Weekend Outlook Oct 6-9/2017 (Fri-Mon)

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Weekend Outlook Oct 6-9/2017 (Fri-Mon)

Postby sd » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:53 am

Weekend outlook / Friday morning perception

Friday looks like 6K plus in Ojai, but running into a headwind in the afternoon going toward SB. Likely too much offshore downriver flow to get to Fillmore? If I was flying Friday, I’d launch from Ojai and fly home to Carpinteria, but it looks like the Ojai valley will work good later in the day so it might be a nice day for sightseeing over the Topa Bluffs late in the afternoon? Going westbound over Casitas Pass could be marginal with 6K. It will likely work better earlier before the west flow tries to funnel through to Ojai?

Saturday is a switch day with building onshore flow. I’d recommend launching from SB if you are flying Saturday. If you can get past Castle Ridge, then you can likely reach Fillmore or a bit more, but it’s not a stellar day lapse rate wise, so you will need to work for it, but at least you will have a tailwind. Better not wait too late to get on course from SB as the building afternoon onshore flow will likely get the better of the weak thermals?

Sunday looks like it might be a good day to do something other than chase the mountain weather. The lapse rate tanks as the cool lower level onshore wind increases. The local cliff sites might work on Sunday.

Monday is looking pretty good in SB for lap racing with a good lapse rate up through 6K, and mild flow from the west, but a weak inland lapse rate doesn’t look encouraging for long distance flights.
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Ojai Santa Anna Launches

Postby sd » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:15 am

Friday Midday Mark Fisher posted to the SBSA chat box
Thanks Tom, currently at chiefs with 8 pilots. blowing over the back right now pretty strong.

Tom’s reply
When flying the Ojai drive up launches in Santa Anna conditions, it will often be blowing over the back when you reach the ridge line. The standard operating procedure is to get out and check the wind where the road reaches the ridge line. Check both sides (north and south). If it feels like it wants to breath up the south side, or is less than 5 mph from OTB, go east to the Chiefs Launch. If it is 10 plus from OTB, go west to the Nordhoff Launch. You also need to consider the time of day. The flow will tend to pull up the river as the day heats, so it will often switch from east to west at the Nordhoff launch. The Nordhoff Launch faces east, so if you wait too long to get off you can get stuck on launch (or you can sometimes launch south, but that’s a more in-depth discussion which requires an on-site evaluation of the issues).

If you get to Chiefs and it’s still blowing from OTB, then we won’t usually drive back to Nordhoff because it might be too late. Chiefs will often block (eventually) or at least give zero cycles that are launchable. When we aren’t willing to wait and see, we will drive up to the Repeater, which has a north side launch. (The Repater actually has North, West, and South facing launches. On Santa Anna days it will usually be crossing from the right on the north facing launch (coming in from the NE). There is a huge gap to the left, so you can launch the north side, turn left and go OTB to the south side and easily reach the lower front points which will usually be below the north flow.

The Repeater launches are high, 5450 feet, almost 700 feet higher than the Chiefs launch. The launches are about 400 yards NW of the parking area. You might be able to drive all the way if you have 4-wheel-drive (we used to drive when we were flying HGs), but with a PG it is an easy hike down a hundred vertical and back up about 25 to the obvious north facing ridge with a good drop-off.

To get to the Repeater, continue east along the Nordhoff Ridge Road past the intersection of the Sisar Canyon Road. The intersection is about 1 ½ miles past the Chiefs launch. You need to turn left to stay on the Nordhoff Ridge Road. Continue another 1 ¼ miles to where the Nordhoff Ridge road crosses the Repeater spine. There is a road up the spine that goes to an antenna farm (1/3 mile). From the antenna farm, the launch ridge is NW about 400 yards.

If you are hiking from Chiefs because you flew to Chiefs from SB and top landed (common) and can’t get back off because it is blowing OTB from the NW, then you can take a short cut up instead of walking all the way around to the Repeater spine.

There is also a north facing launch just east (less than 50 yards east) of the spine that you drive up. We used that launch often on Santa Anna days before Edward Skow suggest we try the Nordhoff Lookout Tower, which turned out to be a better option in most scenarios. I suspect our original north side launch is over grown and would need some brush stomping to get it back in shape, but I have used it with a paraglider and it might be an option when nothing else seems to be working? On my first flight from there (10/4/1986) I flew to La Conchita and a few months later (2/7/1987) I flew a to Point Conception (74 miles).

