Friday, Jun 23 Karl’s report: Yerington, NV 327 miles
Making plans according to Soaring Weather we, 01Q and C3, concluded that Friday is the day to try. Got our trusty 301 Libelles rigged and I got a tow after 11AM not long after we heard JK leaving Baden Powel 14k, I had no problem to get to that altitude too and left at High Noon.
Arrived at Pontius with 6k lift to 8.5, short of Mojave 11k, 3 Sisters windmills 10k. Thought not bad, lift to be found, and pushed along the hills of Kelso getting nothing. Rock pile saved the day, 7k-12.8k. Via Boomer, abeam Little Lake 16k, Olancha Pk 16k, no problem to overfly the TFR of the drone crash at Lone Pine, then crossing to the Inyos.
Manzanar 14k, abeam Tinemaha Reservoir 17.8k, White Mtn Pk still 17k, Boundary 17.7k chasing towards Lucky Boy Pass under a wide dark cloud street, no problem to get sucked into it, all mostly negative, 59 Nautical Miles out of Yerington in the sun, again a few more turns to 17.9k then final glide, arrived with 2k safety, landed 18:03 Flight time 6h45’.
Crews arrived, gliders boxed up, motel checked in and out for dinner. Lots of Sandbags, Yerington was prepared for flooding; snow melting with that hot weather. Got an early start (no flooding) driving back through Smith Valley, Bridgeport (Breakfast at the Inn) Hwy 395 June Lake Loop.
With the sun hitting the snow capped Mountains, rivers and creeks up to the rim, everything green, cows grazing, no traffic, very beautiful, what a privilege to be able to enjoy it!
Friday, Jun 23 Barry’s report: Yerington, NV 327 miles
On Friday June 23th, Karl and I made it to Yerrington Nv. I launched at 11:30 and quickly climbed up to 13,900’ over Baden Powell and headed out across the desert at 12:15. After the usual slow decent to Backus Rd, I found Karl in a thermal and we climbed back up to ~9,400’ and headed up to the mountains to the west of Mojave. There, we found scrappy thermals to 11,000’ and managed to work our way into the Kelso Valley area. Karl headed to the rock pile to the east of the airport, and I headed to some clouds to the north of the field and climbed back up to 11,500’. I thought things were looking up as I headed up to Boomer Ridge, but once on the ridge I had a heck of a time staying on top of the ridge line. Modest climbs were filled with extended areas of sustained sink that kept me scratching along in the heat (and it was hot at 7,300’!) until I finally managed a good climb to 14,000’ near Little Lake. Now connected with clouds, things were starting to look up, and I easily cruised up to Olancha where I crossed over to the Inyo Mtns. Seeing text book clouds heading north, I again thought this was going to be an easy ride up to Boundary Peak. Again significant sink was found between moderate climbs that kept me at, or near, the top of the ridge line up to Waucoba Peak. I finally managed to find a thermal that got me up to 17,500’ and connected with that nice looking cloud street that I had been looking at for the past 30 miles. Near Westgard Pass, Karl and I decided to abandon our earlier plan to head into the blue toward Tonopah and up to Austin, and follow this nice looking cloud street up to Boundary Peak and head toward Hawthorne and Yerington.
Nice climbs to 17,500’ between Boundary Peak and the nether regions northeast of Mono Lake made for a quick trip to the south of Hilton Ranch where I made one last climb to 15,000’ and got on the 50 mile glide to Yerington. I left the clouds and pushed into blue sky over the Walker river valley where I increased my ground speed to 100 knots to burn off excess altitude. I arrived over the airport with 3,000’ AGL just as Karl was pushing his glider off the runway and I landed at 6:22. As I orbited overhead and Karl cleared the runway, I saw that the Walker river had flooded the valley just to the north on the airport. Later that night, we found out that the Yerington locals are preparing for an even bigger Sierra runoff from this past winter’s record snowfall…
Rose and Sue arrived about a half hour after we landed and we got the gliders put away and headed out to one of the Casinos for dinner. The next day, headed home via Hwy 338 since we had heard 395 was flooded and the highway patrol was running a single lane along the Walker river. We decided to head home via Hwy 338 and were making great time until we ran into a Nevada road jam near the California/Nevada border.
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Sunday, Jun 25 Mike’s report: Price, UT, 529 miles
I landed at Carbon County Airport in Price Utah on Sunday.
I launched at 9:47. A couple club ships were already up and reporting lift, one coming down the second ridge from the labor camp and the other circling over Mount Lewis. I worked my way from the second ridge up along the northwest buttress of Baden Powell before swooping in over the peak. Halfway around my first turn a shadow moved across the summit… in the wrong direction! I looked up and saw an ASK thermaling right across from me. It must have been the glider that had been over Lewis. I busted into his thermal without seeing him. Sorry A6.
I rode up with the top of that thermal to 12,000’ and left Baden Powell at 10:40.
There were no clouds but the desert was working well enough to keep moving.
I reached the first cu at 1 pm on the ridge west of Vegas. My trace shows I averaged 970 ft/min from 9,200’ to 16,200’. I don’t recall ever climbing that far that fast before.
Until this point everything seemed to be going perfect. But a little past Vegas the tailwind I had enjoyed switched to a headwind. Then a bit further on the nice-looking cu morphed into a nimbostratus band running east and west with virga hanging below it. I turned off toward the east at first but the Brian Head fire, with its associated smoke and TFR, made that a difficult proposition. Confusion reigned.
About that time, I got low enough to see sunlight on the ground beyond the cloud band, so I got high again on the south side and punched under the cloud toward Milford, fully expecting to land there. And though there were no clouds north of the cloud band (for the remainder of my flight) there was still lift, though not as strong or consistent as it had been. That combined with lower tops and adverse winds, slowed progress markedly.
At one point my alternate was Mount Pleasant. Several Crystal Squadron pilots landed there years ago – on a day I missed. However, a database on my cell phone indicated the airport has been X’ed out. That meant back to Manti-Ephraim or on to Price. One more thermal and a bit of patience put me over the ridge to the east.
Though I landed in Price once before (back in ’89, in the Kestrel, out of Cal City) Fran didn’t remember how to get there. But thanks to Google Maps and some phone support from my son, she got to me around 9 pm (she deserves a respite).
We stopped in at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry on Monday. 12,000 bones were pulled from a pit no larger than a wading pool. It’s the densest concentration of Jurassic fossils ever found. They have no viable explanation as to how that happened.