Monday, April 18, 2011

NorCal XC league in Dunlap

A lot of new faces, probably over 30 pilots participated. Weather was not epic, but good enough to move around. We even made it out from Dunlap valley on the second day. First day we had a fishbowl task with 3 valley crossing and goal at ranger station. I tag all waypoints, but did not make it to goal unfortunately. I should probably stay on the west side of GRNY ridge longer rather than fall back to Dunlap valley. 4 pilots in goal with Josh win the day.
Sunday's task was more interesting LASTCH->AIRSTR->BIGCAT->SQVAL(3km)->SNDCRK(3km)->SQVAL. Cloud base was almost at launch altitude and a lot of clouds, so right strategy were to fishing for sun spots in the valley instead of usual ridge flying. Many pilots struggle and finally landed near first waypoint. I managed to get up slowly and flew toward launch where I find a strong thermal. Everybody else take a direct route with slow climbs. But after all we all arrived to GRNY at the same altitude. Timo and Josh were in the lead and gliding toward BIGCAT already. Our gaggle tag AIRSTR, but then we split. I find a better thermal and try to catch up with Josh. Timo was low scratching over BIGCAT where he landed eventually. Josh was climbing, but then he moved toward 49917, which was overcast. Jug joined me and after we topped out we flew toward ranger station. Slow climb there, but we managed to establish on BALD Mt. Jug had extra altitude and flew to SQVAL first. I waited 10 minutes or so for next cycle, climb and continue to SQVAL. There was several pilots over ranger station, including Josh who did not climb out. Ruth hill did not word very well, but I had low save over valley and dive into next valley toward SNDCRK. Landed on the same field with Jug.

NorCal XC league in Dunlap from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

My track log:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kagel to Lukens and back, 20 miles

Original plan was to fly from Kagel to Marshall, but day was too weak for such task. I started at 11:37 and first half an hour was straggling to maintain couple hundred over launch. Then Jonathan join me and we left for the east. It was difficult to establish on Big-T (as usual), but after 3 attempts I finally get up there and catch up with Jonathan. Then we glide to Little Lukens, get up there and continue to antennas. Most of the canyons until Lukens are landable, but next gap over highway 2 is wide and land there is problematic. It was obvious that we don't have enough altitude to jump toward Mt. Wilson, so I turn around and flew back. When I arrive to Kagel day turned on and it was easy to move around. Here is a Jonathan's video of the day:

My track log: