Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza makes goal in Monaco, 2015 Red Bull X-Alps

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular weather column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and fly safer. Honza’s passion for flying and for weather are obvious from the first word of the show- consider this a masters class in understanding the sky! Gust fronts, blue holes, wave, cloud streets, water vapor, energy, thunderstorms, stagnation zones, the difference between desert air and humid air (ie the Rockies vs Europe), catabatic and anabatic winds, the three levels of weather you need to understand before launching, where to potentially land in a super strong wind scenario (this will surprise you!) and a LOT more. This is an important episode- get out your note pads!

A buck an episode, that’s all we ask.

Support me via Patreon

Subscribe to the Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast on Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Tune In, or ITunes!





Show Notes:

  • Honza discusses flying in Wave in the 2015 X-Alps
  • A full discussion on how air moves and how terrain affects the air- think rivers
  • Stagnation zones
  • Thermal strengths, thunder storms, assessing gust fronts, how air moves…
  • Hail and hoovering- how strong is too strong?
  • Visibility and humidity of air and how it affects gust fronts- think avalanche or burst dam
  • Escape Routes and landing options when it goes big
  • How important is location on the hill- thermal cycles vs wind?
  • How to assess and deal with Gust Fronts
  • Weather tools and forecasting tools- the importance of understanding Skew-T
  • The importance of local knowledge
  • Water vapor and energy- without water vapor our weather would be very boring!
  • Catabatic and Anabatic winds- geographical differences to understand
  • Dew point and temperatures and what it means for energy
  • Cloudstreets and blue holes
  • How to develop a mental model of the weather and making good judgements. Using the little things-  how to use cloud shadows, etc.
  • The three kinds of weather and how to think about them- synoptic (ie the forecasts), local (ie geographical), and thermic (short term, heated faces, draws, valley flows, etc.).
  • Convergence
  • Safest place to land in a major wind scenario. This will surprise you!
  • Low saves- where does that energy come from?
  • Developing intuition

Mentioned in this episode: Ben French, Trey Hackney, Rodrigo Cidad, Cedar Wright, Nick Neynens, Tom De Dorlodot, Berkhard Martens, Chrigel Maurer, Denis Pagen, Will Gadd, Dave Turner

Honza takes to the air near Lake Tahoe, Nevada during the Sierras Expedition, 2012, Photo Jody MacDonald

Social Media

Share this post with your friends!
Connect with the Mayhem!


Speaker 1 (00:00:14):
Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the cloud based mayhem. It's got a great show for you today. Five times X apps, competitor, a Hahn's and rich manic. Great friend of mine who used to live here in sun Valley. Uh, his exploits around, uh, sun Valley are still legend. Uh, the guy just, you know, he'll take off at times of the day where we would never even consider taking off and he'll Toplin at the times of the day these cheese dip paragliding Jedi. But a lot of people, well a lot of people probably do know this, he writes a, an a column in cross country, has been doing it for years about meteorology, uh, got in flying a long time ago and then got super interested in meteorology and went to school and Davidson has now that is his job as meteorologists. So like nickname.
Speaker 1 (00:01:00):
And so we had on the show a few months back, that's what he does. He studies the weather and he's obviously got a whole lot of knowledge. Personally, I just find some of the articles that he does, they're great, but they're a little over my head. They're, they can be pretty specific. So what we tried to do here is just kind of talk about more general weather, things like blue holes and cloud streets and Gus fronts and yeah, density of air and things that really apply to what we see, what we need to know and how we can use it to fly farther, but also be a lot safer. So I think you're gonna enjoy this. We also of course touched on some ex op stuff. Uh, he was third in 2009. Uh, like I said, did five campaigns, which is pretty awesome. And uh, so I definitely talked a little bit about the X apps, but being sensitive to, I know I've had quite a few.
Speaker 1 (00:01:52):
The X helps athletes on the shows, so, uh, I promise I won't always do that and we just had max on the show, which was great. But yeah, kind of a junkie. So then I think people find that fun. So I hope you enjoy it. Uh, before we get into the talks, just a few things of housekeeping or doing this giveaway for these, uh, really cool knee mounts. I was just going to do one, but we had a couple of reviews went up, so I've got to give a couple of these way thanks to Ben French for sending me these. They're really cool. They're, they're quite great mounts. I'll put them up on the website and link to where you can get those, but I'm just going to go ahead and read a couple of these reviews. Uh, first one is from a good friend of mine, Trey Hackney.
Speaker 1 (00:02:29):
I promised that didn't weigh in on, on him getting this, but this is a pretty awesome review. So, uh, the legendary Gavin McClurg dives in deep with the world's best paragliding pilots to get the essence of what it takes to be great, to be safe and to Excel at all facets of the sport from beginning to coding to the highest levels across country and acro flying his insightful style mixed with his world-class experience and expertise in the sport. Put him in a unique position to probe intelligently into the minds of the legends of preflight and to pull out the best advice in every topic imaginable. Each episode is packed with lessons, insights, theories, and experiences that are worthy of paying big money for a clinic. I can't help but to feel that listening to these shows is almost like cheating for the new school pilots and as an advanced pilot, I find myself absorbing into it like a sponge.
Speaker 1 (00:03:14):
The caliber of guests and their accomplishments is ridiculous and the format is like a fireside chat with the world's best. I'm convinced this series of podcasts is the single greatest resource of collective knowledge for our global flying community and existence today. And it's all in a highly digestible format. Just put the earbuds in, click play, and be transported to a master's class theory in the black art of paragliding. Thanks Gavin. It's just the shit giant hats off to you for putting this out there and we all, you have debt of gratitude. If you are a pilot, there's no excuse to not listen to each of these amazingly informative shows. Some tips you learn could put you on the track for a new personal best podium or save your life. And interestingly, a little aside, I've been getting quite a few emails that this podcast has saved their lives, which is really cool.
Speaker 1 (00:03:59):
I dig that. Uh, and for real forks, support his effort and come off the hip and kick them a few bucks to encourage this Epic resource to keep going. It's so worth it to be able to glean into the world's best pilots who are spilling the beans and openly sharing their experiences and harder and secrets. This is an amazing, exceptionally informative and entertaining series and a must listen for all free flight pilots. Thanks Trey. It's awesome. I'll be kicking you down this, uh, this Mount for, for that incredible review. Thanks so much. Uh, the other one goes to Rodrigo's. See dad, I hope I'm saying that Rodrigo, uh, imagine driving up to the launch pad instead of listening to a friend saying, I don't know if we can fly today. You are listening to Gavin pro who has crossed Alaska in a glider other adventures talking to every expert in sport and about their rat adventures and how to crack the code for sure.
Speaker 1 (00:04:45):
You'll reach the top with an improved flight plan and morale. I've heard most episodes of cloud-based may have more than twice and they have brought up subjects from every part of the flight. Discipline tips for beginners, what kind of school to enter, who to listen to on launch, how to be aware of the intermediate syndrome, the thousand dollar question of when to move up on a hotter glider planning your first Z flights and adventures and more. If they're simply addictive. For those who are already awesome pilots who think they have nothing to learn from these legends and world champions, you have probably lost the sky crack. We have to give credit to Cedar for that time to get it back. Thank you for spreading the knowledge Gavin. So Rodrigo, I'll be sending you a one of these mounts as well. Thank you so much and you have, let's get into this show.
Speaker 1 (00:05:26):
I really do appreciate that guys. It just brings a smile to my face and makes all this work really worth it. We've got a lot of great shows coming up. Uh, some really exciting folks and topics and I think you're going to dig it. It's so great to be back from the race and being able to dive back into this with Honda. We get into a lot of amazing areas. I think this is all great, digestible and usable, and I think it'll make you safer and it'll help you have more fun and, uh, understand what you're seeing in sky better. So, uh, let's,
Speaker 2 (00:05:58):
let's get into it. Enjoy this talk with Anzors man.
Speaker 3 (00:06:06):
Speaker 2 (00:06:06):
Hamza, it is great to have you on the podcast. I'm so excited to talk to you for so long.
Speaker 4 (00:06:11):
Hey Kevin, it's a great to be on your show and um, it's, uh, I've listened to many of the podcasts and enjoyed them very much and I definitely recommend them to everybody who listens to them or hasn't discovered them yet.
Speaker 2 (00:06:24):
Yeah, I was actually just talking to Ben, you know, my, one of my supporters and [inaudible] and training partner and just friend and I know you met him in the last race and I told him I was talking to you and he's like, man, I wish I could just take his brain and import all of that data into mind, like all this medio so I'm really excited to talk to you and I was thinking it might be fun for us to just start. Typically I start by asking, you know, what's your history and what have you done, but um, I really want to keep this on your meteorology knowledge knowledge and I'm going to put it in the show notes and in the intro about your five X Alps and all this stuff I know about you and you used to live here in sun Valley. So I think I'm going to try to cover that somewhere else and let's just get into your meteorology background and knowledge. And I thought a great place to start would be on a fun story in the 2015 X ops, your last X house, which was your fifth, uh, I think it was the day you and I were flying into the Matterhorn. You got way tall and we're flying and wave. So why don't we start with just what is wave and a do paragliders fly in wave. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (00:07:30):
Wave basically is in order to have wave, uh, you need a stable air, you need wind and you need something to sort of perturb it. So a good way of thinking about wave is if you have a river, and even if there's a fairly smooth bottom, but there's one Boulder, it'll form an undulation downstream that'll be propagate much higher up than the Boulder itself. So, you know, yes, sometimes paragliders can use waves, but it's more the wind is reaching levels that's near the upper limits of what a paraglider would want to fly in. Um, of course, sail planes and some high-performance hang gliders will use waves regularly. Um, and the amazing thing about waves, they reach much, much higher than the terrain that induces them. So what happened to me in, um, the 2015 ex Alps is I was crossing, just starting across that really long.
Speaker 4 (00:08:43):
I think it's the longest glacier in Europe, if, if I'm correct, it's, it's, it's a famous, yeah. And I had Thermold up, it was a great day at Thermold up to around the 4,000 meter Mark, a little over 4,000 meters. And then I was starting to, uh, you know, I was deep deepen kind of on the North side there and uh, wanting to cross the glacier without any issues of landing out. That's why I topped off as high as I could. And then I just started punching into wind and there's very smooth but light, half a meter per second, uh, lift. And it was very widespread, very smooth. And I started to notice that basically I was getting above most of the was cloud tops. The Cumulus weren't developing very deep, you know, and I realized this, this was wave and I wished I had really had a little more time to see how high I could take it.
