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Flight Articles from Friday, 3/15/2002 [Weather
Archive] [Craig Warren] [Sundowner]
[Chris Grantham] [Chris Paul] [Kristy Becchtold] [Ron Faoro] [Casey Rodgers] [Tom Beidler] [Tom Sorce] [Tom Pipkin] [Brendan] [Mike]
Nuthouse to Nordhoff Chaparral
I was going to abstain from posting this time. Content instead to lick my wounds from a pathetic flight on a rippin day, but I suppose the failures are as important to post as the non-failures (both lacking much importance at all).
Friday was my last day at work. Tomís posting on Thursday about Friday being the best day of the year made it very hard to go in at all, but there were things I had to get done (including packing up my desk) so I went. I told everyone at work that I was going to leave at 10:30 which kind of spoiled the surprise party they had planned for me. Tom Pipkin agreed to wait for me and we had an 11:00 a.m. meet time at Nordoff.
We were on launch at the Nut House by noon, feeling like we were behind the window and talking about sitting out the very strong cycles, but then the lulls seemed lull enough and I launched at 12:15. With lift everywhere I quickly skied out over launch just as Tom T, Kristi, Chris P. and Christian were rounding the corner at White Ledges. Overly optimistic I figured we would all enjoy a flight to Fillmore together.
With about 5500 I headed east to the Lookout. Tom P. was having some trouble on launch and was still there. My big mistake of the day was taking the high ground over to Nordoff Peak instead of working the usual front points. Itís just that there was so much lift, and I had so much altitude, I couldnít imagine it being a problem.
The gap between the high ground to Nordoff and the front points is pretty big, so you canít just waffle back and forth. By the time I figured out that I had gone the wrong way, I had already squandered my altitude. I arrived just about even with the lookout, not wanting to get smacked by the lee on the east side I turned south to go out to the main front point by the rock faces. From there on there was so much headwind that it was over, but the flight died a slow and painful death. (Sorta Shakespearian if I can continue Ronís theme Ė ďoh, Iím done for, no wait I have a few last dying words to say! Nope, now Iím really dead. Oh, one more thing! Ö. [gasp], the tragedy of it all! Is that lift? Perhaps I will survive! No, Iím truly dead. Oh, butÖ.Ē) And then I slowly slipped into 12 feet of dense chaparral in the canyon just south of Nordoff Peak. The canopy was so thick I couldnít even see my wing as it flapped around on top of the brush.
Fortunately the denseness of the canopy had its advantages. I was able to keep myself on top by crawling around on the branches, and I had the wing in the bag within 45 minutes during which I saw Tom P fly over me, wisely working the front points enjoying the abundant lift that I had so cleverly avoided. Once packed up I connected with Pratt trail and took another 45 minutes to hike out.
For the ďbest xc day of the yearĒ I logged a little less than a mile in my book. :-(