Friday, September 14, 2012

Crestline to Valyermo, 34 miles


Good forecast for 10K+ with east wind all day convinced me to take a day off. Usual suspects in our team, Rebar Dan, Jonathan and our driver Greg. Launched at 11:42 into a strong cycle, went straight up, barely penetrating forward. Go to Pine Mt. and climb to 9.4K right away
Flying high over Pine Mt.
10.9K near Cajon pass, easy crossing
Flying across Cajon pass
Jonathan passed me on the other side of the pass, taking more north route. I prefer to stay over small ridge along Long Pine Creek Rd. There is good trigger point before Wrightwood the only problem it's always turbulent and this time was not an exception. There was a shear line on certain altitude and wing was all over the place, luckily no collapses. After Wrightwood meet with Dan, he was in the same thermal, but lower.  11.3K altitude motivated me to start flying faster, so I did not top out in each thermal (mistake #1). Then I saw Jonathan over Devils Punchbowl Park climbing well and rushed there, but could not connect with his thermal. Get some altitude after low save, but was not sure I can jump safely to the back range and since terrain is rising I would arrive there low.
Devils Punchbowl Park
Instead I keep going over small ridge hoping to get another thermal (mistake #2), which put me to the ground early. Right decision was to stay in thermal and slowly drift with it to the back range.
Landing near Valyermo
When I was done packing my gear I saw clouds start popping over the peaks and sure enough convergence line was bearing toward the back range exactly where I hit sink and lost most of my altitude. Hitch a ride to highway 138 where Greg picked me up and we start chasing Dan & Jonathan. Dan landed between Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes, 72 miles out. Jonathan made 88 miles, but landed behind a gate, so it took us quite some time to get him.
Gate to Tehachapi afterbay
When we was going to the launch I had a conversion with another PG pilot and say that if he want to fly XC he need to be ready for getting back home at midnight and that’s exactly when I got home that day.


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