June 30, 2017
On Friday June 30th, Karl and I made it to Yerington Nv again. After studying the weather, we decided that Friday had less forecast wind and a better chance to make 500K than Saturday. I launched at ~11:45 and saw Karl working up in the vicinity of Mt Lewis. I topped out just under 12,000’ over Baden Powell and chased Karl across the desert to Rosamond. There, we joined up and worked some really tight thermals up to around 7,500’. In order to achieve any sort of reasonable climb, I found that I needed to bank >450 to maintain a positive rate of climb around a turn. One last thermal to ~9,000’ over Silver Queen got me up to the mountains north of Mojave where things got a bit better with climbs to ~10,000’ in Kelso Valley. Conditions steadily improved as we moved up the Sierras, and I eventually topped out at 17,300’ over Mt Whitney. Karl had decided to cross over to the Inyos at the switchbacks, but I continued to follow the clouds up the Sierras until they petered out abeam of Independence. Clouds were forming on the White Mtns near Schulemann Grove, so I left the Sierras to the southwest of Big Pine and angled over to Black Mtn where I met up with Karl again. Karl reported that he was in a good thermal to the east of Black Mtn, so I pushed further into Westgard Pass when I finally spotted him several thousand feet above me. After topping out at just under 16,000’ we connected with the clouds and ran up to Boundary Peak in fairly short order. While heading to Boundary Peak, Sue was reporting trouble starting the truck after getting fuel in Bishop. I was ready to turn back to Bishop just after I maxed out at 17,900’ over Boundary Peak when she reported that she gotten it started. At this point, Karl was way ahead of me under an awesome flat bottomed cloud street that headed directly from Boundary Peak to the Hilton Ranch. Once Sue got the truck running, we declared Yerrington as our destination and I started chasing Karl to the north west while Sue teamed up with Rose and caravanned to Yerington via Hawthorne Nv. I pushed the speed up to burn off excess altitude and I caught up with Karl about 20 miles out of Yerington. Since I was below Karl at this point I landed first at 6:55, and Karl landed shortly after at 7:10.
Since Sue and Rose were not going to get there until ~9, we decided to tie the gliders down and head into town to get a couple of rooms and find a cold beer somewhere. While we were tying the gliders down, a local rancher/pilot had seen us land and came out to meet us. It turns out that she had started her flying career as a commercial pilot flying twin Otters in Alaska by flying tow planes out of Minden some years ago. After some discussion about our flight, she offered to give us a lift into town which was greatly appreciated. After checking in to the motel and two beers later, Sue and Rose pulled into Yerrington at 9 and we ate a nice Korean BBQ dinner that Rose had prepared. After eating breakfast in town the following morning, we headed over to Smith Valley to visit another retired Lockheed co-worker who is building a house there. Afterward we followed Karl and Rose down to Bridgeport where we had lunch at the Bridgeport Inn, and then headed down to Bishop where we parted ways. A nice time was had by all…!
Last Friday looked more promising again compared to Sat. or Sun..
So we, 01Q and C3 opted that Friday is the day.
I got started 11:20. Thermals were narrow got lift on Mt Lewis, ventured to Baden Powell nothing good, back to Lewis, left at 12:15, 12k.
Silver Queen not in a good mood, working over the first windmills, 8k was enough to venture to the hills, Barry reported 10k S of me, while I was grinding close to the ridge getting up to easier breathing altitude at 10k.
Anyway, slow going. Left Kelso 14:20, Inyokern 15:00 up the ridge towards Olancha Pk, gusty lift hard to center. Just short of the peak got to 16k under a Cu. TFR no problem.
I crossed over, 16:10 at Mt Inyo.
Barry took the Sierra’s with some clouds, we met again E of Black Mtn where he was able to enter into “my” thermal about 5k lower. White Mtn Pk found me close to 18k good cloud, Barry not far behind at 17k.
01Q’s crew car did not start a few times while hot, again in Bishop. Radio conversation was 01Q to land at Bishop or continue, I offered to bring Barry back with us. Luckily the car started again and Sue and Rose headed together to Yerington.
About 17:40 I left Boundary Pk heading for Yerington, 90 Miles. Good looking cloud street that ended at the Hilton Ranch, some welcomed warmth from the sun.
Barry was catching up but was lower so he landed first. I did loiter around N looking at the mine, enjoying the scenery relaxing and winding down, landed 19:10.
While tying our ships down a nice Lady Pilot that saw us landing drove over to chat and then gave us a ride to the Motel.
At the Casino we found a place to replenish some of the lost fluid. Crews arrived at 21:00 and we enjoyed a nice dinner prepared by Rose with more fluid replenishing.
Saturday morning the pilots boxed up the gliders while the ladies caught up on some more earned sleep.
A visit in Smith Valley, friends of the McGaurragh’s, late lunch in Bridgeport, via 395, lot of smoke Independence to Olancha (Lake Isabella fire). Arriving home 21:00. 01Q overnighted at Lone Pine.
An other nice outing for the 301 teams
Saturday, July 1, Hurricane, UT, 315 miles
I made it to Hurricane on.
I’m happy to have the diamond but it was not a good day and I did not do a good job of flying. I made a lot of mistakes and had lots of problems. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I have plenty to work on next time.