Home Forums Pilot Reports Sunday, May 7 2023 – Cloud Flying & BBQ Thermals

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    David Webb
    General Member

    Sunday turned out great – good time had by many. Lots of fluffy clouds to fly (nice change of pace), and most of them provided good strong climbs up to cloudbase, which seemed to be just over 6k’. A few rowdy ones hiding amongst their brethren, but overall nice conditions on my Ion 6 (low B fun machine).

    After exploring out front a bit (plenty of good climbs out away from terrain, which was fun), decided to go east. After the first initial push out, I started failing rapidly and then had to do some grovelling in front of the towers. Whilst contemplating my LZ options, still in nasty sink, I ran into a nice thermal over the neighborhood that smelled like BBQ – Kingsford, with herby notes of lighter fluid – which gave me a 4k’ climb and got me back in the game.

    I stayed out front and continued east, getting just past Harrison. Ladi announced he’d be trying to make it back to AJX, so I decided to switch gears and attempt the same. The clouds continued to produce, and progress was slow but steady. Patrick showed up somewhere around McKinley and joined the return push. Started to gradually lose, and leapfrogged from LZ to LZ but continued to keep getting small climbs which kept expanding our options. Had to finally call it quits out in front of Arrowhead, just shy of the big wash at 40th and Harrison St.

    Split a Tesla Uber back to AJX for easy retrieve. While we were packing up and waiting, several folks pulled over with big smiles and asked where we flew from, and one wanted to take some pictures. Got back to AJX just in time to see Ladi landing, who successfully made it back. Saw lots of wings in the air, and heard reports of a brief North switch in the LZ around 3ish (weird). Other reports of happy pilots having good flights. Fun day.

    Track log of some of us here (click the “View only my category Paragliding” button to see other PGs in the air; if you flew yesterday and post your track to SportsTrackLive, it will show up on that as well).

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Excellent flight which you modestly under-reported. You flew past McKinley and beyond Harrison Mtn, then you fought your way upwind against a WSW flow in your Ion 6. That was rather impressive. Also, you landed a mile or so South of 40th St near the 210 Fwy where few if any pilots ever land Little wonder you got spectators wanting signed 8×10 glossies.

    David Webb
    General Member

    Thank you, sir!

    Progress on the way back was definitely slow (felt like I was at Harrison for ages, which was likely just mental), but the small clouds popping off in front of the range kept giving up the goods. I ventured further south than I wanted to be, but once I started getting close to McK, I wanted to give the res a wide birth. Lots of good landing options there, but obviously a no-no. I didn’t see a lot of good options up against terrain between the casino and Arrowhead, but the track I ended up choosing in that section had big field after big field so it gave me a lot of choices. Also was keeping a close watch on the SBD airspace border just south of me, which after review, turned out to be a bit farther away than I thought it was at the time so no problem there.

    Pretty satisfying flight.

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