Speaker 4 (00:09:44):
Eventually I just continued to punch forward and dropped back out of it and got into thermals again. But it was a remarkably smooth and and light lift like a a, like I said, probably half meter maximum one meter up and I got to about 43 maybe just short of 4,400 meters in it. So I didn't take it up very high. But it was, it wasn't thermal lift, it was it, it was like rich soaring, really shallow Hill effect. But it just, the lift kept going up and up. And how do you differentiate that between like at first did you think, Oh, I'm in a sweet convergence line? You know, I wasn't, I thought it may be, it was just like first my first thought is just these are just, this is just thermal tapering, you know, tapering out. Maybe just in a, you know, that it wasn't doing the typical kind of getting rowdy near than version.
Speaker 4 (00:10:40):
But that it was just kind of just, just the large amount of lift a tapering out. So actually I wasn't necessarily thinking convergence, but it took me a little while for it to Dawn Dawn upon me that it must have been wave. And I think what happened is see what this undulation, the top of lift w you know the thermals top out, they top out because they hit either in an inversion or at least a very stable layer and the top of lift itself doesn't have to be the same everywhere. So I think there was a bit of a dip over the large glacier area and as I punched up wind, I basically phone, you know from the top of thermals, we'll show a little higher over the terrain and punching out forward through it. I punched into that stable layer that had a little bit of an upward component in it and it just kind of let me, as I was going more into when I was just going ever higher at a very slow rate of ascent, but just going ever higher.
Speaker 4 (00:11:44):
Right. I think I took a few circles in it, but I realized I was drifting quite a ways back with it and it wasn't really necessary to circle it. And plus I was trying to go westward, so I realized, yes, this is wave. And, and a big part of me thought, well this would be really cool to just, uh, you know, take it up as high as I could. But it also, you know, the higher it went, there was a little more wind where I w you know, I figured, well, this isn't inefficient about making for making distance and w and the hucks helps. We're always trying to make some distance.
Speaker 2 (00:12:21):
And didn't you say it before we started recording? You were talking about, um, the Korean, uh, he got super tall that day. He kind of, he was the only other person that took that line. I did kinda from Belen zona through the kind of right through the middle, kinda punched that through the metal over and then near the simple end, didn't go over any of the real passes, but um, just I guess North of the Simplot and uh, I, I only found that out later on looking back at the track logs, you know, after the race was was over, but didn't you say he got like over 5,000?
Speaker 4 (00:12:52):
I think so. I'm not, I'm not 100% sure, but I know towards the end of the day as I crossed, uh, over the, the main Valley, sort of the, there's like a upside down Y as you go towards the mater horn, uh,
Speaker 2 (00:13:06):
between the SAS and the Zermatt.
Speaker 4 (00:13:08):
Yeah. So just, uh, before I got to wear that, why splits? I'd seen an XL pilot that it was quickly hiking up a Hill and carrying his gear, cause I think he'd made a glide somewhere and had to hike up a little higher to relaunch. And then I believe it's the same guy. I mean they all look the same. They're all white gliders with XLS, logos on them. Uh, but, um, I basically remember flying with someone for a while and then later after just tagging the matter horn might to me, didn't seem like there was any way I could in that matter, horn area, punch into wind and make distance going forward. Obviously I was wrong because the, from what I found out later, uh, the fellow from New Zealand had just about 15 minutes earlier, managed to punch through there. And, um, my plan at that point was just to go tag it and fly back out into the main Valley.
Speaker 4 (00:14:06):
And I was, I knew that maybe the next day I'd be hiking the whole Valley all day, which is what ended up happening for me. But, um, when I saw after I tagged it and I was topping off to make sure I can fly back out the out the Y, I saw this pilot and it was an ex house pilot and he used further to the East punching into the wind and didn't seem to be going forward very much and just kept going higher. And I was concerned for him. I thought he might, you know, get himself in a position that he could get blown back. But it sounds like, it sounds like he got out. I think it eventually made progress. And you're saying he actually continued westward?
Speaker 2 (00:14:43):
I know I don't. I think he actually got hung up there. I think that was it. You know, he, he basically took that same line that I did from Bellin zona, but he got into the Zermatt. Something happened there and I actually don't remember, I'd have to go back and look, but I just, you know, from, from looking at the track logs, I wasn't, I wasn't paying attention to his height. That was new to me, that he'd gotten so high. And I just didn't realize that that's, it's just interesting because I spent a lot of time that day at the Matterhorn trying to get, you know, I, everybody had flown back out to the valets and I was getting messages from Bruce, do not come down here. Do not come down here. Everybody's getting stuffed. Go the way Ferdinand did, which was get, go get high at the Matterhorn and just fly basically towards verby, you know, basically just stay in that high terrain and you know, but cloud-base was only was maybe 42, 43. I mean, I barely squeaked out of there, so it's, you know, it's interesting that that was, it was the kind of day where you could, you could have gotten really tall even over that stuff. Before we started recording, you and I were talking about, uh, some of the things we could talk about. There are a million, uh, almost don't even know where to start, but you were talking about and basically how air that kind of a common misconception about how air moves over terrain. Can you elaborate on that and what you're talking about?
Speaker 5 (00:15:58):
Yeah, basically, it was something that took me a while to figure out is what we see as the terrain is not exactly what the air sees. And to clarify that, it's basically, uh, the train can be fairly [inaudible], fairly complicated and, um, the air tries to smooth it out to a certain extent. Uh, so what it'll do is on the upwind side of things, it'll, you know, it creates a stagnation zone, a little high pressure area. And the way that you can think about this is almost like on a windshield in a car when you got a bunch of drops on it and you could see certain ones are going to, to the left, uh, you know, on the, on one side, certain going to the right and some are going right over the top if you didn't have your windshield wipers on. So, and then there's a point where they're almost, there's almost no movement.
Speaker 5 (00:16:55):
So there's, on the upwind side, there's a stagnation zone and air can be fairly still [inaudible], which can be even on something as you know, as nicely shaped as save. Okaynow can be somewhat deceiving if you happen to be [inaudible] Oh, the way below the summit. But on the upwind side. So what I've found in those situations is, you know, if you don't have the luxury of hiking all the way to the top of the mountain from the see how strong the wind is on top and you're planning on launching partway up somewhere, it's not a bad idea. [inaudible] Ooh, hi to the crosswind side or the other way. The flip side of that is if you get to the top of the mountain and it's too windy to fly, it might be potentially safe to fly lower down. If it truly is a wind gradient and you know, only the top is feeling really strong wind.
Speaker 5 (00:17:52):
But if you're making your way down, check the crosswind side. Again, if you hike a thousand feet down the upwind side, you might find that you know, it's five to 10 miles an hour or almost, well the window might be almost nonexistent. But if you walk at that same elevation a thousand feet below the summit to the crosswind side, and you find that it's just blown like stink, that can be a, you know, you could be getting fooled cause you could have put yourself in a stagnation zone. This a, this is kind of a similar thing happened on, you know, the feature that wasn't even as nice as a volcano. This was with, uh, you know, the 2015 [inaudible] after we got the [inaudible] the alarm was turn point. That is that, that that was a turn point right by the social bits. All right. Yeah. So there, um, I hiked up to a spot and I, I was wearing, I mean basically I had almost no win, almost nothing to even bring a glider up in and [inaudible] AB 200 meters above me and off on a shoulder, maybe two kilometers away was uh, Thomas Darlow the day. I'm sorry. I can miss.
Speaker 5 (00:19:12):
And uh, we had called each other cause he knew from the life tracking. I was there and he was saying, it's just ridiculously Wendy right here. I mean, I can't believe you're even sitting there thinking of launching. And I was like, I've got nothing here. I've got, I mean, I got nothing to even pull up in [inaudible]. And um, I knew once, I, you know, that there was wind coming from limos kind of from the norm. Fourth and I knew once I launched into that there I'd be launching into a river of wind. But uh, you know, it seemed like the transition wouldn't be that crazy and it wasn't. And then they ended up actually the hiking more to my spot to launch and uh, uh, we all caught up and got a bit of a flight that day, which was nice. That was actually a pretty crux move.
Speaker 5 (00:19:55):
It's, it's important to realize, um, these things that even though upwind side, which is you would think while I'm on an upwind side, I should be feeling the true wind. It's not the case. And you know, another example of that is just the, you know, you look at the leading edge of a paraglider, we see something that's got a, basically a hole in it or cut it out. But the wind sees a closed leading edge. So yeah, or the, the last one I like to think, explain as a, you know, this, this is the reason you can stand up and, uh, pre harness cause you actually are peeing out of the steep stagnation zone. Um, the wind is not that there's a dead spot that you kind of go through and if you aren't yet right. Comes down. But when your lies, if you screw up, it goes in your face. But that's a good point. I was bold enough to even try that. But the, but there's that stagnation zone if you do it right. Yep.
Speaker 2 (00:20:55):
Um, Han's Gus fronts. This is something I think a lot of people really struggle with and you know, ideally you just don't fly those days. They can overdevelop in the first place. But let's face it, we all have to, uh, if we're in the [inaudible] and we all probably do anyway, if we're, we're not, because, uh, that leaves a lot of days on the table. And you know, in a lot of days that duo D you still have a pretty safe, workable window. Before it goes to ballistic and you know, especially on terrain, you and I were talking about, you know, one, I think it'd be really fascinating and interesting to hear your thoughts on the difference, um, in terms of how you assess these things when you're in different geographical locations. You know, in other words like the Alps versus the desert air of the Rockies. Um, so maybe take, take that one first and then, uh, I'll ask you about, you know, how just how, how do we assess these things?
Speaker 5 (00:21:58):
Okay. Well, first, you know, it's important to, one thing to keep in mind is a lot can change in 20 minutes because the whole, it's kind of a convection, like a scale of convection. If you're, you know, 15 to 20 minutes is sort of a turnover time. If you're a thermal from the ground to top of lift is going to be about 15 minutes for you. If you're a thunderstorm cloud, you could have been in that, that parcel of air could have been near the ground. It could be up at 10, 12 kilometers in about 15 minutes. And so lock-in change in 15 minutes. And if you ever watch time-lapse videos of thunderstorms and you watch the, like the clock running in the [inaudible], if they have a little clock running with the video, it's amazing to see how much suddenly 20 minutes, 15, 20 minutes, what a difference that can make.
