 hrs flying. Today flying the comp glider i took about 4 tip tucks and 2 30 to 40% asym collapses, but overall i enjoyed the glide to town.

It´s been bust here so not much time for Skybloging but i´ll try to get on here some more.

Cuervo KAH!