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John Kloer (aka OJ)
Chief's Peak to Nordhoff Ridge turnpoint
Nordhoff Ridge to Fillmore ~ 18.8 miles
As the saying goes, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." The Atos in Diablo's capable hands was the weapon of choice for Sunday and I felt as if I were in the center of a huge snowglobe with Tony running circles around me. By the time I arrived at Nordhoff ridge Diablo was already on his way back from Whiteledge, commenting that he was getting worked by the North wind. Let's see now, he's getting bumped around and his glider is held together by metal, carbon-fiber, and stainless steel. Mine, on the other hand, is held together by... thread!
OK, so no trip to SB via Whiteledge today. Turned tail for the East, leaving Bruce's with about 5,500 but fought a headwind to Twin Peaks, coming in just above the top. Took an escalator ride up the ridge towards launch without even turning until I was near launch but started getting drilled. Headed out front to get out of the nasty air and spotted Diablo way out in front of TP going up. I took his place as he scouted ahead for the next lift source. Topped out in the mid 5's over TP and headed East.
Tony reported that he was flushing off at Boyd's and was headed out. I had the vis on him and was thinking that on any other glider he would be walking. There's low, and then there's Diablo low. But as he's scouting for an LZ he finds something to work with and gets back in the game, backtracking to my position and climbing to 6k.
We went for Santa Paula Ridge and Tony arrived over the top while I squeeked in just behind the college. Thinking I could get a ridge lift assist to boost me up and around the corner, I tucked in tight and continued East but it just wasn't going to happen. Spent a good 10 minutes (seemed like 30) trying to get something going while Diablo above and Tom P. on the road below urged me to not give up. Finally told Tony he was going to have to finish the dance alone and turned for the college LZ. But as I got clear of the ridge I was on I hit a convergence seam and picked up 2000 ft. What a relief! I've been snagged by that bowl behind St. Thomas' more times than I care to remember. Eastbound with Fillmore in sight.
The radio had gone dead by this time so I was not aware that Diablo had tagged Oat and was somewhere 1000 ft. above me going West again. Nor did I hear the reports of East wind in Fillmore, so I merrily blundered along thinking I should land somewhere on the East side of town. The lower I sank, the nearer I had to scout for an LZ. Thought I had a large grassy area by Von's made, but came up a block short and landed in a small field next to the 126. Tom was there in two minutes and helped me pack up. What a fun day!
Vario Log: 900 fpm up, 840 dn, 5970 max alt, 2 hrs 50 min.