Eastbound to West Repeater (front point)
Westbound to The High Step (just before White Ledge on the Back Ridge)
Eastbound to landing at Saint Thomas College
7 + 13 + 18 ~ 38 miles / 4½ hours
Nice clear day. Hoping for a tail wind toward SB. Met Tom P at the Nut House and started up at 9:20. Good weather for the climb. Cool and no bugs. On launch at 10:15. Spent about 45 minutes clearing the old weeds from last season. Nice launch cycles coming up about 3 to 7 or 8ish. Airborne at 11:15.
Got up a few hundred over right away, but took 10 plus minutes to finally wiggle up to ridge line. Set the tone for the day. Lots of scratching. Finally got over to Spine One and went to 4K. Nordhoff wasn't booming, so I looked out the east side to Bruce's Point and got close to 45. Backtrack to Nordhoff for another try at the higher terrain, but couldn't do any better. Gave up on the idea of going west and worked over to Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks was sweet. Got up from pretty low to 45 right away. Went up the spine hoping to top land at Chiefs, but the altitude wasn't much better uphill. Topped about 46 at the middle bump. Held on to the back bump for awhile, but couldn't climb above launch for an approach. Finally gave up and went back down the spine and over to West Repeater.
Not much wind at West Repeater. Couldn't get much over 38. A bit low to reach across for East Repeater, so took the glide back across to Twin Peaks. Got back into the low to mid 4s out front. Pipkin was coming over from Stooges as I headed to Stooges. Worked over to the east end of Nordhoff Ridge and got to 47. Took 43 from Spine One for a good glide across and came in with enough to reach for Bump 2.
Got to 34ish at Bump 2 and easily reached across to Bump 3. Had to fish around a bit, but finally got over the top and up to 45ish. Worked up the back ridge to The Back Step. Max altitude for the day, about 48. It was light from the SE up higher. Continued along the ridge line toward The High Step (just short of White Ledge), but came in several hundred below it. Hung on fishing around, and finally gave up and headed back down hill from about 500 below The High Step.
Tried the Saddle in front of The Back Step, but the day was getting late. Went to the ridge out front. Took it toward Taft's Valley, and veered back for Bump 3 off the end. Came in low below Bump 3 and didn't get up. The late day thermal action was fading, but the west wind was picking up just a bit. The air was buoyant, so I was getting good down wind glides at the lower altitudes. Went around the corner of Bump One below the top and reached the Nut House Launch. Arrived above takeoff.
The late day air was nice. The altitudes weren't too good, but you could go lower than minimums with good downwind glides in the smooth air. You could arrive low on a face into the wind and work back up consistently.
The air at the NuT House was smooth and buoyant. Easily got up and dolphined over to Spine One. Got to 4ish and continued on to the Stooges. Left the Stooges with about 35 for a low intercept at Twin Peaks, but with the light west wind and buoyant afternoon air I got up easily to 4+. 35ish at West Repeater, my last thermal, and another low reach across for East Repeater. Came in low and worked the ridge lift up to the top. Gained a hundred on the east spine of Boyd's, and left for Puckers from 300 below.
Puckers was also buoyant with light west wind. Got there well below, but kept on going. Stretched off the end of Koenigstein and into Santa Paula Canyon. Thought I'd be landing short of the College, but the typical SE wind was absent, and the air was buoyant. Got to the soccer field with 500 agl. The flag was limp. Land at 3:45
We flew Ojai hoping to ride with the SE toward Santa Barbara, so I was initially disappointed with the day, but it turned out to be a lot of fun with the best air late in the day. It was good to hike and get launch cleared.