Home Forums Pilot Reports Tuesday Nov 23 2021 – From crappy to Wowza! Reply To: Tuesday Nov 23 2021 – From crappy to Wowza!

Ken Howells
General Member

Yeah! I climbed from the 750 at 2:15 to 4,300 MSL north of Marshall Peak in one long chain of circles with my F3T HG. Heading for Cloud Peak, I saw a PG there get lifted and pushed N quickly with some surges and a tiny tip flutter. They prudently exited west and I decided to give it a go with the firmer HG.

I found this tight 500+ fpm up core that was going N at what felt like 20° above horizontal. It tried to dump me out for several turns as I got farther downwind of the ridge than I wanted to be with so little altitude above it. Headed S to Cloud again, in sink, and found the core again. It had gotten wider but still had that mini-jet-stream feeling.  Stuck with it and climbed as it drifted NE and I relaxed and climbed at 300-800 fpm for a while.

At around 5k it slowed to 200 fpm and less and I kept having to find the core again. I debated, as I gained <50′ per circle, what the reasonable altitude for making the jump back to Crestline would be in such conditions. I decided 5,600 would be good with the Falcon from over the middle of the valley. As I approached 5,500 the thermal got stronger and more defined and I circled, almost laughing, to 6,400 right above where the road to Marshall meets the highway.

At Billboard I found a similar fast, low-angle core to 6,500, less dramatically. Other HG’s doing well in the vicinity.  Pine was in a concerning lull when I got there but lift did come along to make heading out to Regionals a relaxing glide.

I’d been in the air an hour and was satisfied. Wanted to land with time to hike to the 750 and be back in the lz in daylight, so I landed at 3:25. The Santa Anas had removed most of the wind indicators around the LZ, but I saw a ground-handling PG get dragged a bit, so I knew I’d have an easy SW landing.  Also saw Rebar Dan fly his Lightspeed from the Westfall training hill while I was planning my approach.  He did several turns and landed way past the HG cone, at the edge of the (vacant) ground-handling area! Good cycle. He flew again after I landed and was just short of the HG cone, which I’d expect most of the time.

Many content pilots in the LZ. Owen said he had flown east to Keller Peak and then west toward Cajon “without turning”! Saw JD well above the 750 as I neared it from below and the sun was diving for the horizon.

What a treat for late November!