The troops are gathering for the second leg of the US National PG competition. The terrain is spectacular and the tasking options are many and long. Yesterday was overcast and dismal looking but I had an hour flight, mostly ridge soaring the bowl on Baldy.
Today (Sunday) is the official practice day, but most of us slept in. The weather was forecast to be overcast today and a bit wet, so a flew pilots launched and flew locally. The launch conditions were cross and strong when I jumped off the ski lift at launch and, after watching a few pilots launch and a few ride down on the gondola, I opted for the gondola also. I spent the day doing some last minute tweaking to my equipment and adding my survival kit to the harness. The deep terrain and sparse roads should be a bit intimidating to those with sense. The potential for a long walk-out, or even an overnight in the bush, is real for those who place themselves deep and committed in the terrain.
The towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley have welcomed our presence with enthusiasm and some discounts, so non-flying days will be enjoyable. Mountain biking, kayaking, tubing, and hiking are all just a short distance away.
Tonight the pilot meeting was run by Mike Pfau, who briefed everyone on local rules and procedures to be followed. We will be meeting Monday morning on top of Baldy for the pilot briefing at 10 am and (hopefully) we will get favorable weather for a task. The forecast is still fairly "iffy" for tomorrow, but conditions are looking favorable for later in the week. If we do fly on Monday it will be very cold so the long underwear and hand-warmers will be put to use.
It was great to see the usual crowd tonight and there are more than a few foreign pilots joining us this week. The meet organization is looking sharp and this week looks like it should be great.
More tomorrow -