Last June Weekend 2021 / Pine Mt Potential

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Last June Weekend 2021 / Pine Mt Potential

Postby sd » Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:17 pm

Weekend Reports for Sunday and Monday with Ayvri Links, photos, and weather posted as replies further below at: (Pine Sunday)
and (Sage Monday)
and (Pine Monday)
Sunday Morning Update

The forecast continues to evolve favorably for mid-day flights back to Santa Barbara and the beach from Pine today. I suspect Carter and Longcor will want to tag a turn point first. According to Windy some W to NW flow tries to push through late in the day but earlier it is mostly from the E to NE with convergence in the Pine, Lockwood, and Watershed Divide areas.

The surface temperature is hot. Ojai is forecasted to hit 104F while the Antelope Valley is projecting 110F. The 12K temperature is about 50F, so the lapse rate is ballistic. The humidity is low but the NAM Skew-t forecast soundings are calling for thin stratocumulus over launch up near 15 to 16K, thickening some with cloudbase lowering toward the lower teens later in the day.
Saturday Afternoon Logistics update for Pine on Sunday

Confirming the meet time for Sunday’s Pine adventure
9 am roll from Viola Fields in Carpinteria.
As of mid-afternoon on Saturday Pine continues to look good for Sunday.
Currently we have 2 crew, myself (Tom Truax) and Andy Switzer
Pilots who have raised their hand and are somewhat confirmed are:
Patrick Switzer (Andy’s brother) Jeff Longcor, Carter Crowe, Dave Patterson, Brian Kaiserauer, and Hopper Pennington, which adds up to 6 pilots plus 2 crew for a total of 8 bodies
We strive to go by the old Team Topa motto that there is always room for one more, but the Eagle Van is out of town supporting pilots elsewhere so we may need to manage with smaller vehicles. As of now we have room for at least a couple more, and if someone has a larger vehicle then we can fit more, or with enough notice we can solicit more crew.
Hooper is coming from LA and will meet us at Nordhoff HS about 9:40-ish
Saturday Morning Update

Pilots are going to Pine on Sunday, departing Carpinteria at 9 am.
We have one or 2 crew (I’m one of the crew) so should have room for everyone. Please check in so we can confirm logistics. Will clarify a meet location after we gage the group size but likely Viola Fields. If you are coming from SB you might want leave vehicles at East Beach or Summerland? If coming from LA you might want to meet in Ventura in case you are returning via Hwy 126. Flights back to the beach also look like a reasonably possibility.

Ojai is looking very good today, but the road is closed so you would need to hike and it is hot.

Pine looks promising for flights back to the beach today, but the conditions might be too advanced for many pilots. Sunday is calling for less wind and higher thermal tops.

The local SB front range mountains don’t look soarable today but likely launchable from the lower launches like the Skyport by mid-day. The OTB laminar venturi compression flow over the ridge is currently gusting into the mid-20s from the north at La Cumbre Peak.

Sage will likely work at the end of the day?
Friday Evening Update

I’m available to crew at Pine tomorrow (Saturday) if there are a few pilots interested in launching mid-day between noon to 3 PM with the aspiration flying south (toward Ojai or the beach). It’s possible that you might need to use the north launch, but I think the south launch will be cycling up mid-day. Suggested departure from Carpinteria sometime between 9:45 to 10:30-ish.

Sunday looks like more cloud development and higher thermals (mid-teens). Saturday looks a little dryer and lower (lower teens) but has a better tailwind going toward SB. On Saturday, the convergence seems to be over Pine or possibly even further south, then on Sunday the north flow subsides, and the center of the lift appears to shift north to its more typical location over Lockwood Valley.

The lapse rate is robust so expect the mid-day thermals to be big and strong, but not as much wind-shear turbulence that we often deal with flying SB on north wind days.
Last Weekend in June, 2021 / Friday mid-day look at the weekend

The forecast for Pine this weekend is evolving favorably.

