Monday, May 28, 2012

Sphinx Lakes in Kings Canyon Park

I normally hike on trails, but this year start to include some XC sections, which is totally different experience. Trail starts from Road Ends in Kings Canyon, go to Bubbs Creek where we went last year, then continue toward Avalanche Pass, but you have to leave trail before pass and go XC. Detailed description available here
This year snow melted early, but just few days before Memorial Day weekend storm pass over Sierra and left few inches of fresh snow.
 Crossing creek with iced rocks and trees:
 That's where I made it. Lakes starts on the left side of this picture:
I did not have enough time (yes, 11 hours was not enough). I think its better to camp at Bubbs creak and start from there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

SoCal XC League in San Diego

Saturday's task was Laguna to Anza, 64 km, elapsed time. This was my first flight from Laguna. Normal route after you get high over launch, which is quite small by the way:
to go to Granit mountain and then to vulcano, but east/west convergency was right in the middle of the valley after Granit, I was flying for 5 km or even more without losing any altitude. There was few pilots climing quite well over San Felipe Hills, so I decide to join them, but lost a lot of altitude on the way there and second gaggle pass me at this point. Most of them headed toward Warner Springs and eventually landed short of it. I took my time to get high and headed toward Ranchita and then continue over high ground (green track). That's where convergency was at this point.
The only problem with this route was mostly unlandable terrain, forest and no roads. Only Aaron had balls to keep following convergence and made goal (red track). Eric and Steve (blue track) landed at camp. I was following unpaved road to this camp for some time, but then decide to bail out toward valley and landed 5 miles past Warner Springs. Just for reference there is no road between Borrego Springs and Anza, hike out from that canyon would be epic.
Task 3 results:

Forecast for Sunday was better, but we end up with strong east wind and have to move to Horse canyon (my first flight there as well). Conditions at Horse was strong and launches intimidating:
 Jimmy and Enzo:
Some pilots, me included decided that its not worth it and watch the race from the ground:
By 4:00 pm conditions calm down, so we launched as well, but could not get high enough to fly task.
Task 4 results: