Hi, I'm back! Sorry for not posting for a while, but the New Zealand trip, X-Alps training, research, fund-raising, and other preparations have me almost too busy. I will try to catch up over the next few weeks with reports from NZ, my training, new sponsors, and notable flying days in Kuratake, of which yesterday was definitely one!
On Jan. 17th, leeside conditions prevailed at Kuratake, and as sometimes happens with a north-east wind, the air was exceptionally clear. The inversion was at 1600m for the first time since the fall, indicating the humble beginnings of the spring XC season that will be upon us in March and April, with ceilings of over 2000m and great opportunities to set new records! From inversion height, virtually all the mountains of Kyushu were visible. Here is the view east. As it was bitterly cold I could only operate my Gopro camera, and the wide angle does not do justice to the scene. However, if you look carefully, on the left you can see the spreading ash-cloud of perpetually erupting Mt. Aso. In the center horizon is the Kyushu Sekiryo range (the spine of Kyushu) with its highest peak Mt. Kunimi at 1738m.
(Almost) Nepal-style terraced fields in the village of Ura.
I did a couple of laps to the north side to look for the XC route to Oidake Mtn, but the lift out there was weak. The sun is still too low. But the leeside slopes of Kuratake worked well with some rowdy thermals up to 4.5m. I'm looking forward to things warming up more as the XC season opens!
Today's flight took me into Hondo, just in time for work.