Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Soaring In Vermont

Valcour Island
44 36.26 N 073 25.34 W

A reader commented on this picture I posted a few weeks ago.  He said that the clouds look lenticular, and he asked about soaring in Vermont.  That type of clouds signals particularly great weather for soaring.

Yes there is soaring in Vermont and 20 years ago I was doing it.  The best soaring in Vermont is in the central valley east of the Green Mountains. Especially  fun is ridge soaring, where you place your wing tip 6 feet from the tree tops on the windward side of a ridge, then you just follow the contours. 

A special treat comes in the fall when mountain waves develop in the air.  Once I rode a wave behind Mount Mansfield up to 14000 feet.  Up there the wind speed matched my airspeed and I was motionless with respect to the ground.  It was also nearly soundless. It was like having an easy chair in the sky. I could see west as far as Toronto, east as far as Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  It was magic. 

Soaring was expensive for me.  Also, I'm not a natural pilot. I need to fly twice per week or else the skills atrophy.  When we moved away from Vermont, I had to give up flying. 

P.S. My camera has been stamping my pictures with the wrong dates. I'll turn stamping off. 

1 comment:

  1. Dick,
    It might be interesting if you would compare soaring with sailing, since both involve a vessel moving through the air. I've taken one opporunity to ride in a sail plane and based on that flight put piloting a glider on my list of things I'll do if ever can afford them. It seemed to me during that brief experience that soaring and sailing are quite similar and feed the same needs of the soul.


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