Speaker 5 (00:22:54):
So, you know, I would certainly not advocate flying when it's really starting to, uh, to blow up. The other part of that is the, you know, in the, in the growing, in the growing phase, you've gotta be far enough away so you don't get hoovered up. Um, you know, when it's a real storm that's starting to build week, it can be, you know, confetti to the vacuum cleaner, literally and short of free falling away. It might not get out. I mean, if you think about what creates a proper hail, that hail is suspended in free, fall taken up in the thunderstorm, recycled, uh, and recoded several times so that, you know, to get stuck in a thunderstorm, it is, you've made several mistakes along the way. What kind of hoovering are we talking about in, in, in a proper thunderstorm, you know, like the, the thing that Eva got caught in or you know, give me some examples.
Speaker 5 (00:23:55):
Are we talking 20 meters a second more? It can be, it can be more. It can be, you know, it could be 30 meters per second and some of the most, the ones that'll make, and those are more rare that you see those zap maybe out in the Midwest, but the kind of that can start to make golf ball or baseball size hail that can, those can top out at, you know, 60 meters per second. You can have 120 mile an hour wind going straight up. Uh, so you can just, you could just about suspend a sky skydiver, you know, belly going belly flat in that. So you don't even need to go in a tunnel. No, no. I'd be like, I'm just go get in one of those actually. It'd be like a vertical wind tunnel. So those, you know, those overshoot pass into the, into the stable a little bit.
Speaker 5 (00:24:41):
Almost all, almost touching the stratosphere. I mean there's, there's the top of the troposphere and there's the trouble positive, which is a very stable there. And then actually the stratosphere is like a massive inversion and that's why, you know, no, no clouds really make it to that. But they can, those kind of really massive cells can do, they can shoot up another 5,000 meters before they come to a true halt. But that's the most extreme case. But [inaudible] basically we were flying around and once rain starts dropping out and you start seeing Virta, there's the potential of Agus Brunner, at least in dryer locations. There's also the potential of a micro burst. The whole rain shaft might not reach the ground, but if, um, cloud cloud-base is quite high, so you cannot sometimes out in the desert regions cloud-based 3000 meters over the ground and the rain is falling most of the way down that, but not quite reaching the ground.
Speaker 5 (00:25:40):
That area is evaporate. Those raindrops are evaporating. Is that spalling? And it's becoming ever more negatively buoyant. So it's picking up speed on the way down. And you can have these basically bombs of air that might be, you know, a kilometer across, uh, hit the ground and just, you know, send wind, you know, 40 mile an hour wind plus in every direction. And I mean, it just hits the surface and you know, most the place where that would be most visible as if you have like a dusty Playa or somewhere out in the desert in those conditions, you might be better, better off almost staying up high. Or even if you're, you know, my thought is if you're in mountainous conditions and against, beyond the level where you're comfortable with it and you're seeing it starting to Gus, you know, lot of Virga dropping out or rain chaps dropping out, you might want to think of landing high and even if you have to hike it out, um, because if you have in your head that you have to land in the Valley, that could be another 10 minutes of getting down.
Speaker 5 (00:26:54):
So that could be a problem. The other way, eh, you know, it's not that extreme. You can, you might just be able to, uh, fly away from it. Especially if you know, you're not downwind of it. MI might be crosswind of it or it might, there might not be very strong wind aloft and you know, we can do pretty good speeds. I mean you could do 50, 60 kilometers an hour on a modern paraglider so that's, you can actually make some distance getting away from these things is, especially in the crosswind, uh, direction. The other thing is as far as terrain and the difference in maybe open desert areas or even areas like sun Valley is if you have really wide valleys, I mean we have, we can have 30, 40 kilometers from one mountain range to another. Those are really wide areas to spill air into. Um, we also tend to have much drier air and for the most part, much cleaner air. So you can see these things sometimes 50, 80 plus kilometers away. So having, you know,
Speaker 5 (00:28:01):
being able to monitor these things from further off or just having good visibility I think is important because the, um, if it's really humid damp air and if there's a lot of fine dust or aerosols in the air, you know, you might have the stability of 15 kilometers and that can get complicated. Like in the Alps, you might not even see the rain shaft that's dropping out a tie Valley. And if it sends it down a focused Valley that Gus front can run much more like a, like a broken dam, like a, like if you had a dam at the back end of the Valley and the dam broken and all the water came rushing down, that's a way of thinking about it. Or as if it happens over a really big open area or really wide Valley, the energy gets dissipated sooner and spills out and loses its speed sooner with distance. So those are, those are just some thoughts.
Speaker 2 (00:29:04):
So the, so in, in Europe, the, the complicated side of it there, if I could summarize, is that, that it's, it's more humid. So the air is, it might look like a very clear day, but we can't see nearly as far as we can in drier areas just because of the humidity. And I want to ask you also about, um, you know, the, the power and the force, uh, of water so that, that'd be fascinating to get into. But, but so Europe has, you have, it's more humid air, but it's also much more complicated terrain and typically much lower base. We're not getting high to necessarily see very far, but it's also because, because things are so complicated. Um, you know, you and I am sure have many, many stories of, of, especially in the [inaudible] where you're, you're really often having to fly kind of on the margins of stuff. But I, I've been there where something is dropped out, you know, three valleys over a long ways away. And it gets really interesting how that avalanche is, you call it travels.
Speaker 5 (00:30:08):
Yeah. I think avalanche or a burst dam is the way to think about it because basically it's a cold density current. So it's, it's gonna, you know, some of the strongest winds in Augusta front are gonna be running down the way water would run down. It'll follow, you know, follow the bottom of the Valley and, uh, higher up. You might be better off. So if you, you know, if, if there were a place Deland, if you see something weird in the Valley and you've, you know, you've got a side, especially in the Alps where you've just got beautiful side Hill landing your options, you know, some great, uh, pastures up high. And if you've got tight Valley and something's dropped out into the Valley, you, you might be best off, you know, landing a pie and waiting for it all to mellow out. And then even if it's just a flood down at an hour or two later, at least you, you know, you weren't kind of not having the idea that I have to land in the bottom of the Valley in that situation, having ideas like, Hey, this, this is, this is not right.
Speaker 5 (00:31:15):
Something's happening in that Valley. And I'm, um, just want to put down the closest, best place to put down, which would be up quite high.
Speaker 2 (00:31:23):
What are you looking at? Hahn's it went back in my sailing days when I used to teach, um, you know, offshore sailing and weather and to people that, to the guests. Uh, one of the things we'd always talk about is squalls cause it, it C squalls always come at night. Uh, but you can still see them off in the distance and depending on where they were in relation to you at the wind and there was a Bureau downwind of them, we had to be pretty concerned about them. And there were kind of five things that I would teach them about, you know, if the more of these things you have, you have one of the five, it's probably not that big a deal. If you have three of the five, okay, we've got to reduce sale before it gets here. If we got five of the five Batten the hatches, we're in for some deep shit, you know. And are there, are there things that you're thinking about along those same lines? Um, when you're flying and looking at a day that's maybe getting a bit,
Speaker 5 (00:32:12):
yeah, I would say, I mean, if you've got, like if, if, if it's a line of thunderstorms, then there might be no escape. Uh, you know, this, especially if you've checked and it's always a good idea if you get a chance, if you have, you know, unless you're somewhere deep, deep on a sky camping trip somewhere where you have no internet coverage, then you might not really know what the winds are doing aloft. But if you have an ability to check, uh, winds aloft, you know, at 700 millibars, which more or less as the 3000 meter Mark and, uh, the 500 millibar, which is just, you know, can be around the 55 to 5,700, uh, meter Mark. Um, you know, based on how warm the air is in the, in those levels, if you, you know, if you see what the wind is forecast to be, that's, you know, that can be the level that's going to drive the storm because the storm is now starting to convect through the depth of the troposphere.
Speaker 5 (00:33:14):
So it's going probably from ground up to 300, maybe 200 millibars up to, you know, 10, 12 or more kilometers. You know, you're, you're not gonna outrun it if it's, if the under storm is marching along at 20 plus miles an hour, it's going to overrun you. And especially if it's a line of thunderstorms. So those situations, um, you know, certainly would be no good. Yeah. Bad day. Yeah. And, and, and, you know, things happen quick. So it's, it's, you know, I can, you know, you've got the time, time when it's building, and if you look at a thunderstorm, a proper thunderstorm, you gotta realize there are cubic cubic kilometers, many cubic kilometers worth of air that is rising, rising fast. So a thunderstorm can even start to, you know, switch local Valley winds. I mean, if it's a proper one brewing, it can, it can really start to draw and the, you know, it's, it's becoming a monster on its own.
Speaker 5 (00:34:12):
It's not that, it's just, you know, it's not just the thermals feeding it, it is now all those little, you know, water, water, vapors, condensing into all those little droplets. And that is adding warmth to the thunderstorm. It's, it's making the air more buoyant and uh, it's offsetting the cooling as it rises and it can really a start to draw a lot of air. So that's, there's an initial part even before it starts dropping out where the air can get really weird feeling. I mean, I can't describe it, but just feels like it's kind of the year if you're still in the air, somewhat in the vicinity of something. Thanks. Starting to grow that large. Um, I remember one time entering into the Dolomites, I believe it was the, maybe the 2000 might've been the 2009 or the 2011. [inaudible] might've been as far as back as the 2009, but it, you know, it's something was brewing, uh, not far in the Dolomites.
Speaker 5 (00:35:10):
It was still in the growing phase, but, uh, the air just had a kind of really funky little sheer layers. And it, it just felt, you know, it was time to time to get down. It wasn't, you know, even though I'd want to know what's a little more distance out of it, it just, it was, it was time to make the safe call and, and go land. So yeah, some days, sometimes it's just, it's a feel thing. I mean w like I said it, I wouldn't advocate to anyone to fly in any, anywhere near I thought or storm even when that's starting to brew. But then there's the [inaudible] you know, there's a fine line when you're not talking thunderstorm, but you're talking pretty big Cumulus better maybe, you know, starting to get a little taller than they are wide. And that's, that's where everybody's got to make their own calls sort of based based on their skill levels. And like in any kind of flying, you got to keep plenty of escapes. You got to have a series of escape pliant. It was at all times. You don't venture into something with no escape. Um, so I think that's, that's one way to try to keep this flying safe is just really be aware of like, okay, in the next five minutes if I need to be on the ground, what's my plan?
Speaker 2 (00:36:27):
Yeah. I also liked the, you brought in intuition there. It's, um, you know, I think especially when you're early, if you're flying in a place like Annecy or fish or you know, where there could be two, three, 400 people in the air at any given time, um, you know, make sure you're not being a lemming. There was a, there was a time in Annecy where, uh, one day we were flying, and this is maybe I had a a hundred hours that I was really new and, and a big cell kind of started developing over Annecy. And, uh, most people went and landed, including us and, and a lot of people didn't. And then this thing just laid right back down. And I don't have, I don't remember well enough if it was because there were some Cirrus or whatever, but the cell just kind of dissipated and we were all super upset.
