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The Skyport to La Cumbre Peak to Piru
2 mi + 53 mi ~ 55 mi
Top landing at The Skyport and Chiefs
Tony was gracious enough to provide the logistics (again), with Carolyn for crew. A little late for the 8:45 meet time, but we got to the Skyport about 9:15. I was ready to pull up at 9:30, but it had shaded in over the Postage Stamp, and the weak cycles had faded to zero +. Gave it 10 minutes but got antsy. I figured it was soarable out front and had a good reverse launch into a 1 mph up cycle.
The glide was poor, but I angle for the east side of the Antenna Farm, because that's where the morning sun was. Got into the Saddle about 100 over the wires and climbed up nicely. Topped about 42 over The Factory and went to the R&R. Took 43 west toward La Cumbre Peak. Topped around 42 again and went back to launch for a good landing on the road. The short flight was up there on the quality chart. The air was nice, organized, smooth, low anxiety. The scenery was stunning.
Climbed a bit over launch on the second go and got above 4 at the factory. It looked pretty dark going east, with cloudbase in the low 3's at Montecito. Past the low stuff, you could see higher bases through The Pass. The run to Ramero was pleasant with altitude to spare. Castle Ridge was punchy with strong cores, but the connections were there and I didn't get stuck anywhere all day. Mostly around ridge line down to Noon Peak. Topped in the high 4s and went for the spine south of the Saddle in front of West Divide. Got into the low 5s and took it east. There seemed to be an increasing headwind. Not too bad, but the glides were slow and poor. Got back to 47 over East Divide.
My altitude was OK, but White Ledge was shaded in and there was definitely a little headwind. Picked up a little off the lower SW bump, and tried to drive up The Ledge. No action, so I needed to reach for the front. Almost got trapped behind the flutes, but squeaked a couple marginal crossing with a wing span to spare. Found a nice smooth thermal in the shade out front, and climbed to 57. Ojai was mostly cloudless. The annoying headwind was persistent, and I needed to get on the bar. I was hopping to go all the way to the Nut House, but needed to duck into Bump 3 for a reboost.
Got over 5K at bump 3. Normally, that would be enough to go direct to Spine One, but I had to dive into the Nut House. I made good time down lower in the west flow. Robert got high at Spine One, and I followed suit. Burned a thousand getting to The Pyramid and decided to stay low in the SW flow. Made good time and passed Robert as he climbed on the east end of Nordhoff. He passed me again as I was picking up enough off Three Stooges to make Twin Peaks.
Bruce was airborne from Chief's, and reported SE at 8 to 12, but good conditions at launch. Climbed into the mid 4s over Twin Peaks and drove up the spine direct to a good landing at Chiefs. Took a ten minute break and got off in a lull. I didn't want to get high, so I went down the spine. Hit some big fat strong lift in front of the middle bump, and rode it up to 55+. I was on a good seam without much SE wind. Bruce went downwind for Nordhoff, and I took my seam east for the saddle behind West Repeater.
Encountered the SE about half way across, and had to get on the bar. Was able to connect on the spine and topped about 55. The east wasn't too bad. Cut the corner and hit on the spine behind Boyd's. Got to 5 and topped about 6 at Puckers. Tony passed me on the way to Santa Paul Ridge. Craig and John G were climbing in the Upper Ojai Convergence. Robert was reporting 2K over Fillmore, but opted to throw in the towel.
Still had a little headwind, but got to Santa Paula Ridge about half way up from the college. Saw some west wind in the brush and opted to dolphin up to the back bowl below ridge line to stay out of the wind. Ridge soared up to the ridge line, jumped up on the ridge, found a thermal, and drove up the upper ridge toward Santa Paula Peak. Got to 6K on the way.
I let Tony head out first from The Peak, figuring I could use a scouting report. I left with 58 and pulled a slightly bad glide, but better than average for the day. No tailwind up high, but below 25 we encounter river air. Found a little something in front of Jack's place, but the trajectory was poor and I lost it. Headed for the low hills in front of "The F". Tony left "The F" with 23 and hit the deck a little ways up river. I was down to 15 msl, looking at the school yard. Found some birds circling and joined them on the edge south of the canyon. Started climbing slowly with 100' terrain clearance over the shallow relief. The action was weak, but organized and smooth. Tracked with it and topped over 4K.
The upper drift was still out of the east. The little birds were indicating E/W convergence. Got to about 43 on the second core and headed up the ridge line. Maybe should have played deep, but went for the motocross track. Came in a few hundred off the deck, and ridge soared a little ways past the bikers. Opted for a clearing in the grove close to the highway. Good landing into a 10 to 15 with lower gradient. 3 pm.
Tony & Carolyn collected me about 10 minutes after getting in the bag. Said high to the Toasters at Vons. Picked up Tom Pipkin. Dropped him at home and took the scenic route back across 150. Home at 5.