Sun., May 28
Sunday was the day with the best conditions, after a pilots meeting with Karl (C3) and Barry (01Q) the obvious choice was north toward the Owens Valley.
After a tow to the Devil’s Punch Bowl I climbed to 10k, Karl reported that Lewis was working, at Lewis I climbed to 13k which gave me a very comfortable glide to Backus. There were some areas of strong sink gliding to Backus, but once there the desert was at trigger temperature and produced some strong wide thermals.
Gliding from Kelso to Inyokern kept you on your toes with strong climbs followed by long glides with non-stop sink. Inyokern Boomer ridge to Olancha peak was where conditions really started to make the day enjoyable. I left Olancha peak at 14k and flew directly to the south facing slopes on the Inyos by Lone Pine, arriving at 9k. The thermals were, as one person jokingly put it, screaming like a scalded ape. I climbed to 16k and headed north reaching 17.9k on the Whites.
During the flight from the Inyos to the Whites my mechanical vario started to stick, and my flight computer display kept changing screens, it basically went nuts.
I had a easy glide to Mina and topped up with some more altitude to 13k, then enjoyed the final glide to Gabbs airport.
It’s nice to be rewarded with a day like this, and be able to enjoy it with good company!
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On May 28th, Karl, Sean and I flew to Gabbs, NV. The Blip maps looked great to the north and light winds were predicted out of the south/southeast. I launched after Karl and Sean at 12:40 and quickly climbed to 13,500’ over Mt Lewis and was on my north a little after 1:00. I caught up with Sean south of Backus, and we slowly climbed up to ~12,000’ a little to the west of Mojave. Karl was out ahead and was reporting mixed conditions as we headed up into Kelso Valley but I found a good thermal that got me up to 12,000’ and on my way to Boomer ridge. At Olancha Peak, I split off the Sierra and headed to the Plateau east of Lone Pine where I found a well organized 10-kt thermal that got me up to 15,000’ and on my way up the Inyos under an awesome cloud street.
I jumped off of Boundry Peak at 17,500’ and made a beeline to Mina where I made my first turn after 122 miles of cruising. I caught up with Karl east of Luning where we climbed up to ~14,000’ and had an easy glide into Gabbs. I landed first at 6:10 followed by Karl about 10 minutes later, and Sean at 6:35.
Peter and Sean got the glider back in the trailer and headed off into the night while Karl, Rose, Sue and I set up camp at Gabbs and spent the night on the airport. We ate a nice Fondue dinner under the stars that Rose prepared and washed it down with some fine red wine. Not a bad way to spend the day……!