Speaker 2 (00:37:13):
Oh darn it, we shouldn't, you know, we could've kept going, which was, you know, again, very juvenile flying and he should never be that upset at that. Um, and so the next day we went and it was exactly this, it seemed exactly the same. I, you would have probably, you know, picked out the differences, but very similar day, similar winds, same kind of cell. And so we decided, Oh, it's probably just gonna lay back down. And it did. And, uh, luckily my, this was actually with Bruce [inaudible] who, you know, who's my other supporter. Um, and we, you know, we had done, luckily at that point, quite a bit of SIV and some macro training and stuff. And, and we were able to spiral down to plan Fe quite quickly and then just pick up the pieces. It was, you know, we just watched 200, you know, most, a lot of the people that were left in the air, they're kind of, one move was like big ears and, uh, you know, people were bouncing off houses and landing in the trees and, you know, it was, it was really scary. And, uh, and it made me, that was the first time where I kind of went, okay, wait a minute. You know, these are hard to figure out. These are hard to call and how, when is it going to get bigger? Are there other tools we can use other than just those visual ones? Like how about how do you, how do you go about assessing the day before you ever even step off the ground?
Speaker 5 (00:38:31):
I think, um, I think it's important as much you're, you know, in a hurry to go fly is to take that 15 to 20 minutes to see what's going on. And if there's, there's a guest of any strength that you don't feel comfort that you wouldn't want to be launching into or wouldn't want to be the in the air. And then I would say a least wait at least another 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes I'd say a good half hour to make sure that that was a very isolated incident and it's not picking up. And hopefully, you know, if that, if, if a gust came through that was that strong for some, for some reason be it from wind or just really ripping into strong thermal, make sure that that's not repeating them. It's more in the calming stage and it's not in the building stage. Cause uh, you know, once you're in the air you're going to have to, you're gonna have to deal with it.
Speaker 5 (00:39:27):
I remember back in sun Valley, my sort of early days if, if the anemometer at the top of the lift show that it had been, you know, I kind of made this arbitrary 26 mile an hour gust, the 26 mile an hour or, or that kind of became my Nuno because I remember one time just getting really scared when I didn't quite respect that. So I think the main thing is when you're getting your kit ready and everything, observe, observe the conditions or possibly even before you start getting your kid out, like take, you know, maybe step away from the group and just kind of just watch it for, for a little bit. And there's a lot that can be felt on the ground, kind of, you know, how quick if is it gusty is it, you know, are these wind gusts or are these thermal cycles and usually wind.
Speaker 5 (00:40:21):
Gus will be shorter lived. Um, you know, they can reach the same. No, they can peak the same way. Uh, you know, hit the same strength as a win. Like thermal on wind can make this feel like the same strength that went on the ground, but a thermal will usually kind of build and then, you know, back off, it's, it's more of a kind of two minute plus deal, a thermal, uh, a proper thermal going off. Whereas if it's on the order of seconds where it just gets really hard and then then backs off, then, then that's more likely to be wind and you might not be on, you know, truly on the most upwind spot on the mountain. Um, so you know, there's a lot about, yeah, go ahead.
Speaker 6 (00:41:04):
Go ahead. I was going to say what about w what I was actually even getting at too is, is beef is before that, what tools are you using online? Uh, you know, I imagine you have access to stuff that a lot of people don't, but like if you're looking out, uh, tomorrow, next day, next day at the potential for a day, um, what tools are you using then for whether, you know, are you looking at skew teas? Are you, are you looking at ECC, skies a medial? What do you use?
Speaker 5 (00:41:35):
And in various places, uh, you know, I've, I've, what I've discovered, uh, or been turned onto recently in the last half a year and I've been very happy with is uh, the wind, the windy, uh, or when the was windy TV, windy, T, Y. I think that was just w it can be found@windy.com and you can download the app. I think they've changed the name of few times. But what is amazing about that app is the developer of that app is, he's kind of the Larry Page of Czech Republic. He started a search in that is still more popular than Google in the Czech Republic. So he is, he's also an avid kite boarder. Yeah. Oh is his name. And he has dumped a lot of his personal coding time and treasure into making this app. And he's actually purchased the rights that ECM WF the European model data because GFS is the other global model and that's available for free.
Speaker 5 (00:42:32):
Like XC. Sky's uses GFS, but the ECM WF costs a fortune, you know, on an annual basis to use. And he has been kind enough to basically sponsor that for all of us. So it's amazing because it's, it's a free app but you can look at the ECM WEF and the advantage there. They're the, they um, it's a nine kilometer grid and the thing to keep it can with, with models, basically the, um, there's two things that can help improve it is the way you bring in the data. It's called data simulation, like every 12 hours up for that, that model satellite data sounding data from uh, balloons or ground station data. All that is basically sort of massaged into the latest prior forecast. And then it, the model restarts a run from there on. So that gets kind of complicated. But the model, the, the, the, the way in which it does that.
Speaker 5 (00:43:31):
And then also the resolution, like this is a nine kilometer global model, which is a very nice resolution these days for a global model. So it starts to pick out more features. Like usually it takes about four grid boxes. So in this case, you know, nine times four 36 kilometers start things that are about 36 commers are larger start to be resolved. So you'll still still won't pick up individual alleys, but sort of the shape of the Alps and some of the lower terrain features and passes start to get resolved a little better. Um, and you know, in other mountains, uh, worldwide too. But there's that is really nice compared to 22 which, you know, 22 kilometers is the GFS and that would mean 88 kilometers would be about the smallest feature that I would start to get resolved. So it's, it's two things. Better data simulation, better resolution.
Speaker 5 (00:44:31):
GFS has an advantage, budget runs, it gets initiated four times a day so it can get updated. If there's something developing fast, it can pick up, you know, any changes or assimilate newer data with a higher frequency, doing it four times a day instead of two times a day. So each one has some benefit. But historically ECM, nobody have performed on, you know, on average outperform the GFS. So having now for us to be able to look at a forecast and you can look at the same WF, you can also look at the comp in comparison to the forecast. So you can, you can pull up a place and then look at ECM, VF, GFS, and then the smaller scale regional model or you know, there's, there's one for the U S there's one for Europe that you can look at there as well. But those draw off of the larger global model.
Speaker 5 (00:45:19):
But not to get too complicated with that. It's, it's a really nice to have find. It's that you can do, you know, you can see, you can look out forward in time, you can go up through the levels. It's great for wind. It doesn't have things like top of lift. Uh, it does have cloud days, but it doesn't have top of lift. I think that there's still some things that, from a pilot point of view, it could be, um, you know, developed into it. But, uh, [inaudible] you know, that, that's, that's great for trying to pick your day into the future. And then the day of is, you know, a sounding is useful if you live in a place close to where a sounding goes up and at a time where it's gonna be helpful of, you know, in [inaudible] it goes up at noon, you know, in Greenwich mean time, which would be like 1:00 PM in the Alps, which might be almost too late for starting some great flights.
Speaker 5 (00:46:14):
Um, in the States. For us, it's maybe five on the West coast. Uh, I think six in the morning it goes up and usually gets posted about an hour later sort of for the some, you know, for some Valley and Idaho and such, it can kind of see what the day is going to be like. You can see the lab, Sri, you can see the wind through the levels. Of course things can develop and change a little bit by the time you go flying. I think it's worth, it's still worth learning how to read a skew T diagram. There's, you know, there's a lot of stuff online about it. If you know there's, I don't have time to explain it, nor would it make sense to explain it on a podcast, but it's, I still don't think it's worth learning to read it and then you see it, it's almost like a snapshot.
Speaker 5 (00:46:57):
It's almost like looking at a fingerprint. You see the skew T and you can pull out a lot of info. You have the wind, you have the temperature profile and you have the dewpoint temperature profile. So there's a lot of things you can start to quickly pick from that and start to see that fingerprint of the perfect day. Lastly, I would say for anyone, you know, a lot of this is kind of figuring out what a certain forecast means for your place. I mean, and when forecasters forecast for a certain area, they get the model output, then they get multiple outputs, statistics, which is basically statistical adjustment for if the model said it's gonna rain five inches, but it's all, he's only ranked two here cause I'm in with a bit of a rain shadow it, it adjusts for that. So we might be more concerned about certain, you know, how high did the thermals get that day based on a certain forecast.
Speaker 5 (00:47:48):
And some of that is just looking at the forecast, seeing how the day went, making a few notes and, and sort of an iteration of that. And that can be sort of years before you really get your place figured out. And if you're at a new place, you know, it's about finding the guru, the guru that actually has, has got it fairly dialed in. Um, and then that's always the trick is finding somebody that is, you know, really got their place, uh, figure it out. And if you can find that person and it's not just somebody that just, you know, talking BS, but somebody that's really sort of taking the time and figured the place out, that's a, that's a huge resource. If you can find somebody, you know, a local that has that for a particular place. Yeah, for sure. Tell me about, we were talking about water, energy and water and how they relate.
Speaker 5 (00:48:35):
Yeah. So you know, whether as we S see it would be fairly boring if we didn't have a [inaudible] water vapor in our atmosphere. I mean, you could kind of, I mean the Martian atmosphere is much different cause it's very thin. I mean it's only about a hundred, um, as, as dense. Um, but still they have massive dust devils and some strong thermally driven winds. So you'd still get, yeah, Valley wins. You'd get strong thermals and you'd, you'd have a lot of dust devils if there was no water on this planet. Uh, but you wouldn't get hurricanes. You wouldn't get thunderstorms, you know, tornadoes and such. You'd have no rain. Um, what basically, what water does water or it takes a lot of energy to evaporate water. And that's why, you know, a thin layer of sweat can, uh, you know, does a great job of keeping you cool as a little, you know, wind blows past you.
Speaker 5 (00:49:34):
That's why dogs panting with their tongue stuck out, um, works to cool a dog and it takes a lot of energy to evaporate water. But it, when water condenses, it releases tremendous amounts of energy. So water vapor as, um, in a scientific sense, you don't see water vapor. It looks just like the air. It's, it's a clear gas. It's when, when we see cloud, you know, even the steam, when we say if you're boiling tea, the water vapor is the clear part. No. Um, once it's condense and once you start seeing something that's actually condensed tiny little droplets. So when you're seeing a cloud, just, you know, countless tiny little droplets, and as the, as the water is condensing all that energy it took to evaporate it as being put back into the system. So, uh, a rising air rising thermal will cool at a degree C for 100 meters.
