La Cumbre Peak OTB to Little Pine

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La Cumbre Peak OTB to Little Pine

Postby Garcia » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:48 pm

On Monday 3/29 I finally figured out my schedule and determined that Wednesday and Thursday were my flying days, I asked Chris Lorimer to look at the forecast and let me know what he thought, but we both agreed it looked like a day to go OTB.

I had John Modica, a new P2 student, who was scheduled for his first high flight on Wednesday. After discussing logistics with Lorimer we decided that I would drive the Eagle Van and launch John off VOR and after he landed we would go and launch EJ. With the forecasted East Wind it is not idea for launching a first time mountain student from there since Parma is upwind of launch.

I coached John from VOR and he did great, Logan Walters opened the day on his tandem with Sophia and got things rolling on launch. It was ENE when we arrived at 10:20 AM. I coached a few other returning Eagle students off the hill and they were managing to stay up and pilots started to get above launch. Josh Finklestien from Boulder, CO asked Lorimer if he could join in on the fun. Lorimer had left his truck at the Sage LZ and rode his dirt bike to the T to meet us in the morning. Josh opted to launch VOR and made it to La Cumbre faster that we drove there and got set up.

But Lorimer and I were on a mission and wanted to insure we would get over the back, even if it meant launching EJ in a NE wind. I asked him if he wanted to launch "The Peak" or La Cumbre proper from the poor excuse for a launch. I put it in the bushes on the first one and then got off on the second. We reached 5200 according to my vario. We felt E wind at the top of lift. We went on glide to Alternator. Josh was the highest and Lorimer the Lowest. Lorimer stopped at alternator for a few turns and I decided to go on glide to the Camuesa Connector trail that leads to Little Pine. I stopped in the middle of the valley for some 200 - 300 ft./min climbs and Lorimer had the right idea, he continued to terrian. Kudos to him for making that move and I joined in. We climbed nicely together there as a team, Josh was above and stayed above for most of the day. Once we topped out that climb or felt like we had enough we all went on an AMAZINGLY buoyant glide to Little Pine. Without a doubt Lorimer nailed the line he chose and we mapped it well. We were on the E/W Convergent line.

I hit 7200 at my highest, Josh over 8, Lorimer 7500 I believe. Had we all been a bit braver I think we could have gone even deeper and got higher. Josh and I were able to connect with a nice climb at Little Pine and created vertical separation with Lorimer. As soon as I went on glide West I regretted the decision. I left Lorimer alone on the deepest section of course line and if I put myself in his shoes I would have been bummed about it. But thankfully Lorimer is a badass pilot and climbed to 7500 and glided to Sage. However it is something that I need to work on when flying with friends and especially when we are flying a committing line like we did, which gest a lot more committing if you go further north. Had I been braver and been patient and stuck around for Lorimer maybe we would have gone deeper into the wilderness.

At anyrate it was an amazing flight and an unforgettable one. I pushed to Loma Alta and was get absolutely hammered back there, shit glides, strong and broken climbs. I got one that got be above 5 and I lost it all right away. I think I could have made it around the corner of Loma Alta but didn't want to risk it and went for a top landing on the ridge. I had a 20 minute walk with my glider bunched up to a nice relaunch that got me over to the Sage LZ.

I was pretty proud of that moment, when I top landed, that was the first time I actually put it in to use out of necessity. I practice them quite a bit at the training hill and other places, but this was the first one that was a "wild" top landing. All went according to plan and my training paid off. It was the highlight of my flight for sure.

Coming in to Sage was super active and hands on. I had to land behind the power lines, by no other fault of my own. I had plenty of altitude, but thought I should set up further back because of how thermic it was and I wanted a long run way. Well shit, I should take the advice I give my own students. If the air is going up, its also going down hahaha. I landed safe but it was a hands on landing and I was pumped at the end of it.

Glider stayed open all day except for 1000ft above the Sage LZ with on Asym deflation. It was fun and I was stoked that I got to share it with Lorimer and Josh. I love exploring back there and can't wait to do more.

It's a free sky, the only limit is the size of your balls - Scott Harding (or Ovaries!)

Note that my relaunch is not on this posted track below.

Ayvri of Lorimer and I : ... 6frm2kgw36
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