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Glider Pilot Gets Desperately Low in Teton Mountains


A glider pilot attempts to ridge soar his sailplane down low on the western base of the Grand Teton Mountain and quickly gets shot down from strong winds and sink.  Watch the struggle to stay safely aloft and not get boxed in and crash in one of the many canyons in the Teton Mountain range.  This would be considered more extreme mountain flying - don't try to attempt. I was not planning on it being anywhere near as much of a struggle as what it ended up being but the views were amazing and I learned a lot.  The winds down low were flowing around the mountains instead of up over them.  This created some exciting but difficult wind shadows and produced very little lift down low.  As you watch, it looks like it could be a desperate scenario where there are no safe landable options, but there are multiple canyons to the east where the glider could have been flown through to the safety of Jackson Hole airport.  To the west, which was the direction I ended up diving to get over the ridge, there is Driggs airport.  The turbulence was pretty strong down low and my airspeed was often over 75 knots while trying to turn in it and not get hit by an unexpected wind sheer at the wrong moment.  The rocks to the side of me were very intimidating!  What I learned from this flying experience was that even though it was a spectacular day with great soaring conditions up high and steady winds from the right direction, playing down low in these big mountains is pretty difficult and you really want to stay higher than I got.  The full video of this flight can be found at https://youtu.be/Pi3BpEDqowk  Thanks so much for watching and its always fun to ready your comments.  Fly safe, Bruno - B4

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