Benny to Pemby

Share your flights with us! Post your story. Link to, or even upload a picture or two.
Peter Spear
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:13 pm

Benny to Pemby

Postby Peter Spear » Mon May 02, 2016 6:59 pm

Benny to Pemby.png
(1.21 MiB) Not downloaded yet
Looks like Al Thielmann took advantage of the strong south winds and flew a crazy tiger line through the depths of the Coast Mountains to Pemberton. Crazy man!!
Last edited by Peter Spear on Wed May 04, 2016 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Benny to Pemby

Postby ALMANN » Wed May 04, 2016 3:13 pm

This one has been in my good day north queue plan with options.
With the nice SE tail winds and fast climbs I was hoping to stretch it out too a nice evening glass off up the Pemby Valley!
However lots of late cloud shut me down.

I had someone leave my bumper lights on and drained the battery from the day before. So had to call towing to open up the FJ
still at Virtue LZ and try to get enough charge built up and wait for Sam A. to show up and worked out a flight plan for him at my place.
He is leaving for Iceland on Friday and didn't want to go North with limited landing options in case the retrieve would delay him.

Sam launched and flew right to the house thermal and started a nice smooth climb over Benny and Mckay Lake.
By the time I set up and took off he was near the ceiling and barring out towards the south range.

No waiting required to figure the air out as the first climb had me blasting up to the airspace limits and I too had to head out to the sink zone on full bar!
I really didn't come off bar until I got to the Terepoki Peak just past Salsbury lake for the class E airspace and grab a ratty mixed pressure climb through the opposing NE and SW wind layers. Active wing management required here got my head in the game early as the climb
smoothed out and brought me to around 2500 m also drifting nicely over Blinch Peaks and Lake. I don't go over the back to the Stave River basin under 2400 meters as a rule so all systems go for a north run!

Crazy beauty of this terrain can easily distract you as you look down at Robie Reed and Judge Howay and the Stave River highback tributaries
it's Blinch Lake pouring waterfall of an infinity edge to the north is scenery etched into my visions....(no gopro or camera as i was running track programs on the phone as backup)

A few eagles showed me a smooth thermal at Futhark Peak opening up the Winslow approach and the tail wind was growing as
I considered the best route north. Spring flying in the higher mountain passes is tricky as the terrain is still all covered in ice and snow,
so one must feed off the thermals drifting up from the lower green valleys and not push straight into the high level terrain unless you can
glide into a different feeder valley.

High Point
So benching high climbs up Winslow Peaks and crossing the 8km or so of frozen pass was critical as the air is still quiet in it's winter freeze and feels smooth silk in slow motion. At the mid way high point I couldn't help it and found myself screaming out loud in awe of the still beauty all around!!
As some of you know in big mountain experiences really you can't get this unless you go all by yourself.
(note: bring fully charged go pro next time)

Drifting through the high zone looking into the valleys feeding my next climb to the north I had to figure out my exit as I flew out of Winslow
pass. I didn't get any great climbs on the lee side slopes. and decided to push to Flue Peak across the valley.

Aptly named Flue Peak cranks once you find the chimney Flue and you better hang on tight to the controls as the lower valley thermals combine with the south Winslow airflows it will kick you hard and fast if your not loading the wing tons of weight shift. So much for serene easy stuff!

From here on up the Lillooet Lake chain and rivers I was getting some very fast tail wind and climbs with not a lot of searching
just boating along on full bar of course hooking up with features and taking strong thermals unless I got low as you really don't have many landing options without that big power lines from PPT.

Big Climbs to base, bar and fly toward the front so keep VFR make a quick approach to Pemberton at the Lake however
my early morning weather recon had me wondering if the nice SE wind helping me out would be also dumping into town from Whistler.
So instead of riding the line that got me to Pemby I crossed over to Mt. Currie side thinking it may be in the wind shadow as it can be when the express is on.

Approaching Currie with low ground speed pushing full bar into the wind flowing I took a huge whack of router combined turbulence that
had me pop up out of my seat as the wing unloaded and disappeared behind me turning to the right. Instinctively I reacted with the quick
pump and then tried to get contact with some light pressure but allow some speed as I turned to dive with the wing hard to the right now with tight lines and G's! Crap! not a good approach to Pemby.

Decided the airport through the middle of the valley would be best as couldn't get a read on the air. And lots of cloud was moving in over the town and Mackenzie. Ended up being able bench up the gravel pit and power line approach to the tower east of upper.

But all great things come to an end and due to clouds and no glass off conditions. I couldn't do anything else but land at the LZ.

Ended up with the local paragliders packing up after flying nicely congratulated and then heading over to Jim and Corrine's for an awesome
barbecue with a handful of local pilots and friends. They were also kind to offer a place to sleep over! Thanks guy's!

Next day we didn't fly as the clouds prevailed and Fish got me as far as Squamish and as the bus was full for the 5 pm; I decided to thumb
to Vancouver. After 5 or so minutes Craig from Toronto was heading down to Seattle from Whistler picked me up.
And brought me all the way to Abbostford! Go figure... I saved him a ugly rush hour trip and a bunch of time as we did the HOV and bypassed the city south....So he made up time while helping me out.? Cool.. Thanks Craig.

Sorry about the long post. But some of you were asking already and it's raining today.


User avatar
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:59 pm

Re: Benny to Pemby

Postby Martin » Wed May 04, 2016 9:45 pm

Ok Al... enough of this sissy stuff. Real "Men" fly out and return. Sure... any girl and drift down wind (I think Mia is heading out to the shed to get an Ax ;-). You got to get that wing of your turned around and jump on that speed bar and bring it home!

Thumbing rides and taking public transit to get home?... shame on you.

Comrade Martin

User avatar
Former Director
Former Director
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Benny to Pemby

Postby ALMANN » Wed May 04, 2016 9:52 pm

Honestly!! Yeah Martin, the thought did occur to me... but it didn't work out for wx the NEXT day. :mrgreen:

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest