Flying towards the bright side of the mountain ridge, I'm expecting the kick in the seat that will give me a hint when I reach the rising air.
The speed looks stable, the glider 200 ft behind me is following my path nicely, and I can now clearly spot the dozen of gliders already flying along the ridge and using the steep slope as a way to gain altitude as the wind is blowing towards it.
It's deep blue pretty much everywhere today, hot as well, a nice soaring day. The glider I will release is going to stay in the air for at least 5 hours and complete a closed circuit of more than 500 km (300nm).
Here it is, the push feeling in the seat, the speed increases and the rate of climb doubles initially before increasing even more.
Looking over my left wing, it looks like we're in a lift. Or it could be the ridge falling down very quickly. My VSI indicates more than 1500 ft/min when the glider decides to release the cable, and the fun begins...
Flaps up with full ailerons deflection well past a normal steep turn, enough to allow the nose to go down and the speed to settle around VNO / VNO + 20.
When we tow the gliders to a close hill, we usually have quite a bit of height to loose over a short distance, giving us some interesting descent rates of 3-4000 ft/min.
Most of the time, the final approach is flown under a path angle varying between 10 and 15% instead of the usual 5%.
Needless to say that flying-wise, it is a lot of fun, and it sharpens the hand flying skills.
We sometimes get to do some formation flying when two tow planes release their gliders at the same time in the same area.
I included two drawings of the airfield configurations. Being a busy airfield, it can get a bit confusing at times with gliders landing everywhere, tow planes taking-off from three different concrete strips, other tow planes landing between them, and the winch in use at the same time.
Airborne life continues...