The Twisp 2017 XC Camp

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It has become now a tradition - the XC camp in the middle of the summer. From June 26 to July 1, 2017, it was the time to explore the spectacular scenery of the North Cascades in the best soaring conditions during the longest days of the year. Some 15 pilots from the Sawtooth Soaring Association, ES, SGC and PSSA took up the challenge of exploring the mountains. The locals were as supportive as always and our dedicated and enthusiastic tow pilots - Phil Andersen and Duane Barr - sent us off on our flights only to wait until the end of the day if someone needed an aero-tow back home (it happened only once). Except, for a marginal first day the soaring conditions were outstanding (for Washington State) allowing flights of over 8 hours and with thermals up to 13,800 ft,. allowing pilots to explore the friendly skies between the Canadian border and as far as Davenport. Tom Udd actually contacted wave and climbed to about 16,000 ft.

Ron Clark dominated the informal competition and posted the best OLC flights with 717 and 685 points and is now leading the OLC championship 2017 for Washington by quite a margin besides posting also the best flight so far. Movses Babayan followed with several flights in the Astir (X3) and - together with Mason Killbrew - in the SSF DG-1000; both sailplanes being part of groups or syndicates and seeing quite a lot of use.

Here is a list of the best flights (over 300 points) by OLC points of each pilot:

Ron Clark LS-3 717.4
Movses Babayan Astir  588.9
Movses/Mason Killbrew  DG-1000 563.7
Brad Hill Tetra-15 503.0
Thomas v d Velde Discus 474.4
Fred Hermanspann/Greg Gohsman Twin Astir 438.0
Kenji Ominato  LS-6 423.7
Bill Ling DG-300 421.3
Chris Young Duckhawk 418.1
Tom Udd ASW-28 379.1
Paul Adriance/ Kensley Diehl DG-1000 368.5

The OLC points are preliminary and have to be scrutinized. The OLC optimizer has problems establishing release point and altitude and has frequently used the takeoff as the start point which may affect the distances, especially with long tows.

Altogether it was another worthwhile visit to this friendly airfield that allows access to the high country of the North Cascades as well as the wide open Columbia Basin.

pictures by Kathleen McCrary and Fred Hermanspann

Tim Tanner over Twisp airport

Tim Tanner over Twisp airport

good lift often comes with OD

Good lift often comes with OD

Ron Clark – contemplating the next challenge

Ron Clark - contemplating the next challenge

no we did not fly it that way

No we did not fly it that way

Mason  and Movses waiting for their turn

Mason and Movses waiting for their turn

approaching the North Cascade Highway

Approaching the North Cascades Highway

strategy session

Greg Gohsman enjoying the North Cascades

Tim Tanner over Twisp airport

Strategy session