The Bypass to The V0R to Fillmore
~ 6 + 50 miles
4 hours 50 minutes airtime
Wasn't planning to fly, but the low moved through quicker than expected and Sunday dawned clear and dry. I logged some family time Saturday, so was leaning out the door. Scrambled to check the potential, and was mobile with Diablo and Carolyn about 9:15. Seemed to be a fair amount of pilots at Parma. The Rock was coming up light. I got out at The Bypass because the Skyport Flag was still showing OTB. Only sole on launch. Airborne with a front pull up at 10 after 10.
Around the Round House and up at the Antenna Farm. West bound with light lower level flow from the SE, but some north crossing the canyons. Easy going to the VOR spine. Staying low deliberately to ride the lower level flow for the west bound leg, and avoiding potential sheer above. Topping between 28 and 32. On guard for lee side turb or flushing flow. Considered reaching for the Windmill at Painted Cave, but I've flushed more than once pressing too far upwind.
Up to higher altitude for the return leg. Low to mid 4s. Good size gaggle on launch. No HGs airborne yet, but The Spin Doctor and Bob Hurlbett were up. Scenery was superb. A bit more relaxed as the block grew stronger, but still a fair amount of north flow across the canyons east of The Factory. The lower edge of the road cut at Ramero seemed to be NE on the canyon side, but was able to track up to the top and crossed easily.
Castle Ridge was light north all along the ridge line, except where thermals were drawing in. Made for some ratty air, but it wasn't too strong. Started blocking a bit better along Power Line Ridge. Came in low at Noon Peak (noting Ron's options), but was able with zig up easily. Left with 47 for Divide.
Got to Divide out front and looked up the ridge toward the saddle. It was buoyant along the way, but nothing to turn in. Down to 38 at the south edge of the saddle and finally found weak smooth thermal. Up to 43 and looked across the saddle to the face of the peak. Didn't find it and fell off to the SE spine, a bit committed (thinking of Pipkin & Brendan). Finally got up on the SE Point from 37 to 46. No more radio comback. Weak again at East Divide. Bled down to the saddle and hung on to 37 hopping something would come through. The lower drift was light from the SE so I didn't feel I had enough to reach across to the lower point of White Ledge, but would be able to make the dirt road crossing at Coyote Canyon. Finally got up to 42. Went east when I lost it and lucked into another core 4 or 500 yards out. Climbed to 44 and went for the low SW point of White Ledge.
Arrived a couple hundred below and climbed up easily. A thermal was breaking off the top and I took it to 44. It had a little drift from the SSE so I left it before topping out to drive up the white ledge, but it was light north along the ledge and didn't work. Had to fall off to to get around. Found some buoyant scraps for a hundred here and there, but nothing to climb in. Around the corner with 4K.
Got back up a bit on the ridge NW of Taft's Valley, and again at Bump 3. The lift seemed weaker that expected, but I did need to hold on when a core finally came through at Bump 3. Got to the Nut House with a few hundred over launch and continued up the spine. Flew into a smooth thermal and climbed into the low 3s. High 3s at Spine One, and a few hundred over The Pyramid. Dolphined over to the east end of Nordhoff, and climbed from a couple hundred below ridge line into the high 4s. Took it across to Twin Peaks
Arrive low, but was able to drive around across back and out to the point climbing all the way. Fished out front a bit and turned into a big smooth core. Rode it up into the mid 5s. Nothing to stop for over the Repeaters. Got to Boyd's with 38, thought I'd keep going if I didn't find anything, but it was light east at Boyd's, so I threw out the anchor and went fishing. Up and down between 37 and 4K a couple of times. Was finally able to track up the spine toward the Bluffs and climbed back up into the low 5s in weak smooth lift under a 6K cloudbase.
Another boost to the mid 5s just east of Puckers about mid spine. Over to Santa Paula Ridge. Approaching mid ridge, it seemed to be drawing uphill, so thought it would be easy. Stopped for one thermal that went to 4ish, but left it because it was ratty. Went up the ridge, but it was calm. Fished across the back bowl and out to the SW spine, but had to come limping back low. Found some boundary layer convection and tracked it uphill with a bunch of figure eights. Was finally able to 360 over the high point of the back bowl, and went to 47. Thought I was set, but it was light north along the upper ridge.
Not much wind (it is usually breezy from the west). Worked some lee side scraps, and went around the corner of Santa Paula Ridge 800 below the top. Hit on San Cayetano with out much success. Down in the high 3s, didn't think I could successfully cross the Sespe with enough to connect on the other side. Thought about ducking in to the lower east ridge and trying to bridge across to Oat Mountain, but the day seemed to be shutting down and I didn't want to be out in the boonies without chase. Took my glide toward Jack's place with sub par altitude.
Did ok on the glide despite poor altitude and position. The Spin Doctor rang my cell phone to check status. Looked at the fields along Goodenough Road, but found a buoyant zone in front of the hills. Considered landing at Mark Pratt's, but actually gained a few hundred from 900 MSL to 12 (I think Fillmore is about 6). Crossed the canyon and found more buoyant air in front of the "F", but not enough to turn in. Could have bled up the river another mile, but opted to land at the picnic area just east of town. 3 PM
Pack up on the grass. Catch a ride to Ventura. Take the Costal Express back to Carpinteria. Walk home from the bus stop.
Nice day with good views. Some concern about potential wind, but the wind turned out to be mild. Gota get a more comfortable harness. My right shoulder was problematic. Hurt more and got weaker as the flight progressed. Working eastbound with a lot of lower connections, I had to turn out to the right a lot. I'd re-roll left when I could, but often times the core was weak and I had to continue right with my bad arm. I liked the bus ride.