It's true the Aussies love Pine Mountain. Brian Webb has been bringing
groups to Pine for years and he always seems to bring good cross-country
weather with him. This year they were here for five days, and two of the
days were good. Last Wednesday we flew the SE Bowl and everybody got up and
went over the back. The Aussies split between flying NW toward Bend and N
toward Prineville. Half of them flew in the 40-50k range, landing near
Prineville and Brasada Ranch. Yesterday was the best day of the year so far
at Pine Mountain with cumulus stretching east as far as the eye could see.
Pilots started launching around 12:30 from the west HG launch, 12 pilots
total with 11 choosing to fly cross-country and one deciding to stay local
at Pine. The Australians launched first (photos attached) and started east,
and I was last to take off and climb out so I followed local pilots Wade
and Josh toward Brothers. I hit cloudbase at 9450' which is low for Pine
Mountain. Two of the Aussies landed before Brothers and four made it past
where they found higher cloudbase and improving conditions. Here's a link
to their four tracks on xcontest.org.
Glass-off was equally good, with light wind and light thermals and lots of
lift. I flew tandem with Amanda from Tucson and we got up to 7200'.
Probably 15-20 pilots out for glass-off tonight including a couple of the
Australians, Soren from Tucson, Klaus from Germany, Lisa from Santa
Barbara, and lots of locals.
Today the Aussies drove north toward Chelan.