Saturday, 2/8/03
Nordhoff to the back lower bump across 33 ~ 4 miles
back to Chiefs for a top landing ~ 9 miles
Continue to a top landing on the main launch at Oat (Fillmore) ~ 16 miles
Up to a another landing on the top of Oat (higher up)
Out and up the river to LZ on 126 miles past Piru ~ 12 miles
Straight Line distance from west turn point to final landing ~ 35 miles
5 hours less 1/2 hour + for rest stops

Weather Archive

Up the hill with Diablo, Tom P, Christian, and Edward for Crew.  On launch at Nordhoff before10 am.  A little early, so we relocated some of the brush in front of launch.  A second crew of PGs arrived after we had launched.  Top Pipkin was the wind tech about 10:30.  I followed about 5 minutes later.  Despite the nice draw up the face at launch, it was obviously from the west at all altitudes.  This was a bit frustrating because we had opted for Nordhoff over SB hoping for some east wind to assist the first leg westbound.

Tom Pipkin topped about 63 and connected across 33, finally working up to Bump 2.  The best I could do was 5+, so I finally gave up and headed west with 45.  Got up to 47 on the back peak behind Spine One, and headed across.  It was a bad line against the wind and I obviously couldn't reach the front side of the mid ridge, so I angled for the back lower point, knowing that no one has ever connected there.  It was speed bar all the way.  Got there a little over and continued up the small ridge.  The bushes on the edge were blowing pretty hard, but there wasn't any lift.  Turned back down hill on the deck, and it was obviously lee side behind the middle ridge.  Had to hang on and scoot back out toward the river.  Thought I'd come in low below the Nut House, but got a good downwind glide back and got there a couple hundred below launch.  Easy up and over to Spine One.

Back to 48 over Spine One, but the thermal was drifting from the south so I left for The Pyramid from the back of the spine.  Took all my altitude to get there even with the top.  Got to 56 at Nordhoff, thinking I could skip Stooges and go direct to Twin Peaks, but got an awful glide.  Finally got to 48 at Stooges, but still couldn't make Twin Peaks through the heavy persistent sink.  Tracked a thermal up the lower spine between Stooges and Chief's spine, and got on the Middle Bump.  Took it up for a top landing.  There didn't seem to be much wind on the way up, so I set up well back.  There were a lot of thermal pops up behind launch, so I didn't want to overshoot.  I dropped below a layer into stiff south wind and heavy sink.  I was too far back and would be in for some lee side turb.  The brush below was calm, but I was parked out against the south wind with no chance of making up to the laminar flow just behind launch.  After Mr. Toads wild ride, the bottom dropped out and I hit pretty hard.  Took 15 minutes to get out of the brush and up to launch.  Pipkin landed on launch itself, but was blown back into the brush behind launch.

Christian came overhead but opted not to force it.  He was high and headed over to The Repeater by the time I got off again.  Not as much south up high, and over 7K it was a little north.  Took the high route across The Bluffs, and left for Santa Paula Ridge from the top of Puckers with 7+.  Christian got to 8.  I hit 8,900 at Santa Paula Peak, in big smooth air.  Edward had checked the east flow from home, and was on course with live reports from the river.  Mark Pratt and Chris were on launch at Oat.  The west was just starting to push up into Fillmore.

Got my worst ever glide toward Fillmore.  Steady non stop sink alarm.  Burned up 6K getting across the river.  Didn't find a big one over Jack's place, so I angled over to launch to socialize with the Pratt's.  Chatted with Chris and Mark while we watched Pipkin and Christian cross.  Christian came over to launch, and Pipkin went for the convergence near The F.  He topped about 37 and went for Piru.

It was blowing pretty stiff, so I went down the hill about 50 yards for the pull up.  Fun.  By the time I got turned around I was a hundred over.  Fished up hill to the top of Oat, hoping to get out of the wind and connect back to big altitude.  Christian joined me.  Fun flying in the ridge lift, but we didn't get out of the wind.  We both latched onto a thermal and took it back, hoping it would get bigger and track up toward Tar Flats.  We lost it about half way up.  We could either commit for the higher peak in the back, or get on the speed bar and try to push back out front.  I opted for the speed bar, and Christian went deep.  I got back to the top, but still but in the lee of the front edge.  Another ungraceful hit.  Christian got back to the higher peak, but only found ridge lift.  He considered landing in the back and hiking out front, but opted for the wild ride through the rotor.  He almost made it back out front, but still had a good side hill touchdown in the turb.

Got down onto the steeper slope well below the top for another fun windy launch.  Creped up to 37 (Oat is 3K) in the ridge lift and started moving out front.  There was a good seam about 400 yards out front, and I got 38 on the glide toward town.  Finally fell out of the ridge lift and angled over for The F.  Found a weak thermal and tracked it up the ridge to 53.  Ran for Piru, but another poor glide.  Not as bad as the last one, but still burned a lot of altitude.  Could have ducked in for the higher terrain, but opted for the front route.  Came in on the low hills with about 2K.  At the end of the ridge, I committed back in, with Piru Canyon as the bailout.  Boosted back to 25 and decided to keep the front route.  Could have committed back to the last high peak, but I was up behind the spider web of power lines and opted not to risk getting trapped.  Got out to the point low and opted not to go around the corner.

Edward was right below.  Good landing in a 12 mph breeze.  About 5 miles past Piru, 3:40.  In the truck before I had my helmet off, and fold up on the grass at Rancho Sespe.  Collected Christian on 126 and headed home.

Chris Paul and Tom Beidler made it out to Nordhoff HS from The Skyport.  Chris was over the Nut House with altitude to continue, but opted to throw in the towel.