Skyport to Cathedral Peak to Hwy 150
~ 17 miles
~ 2¼ hours
Last day of the year. Too much to do, but I guess I'm an addict. Saw Robb's posted meet time and got on board. Uphill from Parma on the roof of Rob's new chase with Neal and Alison. Airborne about 11am.
Ron Faoro was first off and rounded La Cumbre Peak. Tried to get over with 37 from the R&R, but too low and had to limp out the canyon toward the SE from behind Cathedral. Got around ok. The drift was from the NW. Might have more trouble against a SE. Got to 35 at Cathedral and tried to reach back for the Peak again, but no luck. Back around front and got enough to get over to Tunnel Tit. Step back to the R&R and get on course
Pipkin was in the lead, but progress was slow. The lift was better earlier. The high clouds were getting thicker. Caught up at Ramero, and crossed the saddle a little low. Was working ok on the other side. The high clouds were thinning and I got to 43 along the middle of Castle Ridge. Across the Power lines with 39. Close to 45 at Noon Peak.
Another thick band of high clouds was about to block the sun. Should have taken my altitude and headed toward the beach, but I reached across for Divide Peak and came in low. Didn't connect and had to limp down the spine. Connected on a last lucky thermal part way down and got back to 4, drifting from the west. Should have headed out, but started toward the low gap in front of East Divide, behind Chismahoo. After about 5 or 10 seconds eastbound, I realized that I was headed toward a certain flush with a long hike out. Turned around and got on the speed bar to get back upwind to the spine. Came in a little below where I got my thermal. Hung on for a couple of passes, but didn't get back up.
Cleared the hills behind the Gobernador with a couple of hundred. Pretty dark, but it was buoyant. Cate seemed like a bit of a stretch upwind across a canyon, so I went left and headed up the 150. Diablo was checking Bates and came up the highway for retrieve. Pulled up for landing on the road (150) where the road down the backside of Rincon Mountain meets the highway. Good touch down between the power lines. Diablo boosted me back to my car, and packed up in my front yard.