I had the chance to fly Tiger Mountain last weekend. It's a beautiful site, but I found the trees intimidating, particularly the ones around the LZ. This flight was short. People had been getting up earlier, but by the time I got into the air there was only ridge lift, and a LOT of traffic that I didn't want to negotiate.
On Friday the wind was from the South, so I was landing the other direction. I had a knot in my left stabilo line which was making right turns just a bit sluggish, and between that and the trees I was too spooked to remember to pull big ears on the way in, so I landed about 20 feet out in the weeds off the south end of the LZ. Super embarrassing, and something I spent a lot of time thinking about Friday night, but the other pilots there were very nice. On Saturday's approach in the video, you'll see I check to make sure my big ears are handy on my downwind, and even considered pulling them low, although I realized I had plenty of LZ left, even with the pop. Chalk it up to "experience".
I had to hike up on Saturday since the shuttle broke down. Its about 1800' vertical over a few miles of trail. I got to talk to a few really awesome locals (Hi, Patty and Truck!) who insisted the trees were SAFER. I prefer having more bailouts than hoping to be gently cradled down, branch to branch, should I get too low.
Other than the tight LZ and the wing-eating trees, Tiger Mountain is one of the nicest sites I've flown. I got 1000' over on Friday, and was able to see all the way to Seattle. Truly a gem.
The music is Tiger Stripes by Kite Flying Society.
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