Saturday is showing some north flow up higher which should balance against the seasonal south flow drawn toward the inland heat low and offer convergence to big altitude somewhere close to launch. The north flow and high altitude will likely permit flights back to the beach. There is more north wind late in the day, which can be good for your glide toward the ocean if you are established high, but there is a possibility it could come from the north at launch altitude. If you schedule a late day launch you might need to consider taking off from the North Side. The mid-day thermals will be strong, but I wouldn’t expect shear turbulence like we sometimes encounter in SB on north days.

Sunday’s altitude is looking even more impressive with cloudbase in the mid to upper teens. Little wind aloft on Sunday could mean the convergence is pulled back toward Lockwood Valley. Pine has a inclination to draw from the south...

Ojai should work also but the LPNF website states
Permits for the Nordhoff Ridge Road (5N08) are temporarily suspended until further notice. We apologize for this inconvience. Check back after July 15.

The local SB mountains will likely be launchable but expect sled rides. The coastal cliffs also look doubtful. Elings is forecasted to be flyable but weak.
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Sunday 6/27/2021 Pine Report

Postby sd » Sat Jul 03, 2021 2:30 pm

10 bodies in 2 vehicles, 8 pilots plus 2 crew (who were non-flying pilots)
Group Ayvri Link including Dylan’s flight from the Rincon followed by the 8 Pine flights:

The weather evolved in reasonable alignment with the forecast.
Nam Skew-Ts for Pine SS on Sunday 6/17/2021
(580.74 KiB) Downloaded 13 times

The Sunday Pine Pilots (in order of launch) were:

Carter Crowe was the first and only pilot to launch from the 7K south side at 12:20 but needed multiple attempts to get off because it was mostly wafting OTB from the north. He wandered down to 5220 searching out front before finding a thermal 7 minutes after takeoff for a climb to 17K. Carter than went on a 10.4-mile glide east before turning back just short of Thorn Point with 11K. He got over 17K on his way back and had his final climb over the Watershed Divide between Three Sisters and Monte Arido where he topped 15K. Carter crossed the front range between Ramero and Montecito with 9K and continued south to about 3.75 miles offshore before angling back to his car parked at Viola Fields to land at 3:33 PDT.
See Carter's narrative at:

Brian Kaiserauer was 2nd off and 1st to launch from the 6K North Side Parking Lot at 1:08 PDT. Brian was focused on an ambitious triangle with the hope of tagging the western side of Casitas Pass then running the front range eastbound to the Topa Bluffs or Santa Paula Peak, then returning to Pine. There were clouds over the front range, but they were likely coming from the Rose Valley side and drifting over with the north flow? Brian only climbed to around 14.5K at Pine thinking that was plenty to tag the western side of Casitas Pass, and there wasn’t much need for more altitude because the lift on the front range would be lower and he wasn’t going to try and tag a point further west because the front range likely wasn’t working west of the Pass down lower in the inversion that was capping the marine air? Brian got to Noon Peak with about 6K. The flow up higher was from the NE but Brian encountered SW along the front range. He got a good climb at East Divide from the mid 4s back up to the mid-6s, then another bump at White Ledge up to 5K, so the front range through Casitas Pass was working, but Brian came in low at the Nuthouse and flushed to landing at the Diversion Dam at 2:46 PDT. As a technical note: Brian’s IGC downloaded from xcontest appears to have been recorded on his Galaxy Note 10+ phone. His GPS altitude was very accurate (plus or minus 1 meter) but the GPS data has a lot of altitude spikes. His pressure altitude data was smooth but not very accurate and read almost a thousand feet lower than his max GPS altitude. Ayvri uses the pressure altitude so it will read low in Brian’s Ayvri track. I look forward to reading Brian’s narrative. (Pending?)

