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Tuesday, 11/25/2014 [Weather]  [Track Log Index] and [Flight Articles] by [timobarker]  [Sundowner]  [flychild]

Tim Barker aka timobarker or Timmay
Tuesday, 11/25/2014

Skyport to the RnR to Power Line Ridge and back upwind to Parma

Article Copied from: http://scpa.info/bb/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3101#p9201
Posted by timobarker Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:28 am

I was as stoked as a two year old at Christmas to see Eagle post for a 10 am meet time this morning.  A full Eagle van left shortly after 10 am for Skyport.  The cycles were wafting in rather mildly when we got there, but started becoming more regular and stronger as we set up.

SD was off first, followed by Kevin and me.  Each of us found lift directly out front and climbed out quickly.  I followed SD toward RR, while Kev headed East to Thermal Factory.  Neither SD or I could connect the dots at RR to get above ridge line to continue West, which I wanted to do, as I wasn't sure I'd have time to go East.  But, as that wasn't happening, I joined Neal and Kevin at TF.  We were all interestedly watching SD try to top land Skyport.

Right after SD's attempt Neal scored a great climb above 4000 and was off to Montecito.  I had, at that point, decided it was too good a day to hang out and that it was early enough to head east and get home early.  So at 3700, I headed to Montecito, finding sweet, strong lift on the West side of the ridge, just above the trees.  In 3 circles I was established above Montecito and chasing Neal down range.  I caught up to Neal at Romero.  He was established high and I decided on the low route.  I never really got above the ridge line the rest of the way to the power lines.  As soon as I was even with the ridge I was heading east.  The tailwind really helped our glides.  We made the power lines in less than an hour.  Neal reported crossing at 4700, while I was still wallowing at ridge line trying to find a connection to the upper levels.

I wish I could have chased Neal east, but had a date with Thanksgiving later that day.  I usually fly out at this point, but have had difficulty with retrieve almost every time.  I also wasn't done flying, as it was still early.  So, I decided to try to fly back.  It was pretty easy going along Power Line and Castle Ridge. I came in low to each spine, after swinging out and around the prominences, to avoid rotor.  I was lucky that the lapse rate was top to bottom today.  I got as low as 2500 a couple of times and was able to climb back up to ridge line or above.  I was never able to find the 4s today.

The hardest, scariest crossings for me were from Castle to Romero and from Layer Cake to Montecito.  I thought it was scary because I thought I had to cross over the canyons to avoid rotor, but in so doing, I was in large areas of sink.  My L/D was often 2 or 3.  On top of that, my ground speed was ranging from 5 or 6 with gusts of wind and as fast as 19 with full speed bar pulled.  At Romero, I intersected the west spine 2 - 3 hundred feet below the road cut, but found great lift right away.  At Montecito I did much better.  The other issue that kept me wary was the North Wind.  On occasion I could feel it spilling over the back ridge.

Reflections:

Overall, I think it was possible to go all the way, with such wind because there was no inversion and lift was everywhere above 2000.

I think it's possible with less wind and less lapse.  It seems to me that if the wind is stronger, we'd want more lapse.  If the direction of wind was more south, we'd need less lapse rate because we could intersect the ridges higher, as in we have less headwind to push through.

Either way, I'm addicted to this idea of returning to my car. It makes far more sense for my time crunch fly days.  I'm going to try this again and again.  Which means I better start looking at all the alternate LZs in the area, as I don't know if it's always possible to return once we've headed East.

 

Tuesday, 11/25/2014 [Weather]  [Track Log Index] and [Flight Articles] by [timobarker]  [Sundowner]  [flychild]

 

 

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