Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kagel to Glendora, 32 miles

Since Kagel is my nearest flying site I was dreaming of a long flight out from it. My farthest flight so far was out and return to Mt. Lukens. Next target was Mt. Wilson and beyond. Today was the day to make it. Jonathan picked me up in the morning and we headed to Kagel LZ, got ride to launch and I was first in the air at 1:20. I climbed to 5900 right away, which means we were late at least by 1 hour. Easy going to little Lukens where I stuck for 20 minutes and Jonathan had chance to catch up.
Then we flew together until the end of the ridge and he went straight across Arroyo canyon (highway 2) while I slow down to get more altitude before this critical transition. Up to this point there are many options for landing, but this canyon looks scary. It’s wide with power lines and other (east) side looks even worse. Long, gentle slopes and then houses to the right. The only friend is a steep ridge deep in the canyon Brown Mountain.
While I was trying to convince myself to continue I find a weak thermal right above highway 2 and drift with it across the canyon arriving almost at the top of the ridge. Tank up more and continue toward Mt. Wilson. Just before Mt. Wilson I met Jonathan again, he tagged it was coming back. There was nice cloud street behind Mt. Wilson shaped as arc into the wildness. That was my ticket to make Marshall, but I was not ready for such commitment and refuse it. Instead I keep going along the front range. On Monrovia Peak ridge I did not top out thermal, which was a big mistake. After this point it was pretty much final glide. I had an option to fly low over little ridge after crossing highway 39, but it was windy and I can’t see good landing spots ahead. On the other hand it was already 4:00 pm and day start to shutting down while I made only halfway to Marshall, so my chances to make Marshall was low. I landed on huge empty field, which looked nice from the air, but after all had a quite high fence.
It was interesting feeling when cars slow down to see better how I was trying to get over fence with my PG bag. Big thanks to my wife Karina for retrieve and Jonathan for ride to LZ.

GPS track: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/502847

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