Jeff Longcor was off next from the 6K North Side Parking Lot. He got to just under 16K over Pine and flew with Carter to the Watershed Divide for his final climb to 14.6K, a little below Carter. The duo then split as Carter angled SW while Jeff stayed deep headed west. On glide Jeff turned right to angle even deeper NW toward Hildreth Peak, but appeared to reconsider his predicament and zig-zagged back toward the Little Pine Mountain ridge to his west. Jeff appears to have encountered increasing headwind from the west as he got lower and further west? He elected to abort his deep line short of Little Pine and turn south out toward the river, then fell off downwind back toward the east to find a hillside LZ about 1.25 miles west of Gibraltar Dam for landing at 3:22 PDT.
See Jeff's narrative at:

The rest of the crew consisted of some pilots who had flown from the south side a few times and others who had never been to Pine. None of the remaining pilots had previously been to the 5650 north side launch. Their experience level varied.

Patrick Switzer is an Eagle Student from Hawaii who has logged quite a bit of flying over the past year with some long XC flights in Hawaii. His confidence was stronger than the other rookies. He didn’t hesitate to setup at the 5650 north side launch. It took him a couple of pullup attempts (pilots often overdrive their canopy pulling up on the firebreak spine), but he got away at 2:02 PDT, which energized the remaining pilots, some of whom were cautiously skeptical prior to Patrick’s reassuring wind-dummy performance. Patrick got a thousand over launch then stepped east uphill. He went OTB drifting with a thermal from the first uphill spine just east of the parking lot, then climbed to 13K. Patrick was concerned about hypoxia (he is an RN) so he went on glide, gaining another 1500 feet flying south, topping near 14.7K. A little boost over Ortega back above 13K gave him plenty for a downwind glide to his car at Viola Field, crossing the front range between White Ledge and Divide Peak just under 10K and crossing offshore at the Carpinteria State Beach with 3K. Patrick landed on the green grass at 3:35 PDT. Patrick has IGC files from both his phone and vario. Patrick’s Google Pixel phone track had a lot of spikes in his GPS data, which was more accurate than his phone’s smoother pressure altitude data. The GPS data from his Skytraxx vario doesn’t seem to be accurate so I used the (already processed) inaccurate but smooth pressure altitude from his Google Pixel phone.
See Patrick’s narrative at:

Dave Patterson was off next at 2:12 PDT (10 minutes after Patrick). Dave also made the day look good as he easily connected uphill. His Ayvri track shows him topping at 15.5K before going on glide for the beach, landing at Padaro at 3:58 PDT. I didn’t review Dave’s flight details in Google Earth but did look at his track in Ayvri. He crossed the front range over West Divide with 9K and arrived at Padaro Beach with about 3K.
See Dave’s narrative at:

Hooper Pennington was contemplating not flying due various factors, but after observing Patrick and Dave his perception evolved. He had a good clean launch at 2:17 (5 minutes behind Dave). I recollect his lines were emitting a vibrating musical tone as he flew away. A review of his Ayvri track shows him getting about 800 over at launch before stepping uphill. Hoop explored around testing the various spines over the scenic trees on the north side for a while before heading OTB for the south side with 8500 where he worked thermal cores up over 14K then headed toward Ojai. He gained another few hundred feet on glide southbound, Hooper initially followed Chris on glide, but Chris angled SW while Hoop continued south reaching the front range east of Hwy 33 with about 8K then Hooper angled westbound along White Ledge Ridge before turning back for Nordhoff from Bump 3 with 5K to land in the field north of the High School at 3:44 PDT.
See Hooper’s narrative. at:

