I was off first 11:31, then Sean, Richard about 50 min later, thanks go to Chris and Crew.
I left the Mountains a few feet short of 12k at 12:19 following Sean who got high sooner, and crossing the desert it started to get buoyant. Met up with Sean at Silver Queen. He went more towards Cal City, I opted to try the Kelso route, finding my low 7.5k there. Found better lift on the mountain W of Kelso, 12k running to Boomer, arriving at 12.4k.
Had no trouble running up the ridge to Olancha Pk at 12.8k. Clouds were too far W for my taste, and starting to OD on the Sierra. Connected strong lift at Inyos, 13.8k with nice cloud street to the Whites passing White Mtn at 17.6k.
I noticed Radio misbehaving, no more answers on my transmissions (new batteries ordered today).
Boundary Pk, 15.7K. By now, Sierras blowing up, and Hawthorne all clouded, but Gabbs looked still sunny. Then a small storm with rain in the hills NW of Gabbs. Back to 17k past the 360 Hwy intersection, sent a text to Rose and landed to the N in wind that looked like 12-15kts. Austin was in dark OD as promised by Blipmap.
Posted on OLC, a 6:17 Hr flight, not too many mistakes.
After a while Sean landed, and then Richard, 3 Pilots 3 diamonds.
We had a Visitor Ed Traub (Cowboy Hat, Pic Sean posted) who is drilling for Oil W of Gabbs.
Everybody packed up, Sean and Peter to Hawthorne, Richard Anna Bishop, Rose and I set up camp next to the Hangar.
Got the stove going, took a shower while Rose set the table and minded the cooking, Spare ribs and a Casserole my Mom used to make (Noodles, onions, smoked ham chunks, milk and lots of swiss cheese) Desert homemade plumb pie.
We relaxed by candlelight sipping beer enjoying the stars, the quietness, the balmy clean air, nobody around, no mask and having a good conversation.
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There were 3 X/C flights this Saturday, C3, TW and myself, we all made it to Gabbs airport.
The weather for this weekend looked really good.
I got towed at 11:45 to the second ridge and headed out on course above 12k at 12:15. Arriving at 6k south of Backus, there was very little scratching. The desert was working and I found a nice thermal that took me to 9k.
The mountains heading north to Olancha peak were working good, but there was some virga just west of Olancha peak, and the Sierra mountains were all in shadow with virga. I got pushed off the range just south of Olanch peak but found good lift working my way north, then headed towards the Inyos.
There were great looking clouds on top of the Inyos and no lift out front so I had to work in close. I kept my speed up and made a couple of S-turns gaining good altitude. Once I had the altitude to make a safe 360 I was able to climb above 14k, and there was a great cloud street all the way to Boundary Peak.
I left Sheep mountain just south of White mountain peak above 17k towards Mina with a huge margin. I encountered a lot of sink on my glide, but as I arrived at Mina the valley was working. I headed towards Pilot peak, climbed from 11K to 15k and had an easy glide to Gabbs airport.
There was some virga west of Gabbs, and also to the east towards Austin. I decided to call it the day and landed at Gabbs.
I got broke down and my crew and I headed to Hawthorn to get a couple of rooms, and to be safe dinner was plastic wrapped sandwiches from the gas station.
Congratulations to Karl and his dedicated crew Rose for another diamond flight.
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Thanks to Chris who got me in the air by the 1220, and after a single house thermal that took me to 11.5K I was on my way through the desert.
I got to Pontius at 6500 and I after a shear line arrived it took me to 8500k that put Cal City in range. A little bump above the 14 freeway intersection got me up to 9500, and having Cal City in range I kept going toward Inyokern. Another thermal above a mountain took me to 10K and I had Inyokern in range , and some clouds on the horizon became my target. Little bumps kept me going until I reached the mountains near Inyokern, and I just slid onto the ridges looking for better thermals on the west side of mountains. It paid off very soon to 14K, and I used a cloud street to get to Lone Pine. I started crossing, then strong valley lift took me to 11k, and In few minutes I was climbing on the Whites where the real ride began. I got to cloud base with max forward speed, to 17K, and from White Mountain, go for Mina.
Mid-way, I found some weird lift with no clouds, just a steady 4 knots plus that took me to 18K, and I was on the way to Gabs with a lot of backup. I though of going to Austin, but decided to join the bunch at Gabbs AP to celebrate Karl’s achievement.
Great day and great company…
Let’s do it again.