Craig Morgan reports from the last task at the Sun Valley PWC
Day 6 Task 5.
Tough Day in The Saddle.
A cold front moved thru last night and hope was high that good conditions would prevail.
We cruised the Gondola and made ready for a 103 km task back to Arco thru the mountains.
I think the organisation may have been somewhat ‘economical’ with the forecast details as once airborne it was apparent today we’d neither get high ( probably due to our old friend the smoke screen ) and the wind would play a significant role. But cometh the hour – cometh the man.
Our transition over Ketchum was made super low and the fun and games started flip side. The usual crap on windy days. Desperately hanging onto snotty drifting climbs. Risking tight 360s low down, scraping round windy ridges, managing the Bucking Bronco over head and generally twisting the heart rate knob up to somewhere around ooh I’d say 180 -185!!! Loads of pilots dirted and some got away. (Note to self – must learn how to climb better!)
I Scoured on low and nervous till I ran out of ridge and refused to go any further into leeside. “I’m done” I thought, lets push out and go land – we got 36 hours’ worth of travelling home to do tonight with little or no sleep. I’d rather prep comfortably for that than risk a boonies hike out.
Then the Flymaster bleeped. The bleep turned into a buzz and before I knew it I was hooking into a smooth 3-up that took me above the mtn tops and past the tail end Charlie’s fighting the snotty chop in tight to the ridges. Once again I developed a whole new bunch of chums and off we chugged.
The smoky inversion stopped us around 3000m which barely gave us enough altitude to make a short transition and soon we were fighting in rough low thermals again. “Bollocks to this” I thought as I looked into the haze somewhere in the direction of the next TP which was 26km away. I’m off to land and try for an arduous walk out rather than a life changing walkout! And boom straight into another windy ripper.
My new pals reacquainted themselves with me. They must have thought I was rock hard as I kept choosing dodgy cross wind lines and coming up with the goods. Little did they know I was trying to bail out!!
Eventually I caught another rough climb which put me in a position where I could either fully commit to the boonies or could definitely fly out to Hailey and dirt by the road which would have me home in an hour and soothing myself with a cold beer.
As I was defending 57th position I chose the latter and happily hitched back but not before a bored cop stopped to let me know I was committing an ‘infraction’ by hitching in this State. WTF! As he pulled up I was just about to sling my glider in the back of his truck too. Huh – Cops!!
Anyways they are making goal about now and the good news for the Brits is that Wattsie has come in second with a Japanese or Korean guy. That means barring a catastrophe Wagga will get at least 2nd overall and hopefully might even get 1st place . Hoorah!
That’s it guys – I’m knackered and need to start packing. Hope you enjoyed my take on the Sun Valley PWC – when it’s on it’s an amazing place to fly and we’ve only scratched the surface. Come try it out but get ready for big air and big mountains.
Stay tuned for the Euros in a week’s time.
Live Tracking throughout the comp: www.livetrack24.com
Info: PWC Sun Valley
Craig Morgan: Craig Morgan’s blog posts
Results and info: www.paraglidingworldcup.org
Discussion: PGforum thread
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