Monday, February 19, 2018

Classic XC- Yatake to Ichifusa

Crazy crosswind takeoff to begin this flight. X-Alps conditions! See for yourself if it was dodgy or not. Not filmed are 10 minutes of failed takeoff attempts immediately before. Take note, there are tall trees to the right of the launch which block the wind, creating a nasty eddy train. Taking off in the gusts seemed safer but proved impossible, so I waited for a lull, then ran like hell and dealt with the wind shear while airborne. Good technique??


A couple of hours earlier, a takeoff in similarly dodgy conditions (this time, a following wind), which would have added an extra 10 km to the flight, resulted in an unceremonious bomb-out followed by a quick hike-up (with pack on) to retrieve the car.  So I got my aerobic workout in too!

This is really a classic line hopping the ridges which extend into the south-east side of the Hitoyoshi Basin.  In the afternoon, west winds usually make for a reasonably straightforward flight to Mt. Ichifusa, a tall mountain located on the main spine of Kyushu.  Continuing from here is possible, but it involves crossing tens of kilometers of pure tiger country.

Today, having reached Ichifusa late in the afternoon, with the inversion under 2000m and therefore much too low for committing to going downrange, I was quite happy to boat around Ichifusa's famous 'knife edge' ridge, enjoying the evening wind and views for a couple of hours.

Looking from Kyushu's spine back at the rich farmland of the Hitoyoshi Basin. The rays of the setting sun reflect from flooded rice fields, while  approaching frontal clouds add to the drama.  Although headwinds intensified to over 20 km/h, by picking my line carefully I was still able to creep out over 10km to the plains, landing there in the gathering dusk.

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