Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nine Mile to Bishop

Igor and Mike (HG pilots) was organizing a trip to Owens, so I and my friend Dmitry from San Diego decided to join them. We all met Friday night at Boulder Creek RV camp, just few miles south from Lone Pine. HG want to fly Walt's, but Dmitry want to fly Nine Mile, so we took his car and drive to Nine Mile Saturday morning. When we hiked to launch at 9:30 it was already windy from SE (15 mph) and I had doubts about launching. By 10:00 am wind was pretty much the same (good), so I launched and Dmitry follow me shortly. We climbed easily to 10K and went north. Weather forecast was so-so with north wind in the morning switching to south in the afternoon. HG pilots at Walt's had to wait until 11 or 12 before they can launch, but we was 40 miles south and had advantage, it was already south here. However, along the flight we encountered north wind couple times, which made our progress quite slow. By the time we made to Whitney there was already signs of over development in the mountains and I try to stay out front. But real OD happened only at 4:00 pm and I have to escape from Sierra. I found a thermal near Big Pine and could get higher there, but OD looked scary and I decided to cross without necessary altitude and finally landed at 4:40 pm. Total distance 94 miles duration 6:40 hours. While I was hiking out to highway 168 one gentlemen offer a ride to Big Pine. Turned out he was a long time hang glider pilot, but retired 10 years ago and don't fly anymore. Dmitry landed closer to Bishop along 395 and also managed to hitch a ride to Big Pine where we met. Igor flew locally and landed at Diaz Lake. He took my car and pick us up at Big Pine, thanks a lot Igor. We got Dmitry's car on the way back, home by midnight or so.

Here is a video covering first part of flight from Nine Mile to Walt's:

Track log:

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