Saturday, August 8, 2020

Isaias Wave

Hurricane Isaias blew through Tuesday and left enough wind on Thursday to generate wave behind Mt. Washington, I wanted to try a flight to Mt. Washington.  After a late start (2:15) because VW was extracting money from the tow pilot to fix his car, I started thermaling northwards.  Thermals were consistent but cloud base was only 5,500-6,000' which is on the low side of my comfort level for a trip to W (Mt. Washington).  I took my time and arrived at W around 4:00.  Ridge lift was good on the Presidentials and I ridge soared the face contemplating my next move.  There were no clouds between the summit of W and the Carters to indicate wave or any other kind of lift.   I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to being down wind of and lower than the Presidentials if I couldn't find wave this late in the day.  But I came this far...  I jumped the ridge into Huntington Ravine.  In less about 90 seconds I felt the first indication of lift at 5,900'.  A quick 180 to point into the wind and I was in zero sink and then climbing at 1 kt.  I was surprised how close the wave was to the summit.  1 kt soon turned into 2 kts then 3 kts by the time I got to 10,000' I was climbing at 8 kts.

Huntington Ravine climbing at 1 kt.

View of Carters - no wave clouds

10,000' climbing at 7.8 kts

After 45 minutes I was just shy of 18,000' and climbing at 1.5 kts.  It was almost 5:00 so it was time to head home.  I dialed Post Mills into the Oudie and was happy to see that even with a 35 kt headwind I had Post Mills with 6,000' to spare - my kind of final glide!

17,500' - Start of final glide

After flying carefully to Franconia to make sure the Oudie wasn't lying to me,  I finished the final glide into PM at 95-100 kts and still arrived with 4,000' to spare.

It was a great flight in thermal, ridge and wave lift and I made it home for dinner.  Thank you Rick for towing and crewing.

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