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Soaring on the west coast of the North Island

Soaring on the west coast of the North Island

Soaring on the west coast of the North Island is an ever-changing adventure.  The cloud bases are often very low. Then the higher hills, above 4,000’ are obscured.  So the pilots work a narrow altitude band along the first or second ridge line.
But what fun they have.  The sky washes intoTasman Sea, a vibrant blue that is just a bit more turquoise than the cold blue of a Texas winter day. The mountains, with their green, rugged lines, make a challenging landscape.
Some days the soaring is easy. While I was flying the PW 5 today, the winds turned 180 degrees without warning.  The clouds stayed in place but the lift migrated.  The meandering pockets of lift gave me every challenge I could want.  Was the lift to the right or the left of the pinnacle?  What fun it was to find the really intense lift-6up- and dig a wing into the lift and fight back to cloud base.  Having only a thousand feet to work, everything came in short bursts.
Yes, this is an engaging terrain.

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