Linda Salamone's Blog

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22- Italy Valley
I took off work early and met Karl, Katrin, Mark and Mukrim at Italy Valley. Mukrim was up, Katrin and Mark in the LZ and Karl getting ready to launch again. A Syracuse pilot had also landed before I arrived. It seemed pretty straight in at launch, maybe a little strong at times, until, of course, I got set up. Mark and the two PGs were duking it out low, and I was waiting for a cycle. When they started climbing a little , I launched (probably a bit early) and dove in with them. It was easy to get up and stay up, but not very high- a hundred meters or so was about it for a while. When it got scratchier, Mark declared it too crowded and left the ridge to the rest of us and went to go land, and of course then it started to get better. Mukrim and I went way south and got maybe 400meters over and played with a hawk. He only turns right, I realized. Katrin launched and we went back to the ridge but it started getting lighter. I was trying to stay out of Katrin's way, not knowing her comfort level (I had gotten very close to Mukrim while thermalling) and got way below launch and decided landing was imminent. I was pretty stressed about landing with the sheep below, with the wind very switchy down there, so when I got a bite of some strong lift, 100 meters below and in front of launch, I grabbed hold. This was the best thermal of the day, taking me, Karl and Katrin up almost 2000 FEET over... and high enough for me to set up a top landing if I wanted to. I did grab one more climb out in the valley and when that ended I did a big search around, seeing that K and K had already landed on top. I found virtually nothing and watched while Marc Sachdev opted to launch right then.. sledded... I top landed and no one was more surprised than me that I LANDED WITHOUT WHACKING!!! What's up with that??? Oh maybe because I am flying my old glider- the one I could always land... hmmm what could be different... or was it just stupid luck in the tall weeds... ?It was one of the nicest flights, so worth leaving work...
Airtime: 1:38
Alt2: 630 meters


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