Polished Sunday...

Past, present, and future flights, meeting times & places, theory.

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Polished Sunday...

Postby gracecab » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:17 pm

Remember when you were just learning to paraglide, everything was so facinating and new... yeah, so that's me. Not only is everything new to me, every flight is different. I work and improve my gear. I read stuff to learn better techniques, weather, and anything else I may be missing, so I don't miss anything. Today was a flight I consider 'pay back'. Cash in some of my chips and spend. I got to enjoy dialed in gear, warm clothes, patience paying off to fly Sunday after everyone else has been flying all weekend, picture perfect conditions in polished thermals huge enough for a fat hungry hippo like me to eat up... and applying some of the things I've been learning in a lot of my past flights... it kind of all came together. Sure, I made some mistakes, some lapses of judgement, zig when i should have zagged, but I'm a beginner so expect it.

1.5 hr, VOR launch. So fun today, with a superb lapse rate, light wind and polished mondo-thermals. The kind of thermals that hooked you in, (i think i heard one of them say "uh, i got you... better start turning dude) and were big enough that I could just spin and spin easily in them without ever feeling like even getting near falling out. Getting to learn my new wing (Kantega XC2), and dialing in all my winter gear (complete with Black Friday $25 ski-gloves with zippered compartment for hand warmer iron ore packets) and having a tippy tap of confidence in my out-landings now, were all added benefits today.

Drove up from T, to VOR at 10ish with: Chris G, Kristen, Dave B., Matt, Chad and couple others. Thermals nice enough to launch but not enough to get swept up vertically out from your shoes like yesterday and Friday, so that was nice. Chad took the first swing and promptly disappeared over us... like 6 or more grand? Everyone else followed, I launched dead last, and (flight track) of course didn't catch anything, toolied down the spine and finally hooked in and easily (thank god, i don't need to flush already do I?) got up to go over No Name, then West Bowl, then join the rest of the fun in the fishbowl 'proper' :lol:

VOR.jpg
VOR launch and playing in the fishbowl...


I didn't want to launch with the thick ski gloves, thinking it might help to have more agility, however I soon got freezing fingers (5 minutes is all it takes), so once was high over no Name, and gliding East, wiggled my already sweaty fingertips into the plush ski gloves... niiiccceee... swumfy. No problem with fingers the entire time, not sure how cold it was but probably in the mid 30s? at altitude...

I was looking around for everyone, thinking hey, I'm pretty high, they should be below me, right. Riiigghhttt.. Most of the hungry hippos from Skyport were waaayyyy over me (bout that time I heard Rob i think on the radio say: "Hey, uh, you guys... you're stinking high"...as if to nonchalantly suggest that if anyone isn't use to these heights (7,000k was one rumor), it would be ok to come on down :o ... then I look back over VOR spine, and sure nuff.... my peeps were all wayyyyy over me.... it was on! :P

I learned:

-first time launching from VOR AND getting to RR and all in between. Yay. Monkey off back. :lol:

-the typical method of getting thermals works still, as usual, however sometimes much better to stay higher. I noticed folks who were lower had a little harder time in choppyness, and disformed thermals, and seemed like some shear/turb down low. I was over the ridge the whole time, and every thermal came through like a hurricane train up to the moon! 8) Plus, the higher you went, the smoother and larger it seemed to build, until they exploded at the top and you better speedbar your way the hell outta there somewhere far far away...

-I was practicing spinning on tips, angling on one side, leaning my butt, edging my wingtip, cranking it, whatever you want to call it... and this wing was sweet to be able to hang in, turning tightly AND maintaining a very delicate receptivity to my outside brake hand which i always kept just lightly loaded, and used to organize the circumference, stay in the fast beep zone, etc...

-highest thermal vertical was: 1400 ft total. This was the last thermal I found and took out to the beach.
1400ft.jpg
going up... next stop... the MOOONN!
Look at that climb rate. Looks like a slinky with a brick hanging off it!

I wasn't ready to go down range today, as there were too many 'other' things I was learning, and didn't want to overburden my pea brain all at once.

We have such a sweet fishbowl, and the more time i spend here the more time I learn it, know a little more where the wind moves over these peaks spines and valleys, and it seems to be helping me intuitively pick the best places to fly over to find likeliest triggers... which after all what this game is all about, ur, mostly.

Anyhoo, season is here. Was nice to see some new folks from out of town, but I still enjoy getting only a couple friends up there together on the week day and having the auditorium all to ourselves... lol... but then again, i'm selfish. Was also happy to see mi teach CG get to go fly...to Padaro and have some fun in the mountains.
Chris Ballmer aka gracecab
Ventura, CA
UP Kantega XC2 / Gin Verso
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Re: Polished Sunday...

Postby timobarker » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:03 pm

Connecting the dots! Finally! I've been looking at the hills behind my house in Goleta for years now, wanting to connect Lizard's Mouth to Santa Inez Peak. I've tried a handful of times and I've never gotten past the low spot between the VOR and Condor Peak. A few of us launched Santa Inez peak a few years ago and since that moment I've wanted to get back to it.

The crux of the day was the incredible sink rate at Windemer Ranch. I quickly sank from 5000 feet to 2000 feet. But, as I was following in Aaron's wake, I knew there had to be lift somewhere. I finally met up with Aaron at Santa Inez Peak where we boomed up to almost 6500 feet, at which point we went OTB. We were hoping for some lift back there to see how far we could go, but we barely got a dribble. We ended up landing at the junction of the 154 and the road to the Chumash. We immediately got picked up by a paraglider pilot, David, and family from SD who was on his way home. We were home by 2. It was an epic day! Stoked to be flying with all of you!
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