I failed miserably. Around noon a handful of pilots launched as conditions changed from sunny to cloudy. Most were rewarded with a slow climb in front and tagged Marshall. Ben may have been the first, congratulations! My plan was to wait until 1pm, for the sunnier conditions forecasted, but the weather decided the opposite and it just got cloudier. Earlier pilots in flight were sinking out as I decided a now-or-never launch, seeing no sun in my near future, and promptly sank to the LZ.
At 2:10pm, Gene provided a ride up to Regionals, for a group of us seeking more fulfilment. I launched at 2:50pm, groveled on the spine below Cloud and then slowly climbed in light lift to 5200′ under cloudy skies. Transitioned to Marshall which was surprisingly better this late in the day, climbing to 5600′ in light SE wind. Glided back to Crestline, where I recovered to 5000′ at Billboard before heading back in front and landed after an 80 min flight. Happiness filled me once again.
Nice to see a good turnout of hikers and lots of pilots enjoying this first flyable day of the year.