Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Walt's to Big Pine, 43 miles

There was 6 PG this year, looking to fly from Walt's on Memorial Day weekend. Number shrink to 3 on Friday (Me, Jonas and Arnie), but it was still 50% more then last year. There was north wind at Saturday and west at Monday, so we decide to fly only Sunday. Initial plan was to camp at Horseshoes Meadows at 10000 ft altitude to get some acclimatization, but -3C° at night convinced us to camp in valley. Lone Pine camp was good place to stay and we also did some rock climbing just before sunset:

Sunday 8:00 am we met Tony, Jeff (HGs) and our driver Mike and headed to launch. There was almost no space left at 9:30, but weather did not turn on until 12. After getting up in saddle I flew back to mountain behind launch and then continue north. Most of the flight we spend with Jonas and Arnie who took off 15 minutes after us manage to overtake us. There was a huge high cloud passing from north to south, which shut down thermals for probably 15 minutes. HG who launched just before it (including Tony and Jeff) had nothing, but sink and has to land. We climbed as high as possible and circled in zero sink waiting for cloud to pass by and then continue down range. Our "favorite" Onion's valley did not disappoint us again. Strong WSW wind turn on washing machine and I have to leave mountains earlier then I want to, but Arnie manage to flew further over high terrain, which allow him easy crossing to Whites and flew to Janie's (100 miles). Jonas try to stay in the mountains too, but not deep enough (40 miles):

There was also many sailplanes along the route, which is fun to watch from the distance, but could make you nervous when thermal close enough. Here is a video:

Flight from Walt's to Big Pine, 43 miles from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

GPS tracks: Alex, Jonas and Arnie

Discussion on HG forum: link

Arnie's photos: link

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