The forecast for the solstice showed good lift, but light and variable winds. Any site might work if you waited for a thermal cycle to blow through launch, but you’d want as much elevation as possible to maximize your chances of hooking into a solid climb. I was thinking Ascutney, but the few pilots who were going opted for Cannon. I met up halfway with Tom L and John B and we carpooled up to Franconia Notch. Neither John nor I had flown the site before, so Tom gave us a briefing on the way up, and we drove by the bailout LZs and took a look at them. A phone call up to the pilots who were already on launch gave us an indication that everything looked good from up there, but things didn’t feel right to me, not enough for a first flight at a challenging site. The nail in the coffin was that the cloud drift looked too cross in an undesirable direction, so I said I’d be leaving my glider on the car, and could help with carrying stuff and driving retrieve.
Cannon has a cool way to get to launch: you don’t drive up, you buy a one-way ticket for the aerial tram.
There’s a procedure for strapping gliders to the roof of the tram, but curved-tip gliders pack short enough that they can just fit inside.
Dan M, Greg H, and David D were already set up when we arrived, and waiting for a straight cycle to launch. Tom and John set up quickly and joined them.
David lucked into nothing, and took a four-mile sledder to the airport, but the other four all climbed out and made it to cloudbase at 7400 feet. They tried to push upwind and go XC, but the climbs were too weak relative to the headwind, and downwind is not really an option at this site (no LZs for a long way through Franconia Notch), so after flights lasting from one to two hours, they all headed for the airport as well.
I hiked down to get the car and picked them up. No airtime for me, but I did get to spend the first day of summer outdoors in spectacular scenery.