Speaker 5 (00:50:33):
So if you're coring up in a thermal and you climb a thousand meters, it's going to be 10 degrees colder. But when you form cloud, it's going to be that cooling rate is going to be offset by the fact that you're condensing all this water into it. It'll still cool as you go up in the cloud. If you go deep into the white room, it'll keep getting colder, but not as fast. And so basically what happens is you can get a situation and that would be a situation when thunderstorms could develop, is where the big deep portion of the atmosphere would still be stable for thermal. Thermal might eventually come to a halt, but a cloud will actually continue to accelerate upward because it's now with this condensing water, it's warmer and warmer than its surrounding as a climbs until it reaches a stable layer at the top of the troposphere.
Speaker 5 (00:51:24):
So the other thing that water could converge water air with water vapor can converge from far away vegetation or large bodies of warm water can evaporate water over a large area, but can the thunderstorm that is located in a very small area. So, um, you know, it's, it's sort of a concentration of energy. I mean water vapor is fuels for weather. That's one way of thinking about it. The other thing to keep in mind with water vapor is it's also, it's actually the most common greenhouse gas abs. It's actually the greenhouse effect. The natural greenhouse effect. No, the, the one we're adding to, uh, with all the CO2 we're putting in. But a big majority of that is caused by water vapor and [inaudible]. If you're ever in like a tropical place, it can, you can have a clear night, but it doesn't get that cold.
Speaker 5 (00:52:20):
And for a long time I always thought, okay, if it's a cloudy, cloudy night, the clouds, you know, keep the land from radiated radiate of Lee cooling and getting really old, but you can have a clear night. But if there's a lot of water vapor in the air here, you know, in the, in the tropics it might not get that cold just cause it re radiates the heat back to you. I mean some of the largest temperatures things day and night. I mean sun Valley is a great example. I mean it can be 30 plus Celsius in the day and then you go camping up corral Creek and in the morning you can have frost on the ground. Uh, because it's a bet at altitude. So there's less air and the air is usually fairly dry because we have, that's kind of why we have such high cloud bases. Uh, so that's, that's another way, you know, to, you know, to think about water. It actually, Hmm. Moderate the temperature swings day and night in a place that's really dry. Like sun Valley has those huge,
Speaker 7 (00:53:27):
okay. In other words. So it wouldn't, it wouldn't a swing so much if it was more human here because it would moderate it. My understanding, you're right there
Speaker 5 (00:53:37):
you are. Yes. So the part of it is if it's more humid, then you're going to have a higher dewpoint as you cool there, there's a, there's a point where it's, if there's more water vapor in the air, then the dewpoint temperature will be higher. If the dewpoint temperature is at freezing or below freezing, you know, evening temperatures can really plumb it and it can get quite cold at night. If it's due point of 10 degrees Celsius, like 50 Fahrenheit, it'll you do point and then the surface as it cools continues to condense water upon itself. So it, it is can't cool very much more because it just keeps having the air keeps depositing. Yeah, the water, the water vapor in the air keeps condensing on the surface and that's releasing energy, kind of warming the surface. Offsetting this cooling at night. So, usually if you know, you know, the dewpoint temperature, you're low at night isn't going to be too much lower than a Dew point temperature because it's, it's just condensing.
Speaker 5 (00:54:45):
And that's how sometimes, you know, in in dry areas, if they have a [inaudible] like a grape growers or citrus groves or they'll flood, uh, you know, they'll try on sprinklers or try to bring up the humidity. Just, just, just so the temperature of the Eric, you know, in their, in their orchard can't drop so low for example. Um, but um, yeah, dry or air rarely areas of really dry air. We'll go through bigger swings, uh, bigger temperature swings. And just looking at the difference between high and low temperature might give you a sense of like, that place is probably going to have, especially mid summer's going to have stronger, stronger conditions for the most part and probably higher cloud basis.
Speaker 7 (00:55:28):
Why Honda? Why, why is that? So? We've got these massive temperature swings and huge tall air and the Rockies. And yet I don't think of the Rockies as being a place that has really radical katabatic winds.
Speaker 5 (00:55:44):
Speaker 7 (00:55:45):
no, I think, I think of places like Europe and [inaudible].
Speaker 5 (00:55:49):
Yes. It depends on, Oh, it depends on where, I mean there's like katabatic like evening email. Basically we're talking about the, even like more like evening and morning winds where just comes flowing down.
Speaker 7 (00:56:00):
Yeah. Yeah. And, but where it can be kind of, you know, there, there are places I've been in the world where that can almost be like a switch and it can be quite violent. You know, it could be really strong, like Alaska had incredibly strong katabatic winds. And, um, I think of places in Europe, you know, especially when you're around the glaciers and stuff and they're like a phone around mom Blanca at times where just having these Epic and all of a sudden it's just bang, somebody's starting to switch. And it's, and it's not fun when it's, it's, you know, it's, it's katabatic wind and it, and it's, it can be quite strong. But I like, I, I never think of that sitting in my Valley here that, Oh, there it is. You know, right. As rain every day. And there it is. There's the Quebec women, we get them, but they're rare.
Speaker 5 (00:56:44):
They, um, well there's two, two things is there, I think you've, you've, you've touched upon, one is having the, um, having the snow and the glaciers makes a huge difference. I mean, it doesn't take that huge of a snow covered side. You know, you can have, if you have about a kilometer or more with snow, it doesn't take long before that starts to really slide down because, you know, the day it could have been great, it could be 20, 25 C and then at the surface it's zero. It's freezing. Uh, where as, if it had been Rocky, it would take a long time for all those rocks or all that dry ground to even start to, you know, it probably wouldn't even reach freezing, uh, at night. Uh, so that the fact that you're basically that surface is okay is freezing as soon as like you can't, you know, as long as like the upslope flows, the strong thermals get weak enough, it can start to really, really come on and they can be, yeah, you can have 20 mile an hour plus winds, a just got an attic winds flushing down off something that doesn't seem all that large.
Speaker 5 (00:57:52):
But I think it would be interesting, you know, if you took a, a profile that I don't think that katabatic wind would reach very high. It's going to reach its maximum right there near the surface. Cause the skin temperature right near the [inaudible], all that whole glacier or that snow covered mountain that it's cold. It's right near the surface. So it's, it's spilling down like, like a big bubble. The thin river coming, coming off of it. And um, so in, in um, yeah, in sun Valley, I remember it and Haley in the morning, uh, there was out of one of the valleys. It'd be a pretty pronounced window. It would be about, you know, 15 to 20 every morning and it would all head out towards SkyBridge towards road [inaudible] it would be, you could actually kind of like, you catch the, the katabatic East flow off of that, but uh, so it can, it can happen, but it's, um, I think a big part of that you put your finger on it is the glaciers and the snow.
Speaker 7 (00:58:46):
Okay. Okay. So just a matter of, so you can expect quite strong katabatic winds in the Himalaya. Imagine I've remembered them distinctly when I was there. I'm switching gears here a little bit. Honda, I think, uh, a lot of people struggle. We, we have a lot of questions about flat land flying. Uh, I'm not a huge flatland pilot, but I w I have also struggled with cloud streets and blue holes. Uh, can you just explain those from a kind of a meteor article standpoint and then how you tend to
Speaker 5 (00:59:22):
deal with a big blue hole when you're, when you're sending it out? You know, I say across Nevada, Stan. Yeah. Um, you know, I'll admit my, my flatland experience is also very limited. I think my longest one is here in the central Valley of California about, um, you know, around less, little over a hundred kilometers, maybe 120 kilometers is my longest flat land flight. And that there, I had great Cumulus clouds marking exactly where I needed to go. And I, you know, 2000 meters, uh, was cloud based so it was just, it was trivial. So cloud streets basically set up almost like a little helical circulation. They line up down wind and kind of if you did cut through it, there'd be basically you could almost draw these little gears where it's sinking in the blue part and then coming up together and those gears meet and that's the Cloudstreet if you kind of look at it, I guess looking down wind, but a perpendicular cut.
Speaker 5 (01:00:24):
Um, and there's great images of that online. You can also see great images of cloud streets. If you look at a really cold there outbreak over warm ocean, like you know, sometimes there, there's great ones up in like Alaska as it comes off, uh, off Alaska over over the Pacific there or sometimes really cold continental air that comes out over the Eastern, uh, coastline. And you'll see those are really nice because you see the depth of the, the, the layer that convects gets deeper. So the first, there's a bunch of tight little cloud streets on the satellite image. These are great on the modus, like the, the lower earth orbit satellites, uh, but just a snapshot image and then get wider. So they kind of readjust to get wider because it's the layers getting deeper. So it kind of, the scaling adjusts and eventually on these satellite images, far down wind, it gets to be more of a sort of a hexagon or a pattern or sort of a cracking mud pattern.
Speaker 5 (01:01:26):
So it eventually, eventually transitions to that. A blue holes, uh, yeah know if, if it's, if there's Cuba's clouds everywhere else and there's a big blue hole, that means the thermals aren't even reaching Cod base. So, you know, there's always a portion of a, of a thermal, you know, be it a nicely topped, uh, like fair weather Cumulus that tops the thermal, you know, it'll reach a little higher than you could reach it big based on your sink rate. So the fact if there's, there's chemo scarves around this blue hole and there are no Cumulus clouds in the blue hole, hence all blue hole. Uh, for the most part, kind of the same amount of air, almost the same amount of air is going up as it's going down. So that blue, the whole might be a place that is just set up to have return flow.
Speaker 5 (01:02:18):
And it could be because of the underlying surface or just could be the way the convection set up that day probably, you know, unless you, do you feel like you got the glide to make it across the blue hole, it might make sense to go a little bit around and it's, it can be tough cause you think, yeah, there's, there's a lot of sun on the ground there, so that's great. But there's a lot of sinking air over that area to make that blue hole. So it might be the thermals might be getting leaned up every which way out of it. Uh, and then, uh, feeding the clouds on the periphery. So I would, I would think in that situation deviating slightly from a straight line, unless it's a small enough blue hole that you're sure you're going to glide across it. I'd be the wise move.
Speaker 2 (01:03:01):
Hmm. [inaudible] what would be your suggestion? You know, maybe, maybe if you could think back to say your pre, um, meteorology school days and becoming a meteorologist and now, uh, you know, for, for pilots that aren't going to go as far as you have in, in learning about weather, what are the things that they still really need to know? What would your advice be to, um, you know, just pilots at large, not thinking about if you're a beginner or advanced pilot, but just here are the things, you know, you've been writing articles for cross country forever and these are all, you know, really specific and audience. If we don't know about these, go grab every issue. That's ever been printed and check those out cause they're, but those are really specific. I'm kind of looking more general stuff that's just very important things that you're using all the time and going, God, I'm glad I know about that.
Speaker 5 (01:03:57):
Well I think the flying has two components. It's the, it's the piloting and the weather and knowledge and they're very complimentary. I mean, if, you know, a deficiency in one might be compensated by, uh, the other sort of vice versa. I mean, if you, if you're sort of ignorant to what the air is doing that you've managed to become a really good pilot, which rarely happens if you're really ignorant to what the air is doing. But say you just, I've gotten to be a really good pilot, then you can find yourself caught off guard and still have the skills to, to pilot through it safely or at least get yourself down on the ground well, safely. But you know, a wise level of progression is to build your weather knowledge along with your piloting skills. And you know, there's, there's a lot of, um, a lot of great books.
Speaker 5 (01:04:53):
I kind of, you know, there's one I read recently, it's by a German fellow on thermal flying, uh, [inaudible]. Yes, yes. The other one I thought that was, I thought that was really good. I read through that and you know, I think 97% of it I was in total agreement with. I mean sometimes and it's a tough call. Sometimes it's a fine line and you know, explaining the complexities without getting too complicated. Sometimes you have to simplify a little bit. But for the most part, books like that, I mean, I read a Dennis pagans understanding the sky when I was 17. That was my first, uh, sort of big weather book that I, that I got all the way through and [inaudible] I think we'll get it, put it. Well, once you, you build a model in your head of how the air behaves, then each time you fly you refine that model.
Speaker 5 (01:05:45):
And there was three articles that will wrote in the late nineties, I believe. Uh, uh, actually kind of what got me part of the thing that got me to go to grad school and study atmospheric science was this back and forth argument on in the paragliding magazine on whether thermals, you know, trigger or like surface tension of thermals and things like that. Some, some things that, you know were, might be an oversimplification, but realizing that some of this really small scale behavior, we haven't got it totally figured out. You need to know that, you know, you need to know some weather basics, you need to know about pressure gradient and wind instability, understanding stability and windows are sort of the, you know, the basics, the, the, the big weather systems, the, the circulation around on a high and a low. But then the intricate stuff, the stuff that we really stumble around in, you know, that's, that's not resolved in models.
Speaker 5 (01:06:45):
That's where using, Oh, over time you talked to other pilots. Um, there's a lot of kind of folklore about it out there too. I mean there's people have a lot of selective memory and they, everybody's got a slightly different model of how what's going on on and some are more correct than others. But you're basically, even to this day, if I feel I, I get to a place and I look at it and I try to judge, where's the wind? You know, where's the wind coming from? What's what, what are the clouds? Which way are the Cod shadows moving? You know, a little things like looking at a cloud. If you really want to get a sense if it's moving or not, if you're looking up or downwind, it's going to seem slower than if you're looking crosswind. Ideally, if you're looking at a cloud shadow, also look at sort of more crosswind, how it's tracking, cross the terrain and then it'll get, you know, sometimes if it's received terrain, it can be a little deceiving because it's rides down the slope. It's going to seem a little faster. For example, ideally it's moving across somewhat of a flat surface, but, uh, you know, judging the wind at cloud-based that way, even when you're, even when you're flying and looking at, you know, take a moment to check the cloud shadows, how those are moving across the ground. Uh, if there's anything stirring dust down low, see how that's moving, see how the trees are moving down there. You know, if there's something that's telling you that Valley winds strong or you know, there's, there's real to the Valley,
Speaker 4 (01:08:16):
the bottom, the Valley might not be the best place to be landing. Oh yeah. And another thing I wanted to mention, um, you know, when I'm on launch or looking at wind, I try to think of, you know, sort of three levels that are super imposed. There's the forecast wind or the synoptic wind also called the the media wind and that's, that's what you're going to get out of your forecast. That's what the model is picking up. But you know, that's a fairly large scale when that's what you would pick up off of weather map. If you looked at the isobars, then there's more of a regional, uh, when that could be your, you know, planes to mountain circulation that starts setting up. That usually starts developing around 10 to 11 o'clock. Uh, depends a little bit on the day, but that's uh, as things heat up and you create heat lows over certain regions that start to dry in, uh, the wind.
Speaker 4 (01:09:23):
And then the last is really local, um, you know, slope flow and thermals, uh, coming up your mountain and you know, keeping sort of this idea that there's these three levels to think about. Of course it's, you know, you could have as many distinct levels as you want. It's a, it's really a spectrum, but kind of thinking of it in three levels, in realizing that any spot you stand on a mountain or in a landing zone anywhere, you're kind of getting the sum of these three levels coming together. And sometimes it'll reinforce itself. I mean, if your site is facing into the, you know, it's an afternoon site and it's facing into a West wind that's 15 miles an hour and you're getting thermals ripping up the face, then those can be gusts to 25 miles an hour. You can also, you know, be standing somewhere on East slope and heating of a large region out, uh, to the East, starts to draw in a West when that might not even be resolved in the models, but it just starts to create a heat low and air will blow over the back and it might start to blow over the back when you think it should still be coming up.
Speaker 4 (01:10:40):
So these are local effect and a lot of it depends on how strong the heating is that day, uh, which sides are facing into the sun, the surface type. All these things sort of come together to create the wind that you feel at any one particular spot, uh, on earth. Really. Um, so you can't be upset with a forecast if it's not panning out. Exactly. When it said over my spot, it should've been blowing, you know, 15 out the West. That's just one level. But everything else plays a role into that and either adds to it or subtracts from it, uh, depending on, on where you are. And then of course there's a lot of channeling, uh, by the flow, uh, sort of in certain areas. It's reinforced some areas it's blocked. I mean as I, as I mentioned, just looking at a river and looking the way it, you know, splits the flow and causes it to come together in certain spots.
Speaker 4 (01:11:42):
I mean, you can have a, when that eventually, um, you know, a sea breeze that comes in late in the afternoon wraps around certain areas and causes great convergence. That might be an afternoon phenomenon, uh, for that site. If it's a famous enough flying site, usually they've got their convergence sorted out and if it's, um, you know, a place that very few people fly or even one of the first discovering this place, it might take a little while to sort out the specifics. You know, there's, there, there's a lot of little things to consider this, these, um, this is basically what we refer to as subgrid scale. The, the grid or the resolution of a model is just two course and it smooths out the terrain way too much to pick up all the little nuances that we as pilots become really attuned to when thinking about how the air is behaving and the way it's flowing and where kind of expected to be windy or where we don't. So I just wanted to kinda add that, throw that in there.
Speaker 6 (01:12:48):
Yeah. When you say that, it really makes me, it kind of makes me laugh and that how we, what we learned in thisX apps in the 2017, you know, after 2015 I heard from quite a few of the pilots that did really well, that they had their own dedicated weather team. Uh, and these were guys that were typically like medio France or whatever. The Swiss version of the same thing is. And these were guys that were just looking at, you know, big servers that were processing a ton of data, you know, so they weren't out with them on the course, but they were feeding them information. And in my mind, I imagine that they were, you know, this is one of the things that lent to his magic of, you know, Oh there's their serious coming land and waited out and then relaunch and yeah.
Speaker 6 (01:13:33):
Anyway, that's what I imagined. And so going into this one, I teamed up with gas Bard patio who had a weather team in 2015 and you know, he did really well. And so we shared his guide and it was a guy that had been weather routing for the XLH since the very beginning. And so I was really excited about this and we went and met him and Shamani and you know, we watched and we saw his 10 different screens, I'm sure the same kind of stuff that you have access to. And you know, his knowledge was, was like yours. It was just vast and he was a paraglider. So I was really excited or our team was really excited and you know, as we in the race gas barred until he had his accident was crushing and he and I had the exact same weather data.
Speaker 6 (01:14:19):
Uh, and as we got separated, of course, you know, it was in, in, in our weather guy did say that, you know, his models didn't really reach, uh, for those first to lay the leg down to Slovenia and the Lake back up. That was kind of beyond the scope of his model. But he could interpret it still pretty well. But we actually didn't really figure out how to use it well to our advantage until probably Dave six or seven because we were taking it and I see we really, it was me, but I was expecting that this was going to be something that was really specific. You know, this is what you're going to get here and we can plan our day around that. And of course these are just models and there are no different than what you know, we've been using to help us fly forever.
Speaker 6 (01:15:07):
And you know, as, as we started to learn that, you know, then it actually was really valuable, but it was still, they're just models. There's still generalities. You know, like we, the very first day when we knew it was going to be really, really strong fun and, and uh, terrible weather on the North side and it was gonna, you know, which meant of course it's going to be sunny on the South side, but terrible conditions. You know, we had a weather report that morning that the race started that, you know, it would be terrible, but probably flyable and you know, winds of 25 to 35 coming from the North over the past. And so if you could kind of hide from it and getting a leak and maybe make it work, you know, and when I got up there the next morning, it was, you know, 45 it was way stronger.
Speaker 6 (01:15:54):
And of course I got upset that the weather was, report was wrong, that we were paying all this money for these really specific weather. But it wasn't wrong. It was exactly what you said. It was the, it was the model, but then, you know, I wasn't taking into account, uh, you know, steps two and steps three and you were talking about, you know, the planes to the mountains of fact and then the thermal effect and all these other things that help, well it should help map map it out. So by the time we put time, by the time we figured that out and it was actually really helpful, it freed up Bruce to not be looking at weather so much and being able to have this guy send us reports that were, that were quite useful. But yeah, it was a good reminder that um, models are just models.
Speaker 4 (01:16:41):
Yeah. Enrich top compression is another one that comes to mind as you say that. I mean is you can, you can have an extra easily and extra 50% and in some areas almost a hundred percent increase. Uh, if it's compressing just right over a Ridge top, it's uh, you know, sometimes, especially more in the morning hours before the thermals and mix things out. Uh, it can get you, the rich top can really squeeze wind over it. Uh, and you can see that in certain areas if, if, if you have a location where there happens to be a mountain and a sounding that goes up nearby so you can actually look at the same time the weather balloon went up. Um, uh, you know, locally, the two places that come to mind is we have a sounding out of Oakland, which is near San Francisco. And then there's Mount Diablo, which is not too far away.
