Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19 2008
yo, GW- INDIAN CLIFFS IN ELMIRA, NEW YORK!!! (although the hawk and Mukrim sliding in on his butt are at BATH, NEW YORK)
These pictures are a little jumbled from the past few weekends, but I wanted to include some of them before they got forgotton in the mess of photos I have. This is actually from Saturday... Matt - BEFORE he got blown over the back....

This one is also from Saturday. The leaves are at their peak color right now. Amazing to have such sweet flying at this time of year. Ron K is getting ready to launch- he had an early obligation so he wasn't going to dawdle.
Saturday also marks the first day of bow hunting season: here is my dog trying to blend with the leaves. She is a little too "deer colored" to be let loose. Stupid me forgot that "man has entered the forest" and I should have just left her (and my nagging son) home.

So Saturday was just too damn windy for me. I was hesitant from the moment I heard the first blast go through launch, and I waited through the afternoon for almost everyone else to go before I finally dared to meet "the wall" of lift just in front of the cliff. Once in the air, it wasn't totally death defying, but I couldn't zip up, due to a knot in my "up" pull, on the inside of the harness. I was able to reach inside to get it partway up, but it was cold (3degC), and WINDY, and I was just not enjoying the air very much. I kept messing with that zipper, both hands struggling instead of controlling the glider, kicking at it (all before I realized why it wouldnt budge), and I was just not happy! Rick and I were on the radio together and I did take one really gnarly climb to 900 meters over, but once he asked me what I had for a temperature reading, I decided it was better for me to be on the ground. Textured. Yeah, good word for it. Oh and I saw 28kph and thought I was looking at mph on the windspeed. I tried to get to Harris LZ while I was still high, knowing the narrow valley would be pure hell, but I couldn't penetrate out into the valley in front of that ridge, so I headed for the main LZ. And pure hell it was... My vario made the rotor noise all the way to the ground and even though my feet touched the ground lightly, the approach was harrowing! As I packed up (my car magically appeared as if driven by my son...) I watched as 7 or 8 gliders boated around the ridge. Rick had a personal best of 3 hours and change. As someone drove me away, I couldn't help think that I was just a big weenie. All the way home I was dissecting my rationale and continued to do so that night. There were flights of several hours in duration, and I only bit off 40 minutes worth.... But the fun factor was low and even though there are times when I would have no problem with that kind of air- Saturday wasn't one of them.

Peg, the landowner, generously allowed us to invade her property again the next day. WAY better forecast, by my estimate. This is from Sunday- the Canadian contingent- part of it- here with Jim K and Dan W.
Indian Cliffs- the most beautiful site in the Southern Tier. Never have I seen so many gliders on launch, setting up in the crisp Autumn air. Bill V, Don, Steve B, Bob G, Dan W, Dan S, Ryan W, Matt C, Doug S, Oded K, Kark L, Katrin P, Ed J, George, Jim K... who am I forgetting?? Oh and ME! Holy crap... what a great day!
I was one of the first hangies to launch- two PGs going up in front and Dan S had done okay. I got up really quickly after a less than fun launch in somewhat dead air, and got right up above the ridge. I had a couple of close passes with Doug- one time I think if I had reached down I could have dragged my hand across his canopy. But pretty soon I was on my own way above the rest of them ESPECIALLY RYAN, who, try as he might, just couldn't seem to find his way into the stratosphere with me.... but I digress...
I watched Bellerby launch and climb up, video camera in hand pointed at me (I'm going to try to get that footage from him to post here- it's not often that I am above him) and it seemed as though I could fly wherever I wanted with impunity. I went to where Dan W and Dan S were by Harris, flew with them awhile. Bellerby joined us and I played chicken with them all and tried some of my dirty thermalling tricks in the super smooth lift. Sailplanes pimped off of us from below and it really seemed like the air was magic. I was getting cold hands after an hour, but I was really liking the view and the company. Dan left to go land and just after, I got my best climb of the day, a solid 4m/s to the scuzz layer. Then I was REALLY cold and my hands were numb. I tried to find sink and had a tough time- the whole valley was going up. Mark called on the radio and said it was DEAD on launch and people were potato-ing. I cored some sinking air and got to about launch level and scoped out the LZ. Just then, Ed launches and comes right out over to me. He and I are at about the same altitude, but we have differing objectives. I tried to avoid him, and the lifting air, while he tried to avoid me, and landing now. Somehow, all he found was sink, and I saw we would be in conflict for landing, so I moved into the rising air and waited out his landing. After he was on the ground, I found it nearly impossible to come down, so I zipped back up and climbed out again. So strange to have completely different experiences in the same air. That got me thinking about Saturday, and then I followed a mental thread about how attitude and perspective is so important. It seems like half the pilots got up on Sunday, and half the pilots sledded. Perspective...

Here is a picture from two weeks ago, at Hammondsport. Can you find the hawk?

And here is Mukrim, that same day, landing in the gravel with his ASS!
And Bellerby... F'ing Bellerby.... 8 plus hours in two flights this past weekend.... (but he still won't tell me how high he got on Sunday...) At least I am sure I have the female HG honors pretty well clinched.
Sunday: Airtime 40 min, alt2 800m over launch
Saturday: Airtime 1:25, alt2 1050 over launch


  • Yeah, that Steve B is an incredible pilot. Not bad as a meat head either.
    Tell him hey from the south.
    Great post !

    By Blogger Ray, at 12:36 AM  

  • Thanks for the info letting me know where the sites are located. You're such a world traveler - and I don't know the Northeast so well

    By Blogger GW, at 5:57 AM  

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