Since I didn't make it to the Eastern Sierra this year yet, I decided it was now or never. My friend Chris had never been to that part of California and was looking to check it out and ride motorcycles. So we left Thursday afternoon and arrived in the Alabama Hills just after Midnight.
So the next morning Chris and I went riding around the Alabamas. Then we met up with Steve G, and Max H. for breakfast in Lone Pine. Max had never flown the Owens and shot up from SB for a site intro. We left my truck at the airport and headed up the Horseshoe Meadows road.
The paragliders were already in the air when we arrived. The lift seemed good, but not really high. As we found out the top of lift was only 10,000. The flow was from the North and that's not too good. I flew around for a while then headed out to the Airport to land. Everyone else ended up joining me.
Chris and I went riding again that afternoon over to the base of the Inyo mountains. We found a cool mine to explore.
The next day the N, NE wind was blowing so we decided to check out a ridge soaring site on the North end of the Alabamas. By the time we got up the hill the wind had let up and was only blowing about 13. Steve and I decided to give it a shot anyway as Walts didn't seem like a good idea. I got a few turns but mostly sank out and headed for the field to the East.
After that Chris and I took the Honda's to Cerro Gordo. It was an epic ride over the hills though some challenging hill climbs. Lots of loose rocks and after Chris ate it we turned around not wanting to get stuck so far from everywhere. Next time we will be more prepared.
Steve and I were the only ones who could stay for Monday's flying. The conditions had changed for the better. It was slow and challenging, but we found climbs between 12 and 13 grand. And 3.5 hours later we both landed at Independence Airport. I flew with an Eagle and really enjoyed the epic views you get from flying the Sierra Nevada. Then the long drive home and back around midnight.
Walts point and it was not looking good. North wind and lots of turbulence. I just took off and got the hell out of that canyon. Landed at Lake Diez. Then that afternoon we found an awesome mine that you can drive a car into over a half mile. Also a swimming hole to cool off the afternoon heat.
Posted at 7:30 AM
Sunday I checked the RASP and Waddell looked perfect. Windfinder also said it would be good in the afternoon. When passing Santa Cruz I could already see white caps at 10:40. I decided to skip breakfast and by the time I got past Scott Creek I could already see the ACP's in the air. Turned out to be good all day long. With more pilots in the air than I had ever seen.
Nick landed his Maule bush plane while we were flying. JT had one 3 hour flight and another 45 min flight. I dove deep into the valley and found more lift. Ended up getting over 1700 and tried to push further back into the valley. An 18 year old new H3 pilot had his first Waddell flight over an hour long. The tourist were really enjoying the show and many stopped to take pictures. One guy flew his drone around and got some shots. The bluff was a happening place on a nice Sunday.
Posted at 7:42 AM