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Nut House to Nordhoff Peak, to The Round House (SB), to home (Carpinteria)
3 mi + 25 mi + 10 mi / 4½ hours
Lot'a marginal connections, low saves, and shifting technique. Max altitude was 58, but mostly getting to 5. Tom P reported 75 at Puckers (corner of the Topa Bluffs). The lapse rate was good. 3C @ 6K. The east wind had been more predominant earlier in the week It still blew Santa Anna all day down the down the Santa Clara. The west wind pushed through from the west in SB.
Took the Ojai Trolley from the Park & Ride to La Luna, but should have gotten off at the stop sign. The traffic at La Luna was moving too fast. The pilots picked me up and we started climbing about 9:45. Took 50 minutes and was airborne at 11. Up a couple of hundred right away, but took 10+ minutes to climb to ridge line.
Pressed east and was getting higher at each point. Topped out with 58 over Nordhoff Peak. Very little to light drift from the east. Pointed west and tried the glide. It wasn't fat, and the lower west drawing into the gap required full speed bar across the river. Got to the first point 50' over the middle ridge junction. Worked upwind against the west to bump 3 and connected up to 47. Went up the back ridge. There was consistent convection on the ridge faces, so I could drive up the ridge line. Tried out front a couple of times without success.
On the high peak before White Ledge, I started to pick up some light drift from the east. Went through the saddle behind White Ledge below the peak. Opted for the back ridge because it was working and I hadn't had much luck with the stuff out front. Connected to 58 part way along. Went through the high saddle behind East Divide, and tried back ridge again. No climbs, but some glide extenders. Got around West Divide a few hundred below the top. Left Divide even and tried a deep line toward Noon, but not all the way up against the back ridge (too deep). No luck off the deep bump, and started picking up some headwind from the west. Got blown off looking for a draw around the lee side of the higher points, and had to press full speed bar for a lower point.
Got on the spine out front. Climbed back to 45 and headed on. It was NW above the ridge line. The west wind got worse as the day aged, but I continued to press west. Passed Chad & Irene at Castle. Passed Diablo at Ramero. My max altitude was fading, and I topped about 35 at Montecito. Only picked up a hundred at Shadow, and went on the speed bar for Parkers. The west wind was getting stiffer and I got gyrated in the lee. Parkers had a strong thermal, but it was snaking with the wind. I took a full stall followed by parachutage and couldn't center up. Left on the speed bar for The Rock with 26. Had to struggle to get up from below the Antenna Farm. Dynamic air with drift from the NW, strong lift, sink holes, and sharp edges.
It was getting late and I'd had enough headwind and lee side action. Turned downwind with 3+. Good glide, but no climbs off Parkers or the West Montecito Foothills. Left San Yisdro Point with 16 and ran down wind for a west face of the western most front point below Ramero. Came in pretty low (a few hundred below the top) and worked up in the ridge lift. Stuck for about 10 minutes, but finally got a few hundred over and ran for the east front point below The Road Cut. Worked up in the ridge lift again, and found a thermal that got me back to 21. Worked down the low ridge that extends into Ramero Canyon, and went off the end under 2.
The ridge lift thing had been working, so I aimed for the nearest west face on the First Castle Point. Came in lower than I ever had previously, but I was able to tuck in tight in the smooth buoyant air and slowly work up. There was less west than up-range so the air was mellow. Got a couple hundred over and ran for Castle Point. Same process. A hawk spotted a thermal on the main SW spine, but I lost it and was down below the top again. Up and down a couple of times and finally connected with one last thermal. Took the drift and worked the scraps along the ridge to the east end. Topped at 28 and went for the downwind glide hoping to shoot the gap east of Polo Ridge.
Hoping for some extenders to stretch the glide into Carpinteria High. The west wind held up all the way and I got more than enough extenders. Got to my house with a few hundred to spare and landed at El Carro Park. 3:30
Pack up, walk home, and catch a ride back to Ojai for my car with Mike and Chris.