Speaker 4 (01:17:37):
And then we have slide mountain and Reno, which are both probably within 30 kilometers, 20 to 30 kilometers, if that, from where the balloons going up where them this peak of a mountain is. And there's been times where at the same exact time, it's showing twice as much wind on the mountain. Uh, had a, uh, Dave Turner tell me he's got an anemometer and that he looks at at mammoth, uh, down in the CRS and it can be more than double of what the true wind is doing, just the way it's coming through a gap and really being squeezed through there. So that's, um, you know, that's certainly something to keep in mind and you know, then that compression is very much something to, to respect. But also to know, you know, an advanced pilot might use that to their advantage. I remember when I was very sick in 2007 X Alps and I was coming up late the first day on the duct Stein and it was too strong for anybody to be launching on top, but they dropped a 200 meters on down the upwind side and they were able to launch and then kind of staying out in front and out of that strong compression, they were able to, a lot of people are able to make some distance and actually get some flying in even though it reaching the top, it looked like it's just ridiculously strong.
Speaker 4 (01:19:01):
But, um, so I think, you know, it's, it all comes back to sort of building, building that mental model. You know, you, you're somewhere and you realizing, okay, is this, is this really like a really strong wind that I'm feeling? Is this really true, true wind or is this just compressed as a cement? Shuri is this a, is this going to be everywhere? Or you know, if I do hike lower and kind of fly out and low and get up higher with well I'm going to get, will I be blown over the back or was it, is that a safe thing to do? And those are, you know, it's not not something I can recommend one way or another. It's something that each pilot has to sort of assess and decide and you know, build up to it. I would say rather slowly that and then, you know, jumping into it.
Speaker 4 (01:19:52):
Great staff, great staff. Yeah. One last thing that comes to mind with the sort of convergence areas and if it is when they are found that sometimes the comments went on the ground is under the greatest lift above you, which is, you know, when there's a strong convergence of two winds are coming together, you can be, you know, a kilometer or two away and you're seeing the trees leaning over and shaking and then you can, you know, run down wind a little bit cause you see, okay, I don't want to land there. You run down when and you can suddenly find a place. Even just that the windows is calmed way down and it's just slamming a wind that's wrapped around come from another side. And you know, often there's great convergence, great lift over an area. We're right there on the ground. It's actually fairly calm to land.
Speaker 4 (01:20:42):
And once again, that's something you sometimes stumble upon. But it's, it's good to kind of keep that in mind, uh, that if, if something's really going up and it's not dynamic lift, it's not, you know, you realize, okay, this isn't thermal. I'm not, it's too big to be a thermal and it's not when hitting a mountain per se that's causing all this lift. It's gotta be air converging. And if you find that, you know, either you can take that convergence and continue on with your cross country flight, but there might be a situation where you're already, it's just too much. It's overwhelming, it's uncomfortable and you want to go down and you don't want to land in very strong wind. Well if you can get yourself down through it, then you might actually find some of the relatively most mellow air just below that. Cause if air is coming in, two batches are coming in at each other, they have nowhere to go but up. But right at ground level, that can be, that can be very calm.
Speaker 6 (01:21:39):
Wow, that's awesome. Like a dicey proposition. But I like it. I could totally visualize it, but it's a [inaudible] as long as you,
Speaker 4 (01:21:46):
cause you're trying to come down through a lot of lift. That's the, that's the dicey part of it is that if you, you know, you're trying to come down through a lot of lift and, and almost, you know, my want to leave the lift for a little bit. Uh, but if you're seeing that, you know, it's, it's just too windy to land, but it might be, you know, just at the area of convergence, just when you're up right above the strongest convergence on the ground, sometimes that'll be the lightest, uh, air movement right there at ground, at ground level. So,
Speaker 6 (01:22:19):
and theoretically, I guess if you, if you did get the convergence zone pretty right, even though it's going up strong, it shouldn't be going up in a way that would be really radical if you're spiraling down through it. It's just, it would be be a lot of work, but it wouldn't be unwieldy.
Speaker 4 (01:22:38):
Right. Or you could offer often these things slanted a little bit too, you know, I mean, if you get the sort of the perfect strength of two wins, you know, the that are the same strength and slam each other. But I've often found these things and is lean lean one way or another. It's almost like creating this invisible ramp in the air. You know, like a [inaudible] from your, you know, you must, uh, from all your, I don't, I haven't done much sailing. But you do see when there's a line of Whitecaps and then there's pretty calm water and it's, it only makes you think, well you can't have 20 mile an hour wind hitting nothing. And you know, the only place it has to go is up and it's probably creating some kind of a ramp. So the air and the overwork still calm is kind of stagnant.
Speaker 4 (01:23:29):
It's either like been forced cause it, you know, it's heavier, it's backed up against something or it just hasn't gotten up to speed yet as this, as something is coming in as line of Whitecaps you know, is going to, cause you know, this kind of a ramp and you know, you hear of situations and I've, I've had one or two opportunities on the coast where you can suddenly soar that sort of invisible Hill way higher than any local terrain. You're basically kind of soaring a slanted convergence. I mean some people call it like on the coast soaring a shear and it is a little bit of a shearing, but it's kind of a slanted convergence. So that's um, you know, and, and often that's kind of a finite area. Like if you, if you run down wind too much with it, you might go into that, you know, slower air and, and fall out of put again. So there's times, there's times you definitely want to take it, you know, re recognize a convergence and take it up. And there's times where it's, uh, you know, am I be too much too rowdy? And you might just have had an experience. We just really want to be on the ground. But keeping in mind that right at that converging area, there might be a, you know, a calmer, a calmer area on the ground.
Speaker 6 (01:24:44):
Fascinating. Cool. Great stuff.
Speaker 4 (01:24:46):
One last one. When thermals, you know, us thought another thing that took me a little while, it kind of went down upon me and it was kind of one of those aha moments is realizing when you get a low save, you know, it's often those that take you right back up to base. And a part of that is just because in order that, that you have so much air converging near the ground already and is, it's got enough of a vertical component that low to the ground, it's only going to get stronger as you go up. So I've slightly selective memory, but I've found a low save is often the one that takes you right back up to base.
Speaker 6 (01:25:27):
Yeah. You know, I uh, um, uh, laughing as you say that because the, the probably the most anyway, the most exciting low save I've ever had. And it wasn't, it wasn't, you know, usually you think of those as like being in a comp or something. But when I had split from when Dave left in Alaska and I went on to finish it, um, uh, it was like two or three days into, into my part, they kind of the solo part and I'd had a big day just, you know, two or three really nice flights, like a morning sweater over the sit in a river and then hike up and then a big, you know, nice white. Then I kind of screwed that up cause I was really trying to stay with the terrain and there was just this incredible Cloudstreet out over the flats. And I, I just couldn't trust, I didn't believe it.
Speaker 6 (01:26:13):
I just, it was like, God, these mountains should be booming and there wasn't a cloud over the mountains. And what I later figured out was that there was so much pressure difference between the North side and South side. And I was on the South side is that, and there was a ton of wind coming from the North because of that pressure gradient. You know, it wasn't until it spilled over the mountains, down in the flats and then it was releasing it. So anyway, I bombed quite late in the day. It was, you know, but not so late for Alaska cause solar noon is two up there. So it was, you know, six o'clock I'm onto ground and, but I can, I'm just looking at this incredible sky going, God man, I, I need, I can still cover some distance here and kind ex Obst it, you know, packed up real fast and ran up this micro Hill that was kind of at the bottom of this Moraine and a glacier.
Speaker 6 (01:26:58):
And uh, and I went up this Hill that was maybe 200 meters, probably not even, and it was quite windy, kind of a Valley when, you know, blowing down on me, but that, but the wind was going the right way. It was, it was blowing kind of South, I guess it'd be Southwest, which was the direction I was trying to go. And sorry, Southeast and, and so I thought, well, you know, if anything, I'll get three or four K just winging it down downwind. And that's better than walking three or four K. so I launched and kind of rich sword a little bit. And then, you know, went with the flow and, and went around the corner and got right over this huge herd of caribou and, uh, I mean literally right over their heads and they were looking up happy. And so I wasn't really even focused so much on the flying.
Speaker 6 (01:27:43):
I was just tripping out on this beautiful evening. And you know, the sun's far from setting, you know, it's, it doesn't set until one or two o'clock in the morning that time of year. But it was just really pretty. And, and I kept, you know, I caught this like zero and just zero and zero just turning in this thing, just downwind, just winging it, had like felt like a Frisbee, you know, and uh, and went probably four or five K like that and then 0.1 and then point to, and then 0.3 and then eventually it turned into the strongest thermal I'd had on the whole trip and went from there. I was pretty much at zero elevation when I started this thing, you know, I mean 200 meters up the Hill, but the Valley bottom was basically ocean level and I went to 16,000 feet.
Speaker 6 (01:28:26):
It was the, the big, by far the biggest climb and the, and the highest I had been on the trip by 5,000. I mean even going across the Nale I think we got to like 11, five and I mean this was as you can imagine. And it was like, uh, then I went on like a 30 mile glide without turning it. It was just unbelievable. It was the coolest level, you know, basically circling right over these caribou heads. And then this thing just, it felt like I was just flying in a river, you know, just zeros and zeros and zeros, but staying alive. And luckily the Valley's kind of dropping away a little bit,
Speaker 5 (01:29:02):
but not much. Like I said, cause I'm basically at sea level and then bull. Yeah, that's was terrific. Nice. Nice. Yeah, so I think there's, I think sometimes that's more than just coincidence. I mean, of course we ever kind of select a memory of the times things worked out. But if you do believe there's a lot to be said for something, if it can, if it can keep you from sinking out that low to the ground, something is happening near the ground. Basically there is, there is air converging onto something that's going to probably go into quite a ways up cause it's already starting to get a verbal component of at least one meter, a second one, maybe one and a half meters per second to offset your sink rate. And that's so cool. So close to the ground and it's only in an accelerating environment at that point because, so it's going to accelerate upward, uh, for, for a while.
Speaker 5 (01:29:53):
And uh, usually if you can hook full circles in something like that or almost full circles that near the surface, you know, you usually have a ride right back up to the top. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very cool. I'll always remember that one. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a, it's, it's a lifelong learning really. It's, you know, I'm still seeing it. It does. Yeah. I mean, you're basically you, that's a, you're your best current model in your head and you'd go out there and you test it. And I think I've been fortunate enough to, you know, have, and I've been very fortunate to have had an opportunity to find many different places and you sort of, you know, you can carry, you can cut, arrive at a new place and, and have a pretty good idea of how it's going to work. But then there's always a lot of, well, things that not surprise you. I mean, you're like, that totally should've worked and it doesn't. And sometimes it's just the way things cycle. Sometimes it's, you know, the way the wind splits and meanders. I mean, I w I always thought it's great if you take some time to look at a river, you know, in different kinds of rivers with different boulders and different current speeds and you realize that's just the flow. And then we are flying in a boiling river and it just gets really complicated.
