The Cowley Gliding Camp, held annually, is the biggest event on the Western Canadian gliding calendar. Cowley is famous for its wave and mountain flying. I managed to join the first half of the camp with Edmonton Soaring Club's ASW-15.
On Friday, I drove down to Chipman to derig the glider and repack the bearings on the trailer. A few club members were around to help including Arel who was coming to fly at the camp as well. I left Saturday morning and arrived in Cowley in the evening. There was no flying going on at the time with most people just arriving. The sky looked quite good however.
Tuesday Flight on OLC
We all expected Wednesday to be the best day of the camp. I had the glider rigged and on the flight line early. Cu started to pop just before 11am but we were concerned it looked ragged. I was the sacrificial lamb and launched first at 11:30am into the Porcupine Hills. It took a bit of searching but I eventually found a solid 3 knot thermal to 8000ft. There were some nice looking clouds over the Livingstone Range and even better looking ones behind it. I flew close to best L/D speed over the valley to make sure I had enough height to connect with the clouds next to the ranges. The valley was completely blue and the air completely still until I hit the foothills. With a bit of searching I made it to 9000ft and saw much higher clouds on the other side of the range. I pushed to the other side and quickly made it up to 11,500ft. There was nice cloudstreets heading west. There is an airport called Sparwood in the Elk Valley which was a good safety if I could not connect at some point.
Wednesday Flight on OLC
Cowley is a great spot to fly and there were a great bunch of people on the ground organizing. In particular I would like to thank Phil Stade for putting everything together. I look forward to going back again and maybe pushing into the Columbia Valley or completing my third diamond with a good wave flight.