Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marshall to Calimesa, 22 miles

Forecast was for 8K cloud base, wind switching from North to SW in general and 10-15 mph North diminishing to zero in Cajon pass and 15-20 East in Banning pass. The whole XC crew decide to go: Bruce, Rebardan, Owen, NMERider, Southside, and Wally drive a chase. I was lucky to squeeze in Bruce's Suburban. Out and return seems most reasonable challenge for the day and everybody flew East first and then try to come back, except NMERider who opted to tag Cucamonga first, which he did. Here is combined track logs (made by NMERider):

As for me I climbed in house thermal just after launch and flew back to Crestline ridge, but did not had much success to get up there and go back to front range. I spend a lot of time near Arrowhead peak trying to get some altitude, but after 30 minutes give up and commit transition arriving quite low. Then condition improves and I start climbing higher and higher. Thermal with Bruce near Harrison peak, but lost him after DAM. DAM was my intended turn point, but with moderate SW wind I could not even come back to Harrison, so I decide to fly open distance instead. Trying to avoid strong winds in Banning pass after highway 38 I turn SSW and flew over flatlands landing next to I-10. Here is some video from my GoPro HD:

Marshall Paragliding from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

GPS Track: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/309344
Thanks to NMERider for retrieve.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dunlap Video

Video highlights from my flight in Dunlap from last week

Paragliding in Dunlap from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NCXC League in Dunlap

Forecast was so so for both days, wind light and variable, high clouds and weak thermals and it materialized as predicted. But it was nice to see everybody after long winter and fly over green Dunlap valley. Flowers just started to bloom.

Saturday's task: DNLNCH 49917 LASTCH GRNY 49917 DNLNCH RNGSTN and goal at DAN's LZ looks easy on the ground, but in the air it was a different story. Just after start was opened high clouds almost shut down thermics and most of pilots push forward quite low. I had a slow start and was probably last one on course. I recently bought a Helmet HD Camera which allow me to capture several interesting moments:

Stephan's collapse from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

I know that proper route after LASTCH was to come back to main ridge and go to launch area first and then cross to GRNY, but I just did not feel I should push for it and DAN's LZ was so inviting that I can't resist:

Only Josh made goal, Timo second and Susan 3d. I'm #14. Saturday's Results
Sanday task was exacltly the same except radius over RNGSTN was increased to 1 km, but still nobody made it. Several pilots had problems on launch I captured Kansas:

Kansas launch from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

After Saturday's warmup I feel much more confident and we (second gaggle) even tag GRNY, but could not made it back on main ridge and again I landed on DAN's LZ. Sunday's Results