Speaker 5 (01:31:16):
So going to put it. Yeah. So it's, it's, it, it can get [inaudible] infinitely complex, but there's still something about, you know, figuring out, okay and this much wind, I can, you know, I can go over the back at this height. Having that kind of intuitive feel like th that takes a while to build up to, you know, first, you know, in ground school you learn all the things not to do and then you sort of spend your flying career slowly picking up. Think a part of what of those things you can actually do. No wise instructor's going to go tell you to go fly over the back or flying the li, eh, or you know, all these things and you know, or, or fly in with. There's any kind of overdevelopment happening. But as we talked about that otters, there's that fine line. Um, but that requires experience and, and for, you know, pilots that are new to the sport.
Speaker 5 (01:32:17):
Just, I've always said, you know, if you're on skis, you wouldn't go following somebody in between two cliffs. You know, on this tight little line. You know, the stuff you see in the Bamfield festivals, but since the air is invisible, there might be that guy out there that's flying and just making it look easy and conditions that are just really gnarly. But you know, that might be the one of the best big wave surfers out there. And he's just making it look just fine. So it's in the end, you know, before you take off your pilot and command and you gotta, you got to make that call and you gotta make the right call every time.
Speaker 7 (01:32:58):
Well, that's a, that's a perfect place to end. Uh, although, however, if you, if you do have a few more minutes, I would be very remiss of one Xcel junkie to another to not ask you at least one question about the [inaudible]. Uh, I know you, you were over there while this one was going on. So this was the first one you hadn't done in five consecutive, uh, campaigns. And I know that that was, there was, uh, a lot of mixed emotion, I'm sure going on there. But when you look back, I asked this with our, our last guest was max vendor or who did it four times. And, and I asked him this and it was just a kick. I loved his reply. So I'd love to know what you, what you have to say. Um, when you look back at your five campaigns, can you give me, uh, one of the greatest highs and one of the greatest lows before we, before we wrap it up here?
Speaker 5 (01:33:48):
I w I would have to say one of the greatest ties was piecing together the second to last day in 2009. I mean, and toast who was a phenomenal runner. I mean, just almost as good as [inaudible] and a great pilot as well. And um, Afghani, uh, from Russia, we were all within five kilometers of each other right there in the Shamani area. And it was the day out with fairly low base and I think it was a piecing together nine, mostly hopper flights. Towards the end of the day. I got a really nice flight in the area around quirks on Maurice and made it up to, uh, um, pass of all these air. The cold is Irene, and then was able to even launch at the past and fly a little further, but making all that come together. There was times I would, you know, land sometimes hike my glider up a little bit sometimes, you know, check my little GPS.
Speaker 5 (01:34:52):
I had one of those little yellow Garmins and pull out the map and see where I was and, you know, make a little, little bit of a hopper flight and just land just below base and then hike through a little pass. I'm, he was just, it was just putting it all together. And at the end of the day, you, that was before we had sleeping rules. So just hiking through that whole night, just knowing that Aiden could run, but just, you know, at that point, I was third, uh, um, and, and just holding onto that, into the, into the, into the final day, I think, you know, that that was amazing. And to get to stand with the Alex Hoffer and, uh, uh, Kriegel on the podium, uh, that next evening was just, you know, that's, that's unforgettable. That was, that was, even though I didn't make it to tomorrow.
Speaker 5 (01:35:38):
Oh. And I was still 140 kilometers away. It was, it was really a felt like on a piece things together in a very XLP format. And it was before we do, or, you know, things have changed a lot now there's a lot more communication with the supporters. But in my early ex ops days, I always felt that there was a certain purity once I got airborne and once I got away from my support for that day, it was my show. It was my, my doing my success or my failing. And that was a certain, you know, a beauty of it. I mean, it's, it's definitely the, the races advanced gotten really fast and, uh, it's just a whole different game as far as, you know, support all throughout, even in the air. But, um, that was, I thought that was a great day. It was really pure and a lot of fun.
Speaker 5 (01:36:32):
The worst. It's a, it's hard to say. I mean there's, there was some long all day hikes in the rain, but that wasn't really that bad. That's just a part of it. I think one of the ones that really made me thank you and card it was just, I started getting a little maybe overconfident about landing in the Lee of things just landing right into the wind. I was flushing down the hillside. Do you have a mountain where I would just have to rather than land at the bottom, if I let it 200 meters, then the Lee and then just take up and over it and launch it up. I did too. And I was getting a little overconfident with that in the 2015 ex Alps in the South Alps. Um, I landed and it was probably, it was, it was gusting over 20. I was kind of in the 27th, almost 25 kilometer an hour.
Speaker 5 (01:37:22):
It was gusting pretty hard as a, after I landed and hiking through it and it felt like I landed in a parachute will stall. I mean, I, I came into the hillside, I still flared into the wind and everything, but the descent rate was just incredible. And, uh, then as I hiked up and over to the other side, but I had to hike down a ways and, you know, it was a catapult of a launch, but it was one of those situations you realize you only get, you only get away with this so many times and it's just, I would never do this in normal. There'd be no reason to do in normal flying. And I realized, yeah, this is, um, this is just, you know, for the sake of the game, I'm really pushing it and, and it's kinda, you know, as a, as a, as a little bit upset with myself and there's probably, you know, there might been other moves to do that day, uh, to avoid that.
Speaker 5 (01:38:14):
Um, and, uh, it's one of those things you just gotta be a little careful when you start feeling a little too much like Superman now out there. You know, it's, uh, I've, I've always, I've always said with flying, especially in, in my early days, I felt like I went through periods of, of irrational overconfidence and irrational fear. And, um, sometimes you kind of get that buffered out and you're feeling like you're really on your game, but just gotta be, we gotta be careful on both ends of it. If you're irrationally scared, then you got to kind of back off and realize, what are you scared of? Like, you can't be flying around that thinking this glider is going to kill me all the time. But you can't be, can't be flying around forever thinking you're Superman either. I mean, there's, there's times you might build up to that where you feel like, Hey, I can just fly just about just about anything. Like, you know, I'm so dialed, but, uh, you know, sooner or later you're going to get a reminder, know, flying, flying around in the sky and you better watch it. Yeah.
Speaker 7 (01:39:13):
Yeah. Well, that's a cer, certainly I felt, I have felt exactly what you've just said. It's certainly about the XL opposite. And I had, I had similar, uh, things happen in the 2015 campaign that I had really tried to not repeat, uh, this time around. It's uh, yeah, you, you, you definitely have to fly. You have to be on the margin there to do decently just to do it anyway. But you know, I think you can with the right kind of training, the right kind of approach. It doesn't have to be terrifying, you know, it's, it can all be, uh, pretty manageable. But well, Honda, thank you so much. I could talk to you forever man. It's, uh, it was great to tap into your, your brain a little bit for this hour and a half and I really appreciate your time and I'm sure we'll be doing more of these and I can't wait to get out and fly Nevada with you. So, but let's end it there. Cause I know we both got other obligations and uh, but thanks man. Appreciate it.
Speaker 5 (01:40:13):
Yes, no, it sounds good. Gavin, I just want to, one last thing I want to say to, you know, what I've found has been really useful as even if you can't, if life doesn't let you get out and fly too much, I still go ground handling to this day, you know, 25 years into it and I still go ground handling and uh, you know, even the other thing is even if you're on a coastal Ridge, practicing a little bit of a side Hill finding and being able to keep an, you know, keeping sharp on being able to put it down where you need to is, uh, is really important. So great advice. Yeah. Appreciate the opportunity to, you know, share some of my knowledge and have really enjoy these podcasts. I think this has been a really a great, great service, uh, for the flying community and for those that haven't discovered them, uh, check it out and uh, definitely, uh, please help support, um, this, this effort cause this is, this has been a really, really great service for, for sorting pilots. Awesome. [inaudible] appreciate it man. Talk to you soon. Alright Gavin. Yeah, look forward to flying with you soon. Um, enjoy, uh, enjoy your daughter. I will. I will. I will. Absolutely. Yeah, for sure. That congratulate rationalizations and thank you so much. Yeah. What it what a new cool adventure. Yeah. Yup. All right man. Have fun. Talk to you soon. See you. Bye.
Speaker 3 (01:41:36):
Speaker 1 (01:41:37):
I hope you enjoyed that. Always great to sit down with Hahn's that we've been planning that one for months. I hope you've gotten a lot out of it. As always, all we ask for is a bucket show. If you want to support the podcast, you can do it directly through cloud-based mayhem.com. You'll find links on there to PayPal, uh, or you can support us through patrion.com and uh, on Patrion. You can kind of set it and forget it. You can, uh, opt for whatever level you want to do it at and you can opt to also to not have it go over a certain amount by month, but that just a, you only pay for when we put a show out. So it kind of puts the onus on me. There's lots of bonuses. If you want to, uh, support us at a higher level and one of those bonuses is you get access to a content that we don't put anywhere else out.
Speaker 1 (01:42:18):
And one of those is we just did an interview, actually, I was interviewed by Nick Hawks who we've had on the show before. He interviewed me for the ground handling podcast. Um, and this one's just purely about the 2017 ex Alps. He asked me a lot of really good questions about why we did what we did and where we messed up and where we did well and how it all went down. And, uh, and just also generally about the X out. So if you're interested in the XLS, hop on over to patrion.com and you'll see that we're going to put that up here in just a few days. Um, I, I don't know how to, I also want to make that available for those of you who are supporting us through, uh, through, through PayPal. And so I don't want to make that just exclusive. Uh, I don't know how to do that.
Speaker 1 (01:42:58):
I haven't figured that out. A Patriot. I can just put it on there and make it for the Patrion supporters. But if you're, if you're one of our sports, do PayPal, you haven't done it through cloud-base or through the Patrion page. Um, just zip me an email and I'll, and I'll provide you that link, but that's not going to go out on the social media and it's not going to go up on the website. That's just exclusive content. We're doing the same thing for the followup. Talk with Kriegel. Uh, talk to him a little bit after the main show that we had and we put up a few weeks ago. So I've got a little bit of that. Still waiting to have to finish that up with them cause we got all kinds of great questions from you, our audience and, uh, can't wait to ask them those.
Speaker 1 (01:43:33):
But we've just both been, we're on different sides of the planet and moving in different directions and haven't been able to make it happen. But I promise you we will. We're trying. We will get it done. And, uh, if you can't support the show financially, a totally understand and get it, uh, you can share this with your friends. You can put it in a blog and put it up on Facebook. Uh, you can tell people on the way up to launch is all about just sharing knowledge. That's what we're trying to do. So thank you so much. Appreciate it. And we'll see you on the next show.
Speaker 3 (01:44:02):