And we had a few other launches we used with hang gliders that aren’t suitable for PGs.
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Friday 10/6 Mitch Riley Nordhoff to Montecito

Postby sd » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:14 pm

Based on Mitch’s inReach MapShare page
https://share.garmin.com/MitchRiley
it looks like he landed in field just east (750 yards) of Cold Springs School at the corner of Oak Springs Lane and Hwy 192 around 2:30ish after launching from Nordhoff Peak around 12:30ish. About 24 miles straight line distance from launch to landing
_________________________________
and...
Looks like Mitch and company went for a sunset / night flight from Sage Hill, launching around 6:20 and landing about 8 PM ? Sunset was 6:35 and moonrise was 7:39.
Last edited by sd on Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cracka SB Report from Saturday 10/7

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:53 am

Copied from the SBSA Chat Box
… Andrew thermalled out on his first Mountain flight, Jesse smoked the crew by getting to 5200 when it was tough to get thru the 3k inversion, newbies flew for hours, a few to Padaro, etc…

Derek’s comments on dorama (see Derek's post below this one) are a good read as he made some pro decisions today. When we first got in the air u could already see west wind on the San Roque reservoir (smooth on west side, riply on east) and the way we kept getting scrubbed off and stuck in inversion I thought it would be tough to go front points low into the wind and riding the back ridge even if low seemed better odds. Ej bowl to Altenator is one long ridge you can often dolphin upwind with a few small climbs. Even at Altenator launch on a decent glider you can glide to half way up no name, however the west wind requires some decisions to make. An advance technique is to drive right into the wind shadow lee of a peak which may get you a better glide because of wind protection but you may take some lumps when squeezing around the corner as Derek found out. Another option with west wind would be to glide from Altenator to the rear west point of Westbowl where you will be clear of rotor of no name, then cut over to no name. Possibly worse glide because you will be direct into wind but maybe good buoyancy or windy climb on Westbowl for a boost. Downwind low back to the east from there is much easier due to downwind and the fact that Cathedral works better later in the day with more wind and due to slower rock heating. Great work and persistence Derek and Mitch! Fired up!
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Derek Musashe SB Report from Saturday 10/7

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:57 am

Copied from the SBSA Chat Box
Fun, but very challenging day out there due to the strong west wind that developed and the difficulty in gaining much altitude for most of the day.

I ended up completing the SB Hoedown October task, but it sure was a challenge. I've included a link to the doarama below, which has a short description of the flight too:

P.S. - Aaron also did the task today, unsurprisingly a lot faster than me!

http://doarama.com/view/1666296
Derek’s Narrative below copied from his doarama
This was my first attempt at the SB Hoedown October task, which ended up being a doozy of a flight on this day due to a strong west wind that developed early on and plagued me during the entire push west from Thermal Factory to No Name. The start gate I used was 12:30pm (though it says 11:30am on the timestamp because it's not taking into account daylight savings), but I didn't really commit to completing the task in earnest until timestamp 12:21:00 when I believed for the first time that I might be able to gain the high line to connect with No Name (it had been a challenge all day to gain much altitude). What ensued was a lesson for me in hiding from a headwind and/or using it to ridge soar to lose less altitude while making progress towards goal. Of particular note is a huge accelerated collapse (80% at least) I took in the lee of No Name at timestamp 12:56:25. I'm fairly sure I hit rotor, and it was a bad place to be, for sure. Perhaps there was a better route to take to tag the cylinder around No Name, or perhaps I shouldn't have tried? Nevertheless, I rallied, tagged the cylinder, and flew the downwind leg without much trouble. I ended up completing the task in about 1 hour and 48 minutes. This flight was very rewarding to complete, but also very mentally taxing. Quite a challenge for me! [Note: stated altitude is consistently about 200 feet too low.]

Reply to Aaron's SBSA Chat Box Comments:
Aaron, your comments and analysis are spot on with what was going through my mind. Once high on Cathedral (4100-ish I think) on the upwind leg, I had to decide whether I was going to cut straight over the canyon for the back point of Westbowl or make the play for the high line by diving back to La Cumbre. I chose the high line because I knew I could surf that high bowl all the way to past Alternator without losing my too much (even with the headwind). I would have loved to know how the other option would have turned out (I guess I'll have to fly it sometime in similar conditions).

I'll also add a few notes to your analysis for those who are interested in this level of detail:

1. Not only Cathedral, but Westbowl can work well with a west wind, due to the west facing nature of the parts the bowl itself. This is evidenced by the absolute boomer I caught out of there on the way back to TF. You can tell how windy it was by my thermal drift, but it was still working like a champ.

2. I think I got smacked in the lee of No Name but not in the lee of Cathedral because the climb I found on the sheltered flank of Cathedral was quite good, and probably blocked the west a bit as I entered the would be rotor zone... No Name canyon offered no such relief.
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Willy Dydo Nordhoff to East Beach

Postby sd » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:09 am

And almost sneaking under the radar on Friday was Willy Dydo’s HG flight from Nordhoff to East Beach in Santa Barbara. The PGs have their advantages, but we can’t keep up with the HGs on those upwind final glides?
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