Bluenoser's Wave Flying
at Sugarbush, VT.

by Larry Bogan
Cambridge Station, Nova Scotia

Sugarbush, Vermont is nestled in the Mad River Valley in the Green Mountains southeast of Burlington. The main mountain ridge that produces wave at this site consists of Mt. Abrahams and Mt. Ellen. A lower ridge stretches north to the isolated peak of Camel's Hump. In 2000, I visited this soaring location and flew my first wave flights. The area is well known internationally as a good soaring site and many impressive flights have been flown here. I hope that my descriptions of lesser flights will encourage other soaring pilots that have not flown wave to give it a try.

Sugarbush Soaring Club Web Site =
Heights are exaggerated by 3x in the images below

View North up the Mad River Valley

View South from Mt Mansfield to the Mad River Valley.

Waves in Winds over Ridges

Position Map of the western Maritime Provinces and Northern New England. This shows the relative locations of the Bluenose Soaring Club and Sugarbush Soaring.

We were lucky to have five straight days in which we could fly wave. Each one of them was different from the other in some way.
Day 1
A clear day with no clouds.
Winds aloft
  • 35 kts @ 3000 ft
  • 65 kts @ 12,000 ft
Great lift with some gliders at 24,000 feet. I gained a gold height but forgot to knotch the barograph. My highest height was the very first climb in wave.
Picture and 3D Track
Barograph Trace - Day 1
Day 2
Another clear day with high cloud deck - 35 kt winds with little increase in wind speed aloft. Flying in wave today required more crabbing latterally across the wave front. More exploration especially north and east in the secondary wave.
Tracks and 3D Traces
Pictures Taken on Day 2
Barograph Trace - Day 2
Day 3
More moisture in the air, lighter winds and lennies formed. This day we climbed up the secondary wave and flew forward to the primary. Flying above cloud is exhilarating.
Tracks and 3D Traces
Pictures Taken on Day 3
Barograph Trace - Day 3
Day 4
A generally clear day with high cloud. The wind is more SW and I travel farther north and almost get to Mt. Mansfield
Tracks and 3D Traces
Pictures Taken on Day 4
Barograph Trace - Day 4
Day 5
An overcast day with wave punching windows in the cloud deck. Again we climb up the secondary wave which is much weaker and fly west through cloud to climb in the stronger primary. Some of the wave windows partially close below us.
3D Trace of Flight
Pictures Taken on Day 5
Barograph Trace - Day 5


  • Tom Foote - Bluenose Soaring - Open Cirrus
  • Doug Girard - Bluenose Soaring - ASW-15
  • Larry Bogan - Bluenose Soaring - Ka6E
  • Fred Huenl - Sandhill Soaring (Michigan) - LS8
  • Software Used

    Other Resources:


    L.Bogan - Nov 2000
    L Bogan's Web Page