Chris Diebold was next. He setup further back for more room, but somewhat in a wind hole, which requires an initial snap to get the canopy up into the airflow. He overdrove on his first couple attempts as the canopy bit hard upon climbing above the sheltered zone, but he finally dialed into the optimal amount of offloading and was able to have a clean and controlled pullup with good canopy control. Based on his Ayvri animation, Criss launched at 2:26 PDT (9 minutes after Hooper) and climbed quickly to 900 over launch then benched uphill eastbound where he tracked a thermal up the 1st spine to 75 hundred. He then fished uphill on the north side a couple more spines where he tracked a core up over 15K before going on glide toward White Ledge. He crossed the front range between White Ledge and East Divide with 66 hundred, then angle slightly left to head SSW, cresting Chismahoo Mountain (the lower hill in front of East Divide) with 5K. He consumed another thousand feet continuing south but opted to turn downwind eastbound back toward Lake Casitas with 4K and pulled a poor glide in the lee side of the Casitas Pass Saddle. His initial tailwind in the throat of the venturi diffused as he approached the big inviting fields north of Lake Casitas where he turned back to land westbound at 3:55 PDT. My suspicion is if Chris had angled for a more aggressive intercept of the front range by heading a little more west on his departure from Pine, he might have been able to experience less headwind on the west side of Casitas Pass compared to flying through the throat of the inversion venturi? He also could have left higher and or gone for a re-boost over Monte Arido or Old Man Mountain.
See Chris’s narrative at:

Marion Villenave is a French Astro Physicist doing research for JPL on planetary disc formation after her recent PhD project in Chile (near the big telescopes). Her parents were paraglider pilots. Marion has been flying the Pyrenees Mountains for about 7 years. She is loaded light on a small glider. Marion was off last with a clean launch at 2:34 PDT (8 minutes behind Chris). Marion initially appeared a tad rusty but settled in to demonstrate impressively fluid mechanical control. She did a double pulse above launch, getting 11 hundred over in her first thermal, then exploring out front and tracking back to top about 1200 over in her 2nd core for an easy connection uphill where she climbed to 8K tracking up the 1st spine east of the parking lot. She explored around a bit and eventually went OTB with 7200 (about 700 over the ridgeline), then tracked a scrap drifting from the SW with 6800 that fed into a more vertical core that she rode up to about 10,600 feet. She left the core and continued to climb another 1200 feet on glide south bound, topping near 11,800 feet MSL (about 3600 meters). Marion’s radio was receiving but not transmitting, so she was somewhat alone in an unfamiliar complex environment. Upon reaching the crest of Ortega Ridge with 9200 she opted to turn 90 degrees left because she could see the road off to the east. Getting lower to the east behind Dry Lake Ridge, she was entering the throat of the filling flow, which got worse down lower in the lee behind Dry Lake Ridge. Marion landed at 3:46 in the brush below Hwy 33 just east of the land slide. Fortunately, she was flying with my inReach, so we were able to eventually locate her but had to drive to a location that had internet access to ascertain her inReach location. Andy Switzer had loaned Marion his vario on launch because Marion’s vario batteries were dead. The IGC altitude data from Andy’s SkyBean SkyDrop Vario/GPS had poor altitude accuracy in both Pres and GPS Altitude, perhaps due to the improvised placement? Hopefully Marion will share her perceptions. (Pending?)

Andy Switzer (Patrick’s brother) plus myself (Tom Truax) were crew. Andy is a P2 Eagle student who lives in Pennsylvania. Andy doesn’t have as much experience as his brother Patrick so summer mid-day at Pine was perhaps too much for him but he did great as crew.

Most vehicles were staged at Viola Fields in Carpinteria, the primary LZ for the day. Marion staged her vehicle in Ventura at the Ash Street parking lot near the bus stop by the pier. Chris and Jeff left their vehicles at Nordhoff while we took Hooper and Dave’s vehicles to launch.

The above narrative is simply my perception and recollection which my not alight with the perceptions and recollections of the pilots and crew, so I look forward to your corrections, enlightenment, and contribution to our collective.
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Patrick Switzer Narrative for Pine Sunday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:07 am

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram Chat on Sunday 6/27/2021 at 17:22 PDT by Patrick Switzer and copied her for consolidation

My take: South launch wasn't completely blocking although Carter made it work and got a boomer to base from low in the valley.

BK and Jeff got up and out from the upper north launch, the rest of us went to the 5500. i was first off and pretty easily found thermals to 7500 and went over the back into the convergence over the valley. it was a quick glide before I was swept into a boomer. i got concerned at 13K when i felt a bit woozy /tingling fingers so pushed bar to the south, topping out at 14600. topped up halfway to the divide then had buttery glide out, crossing 101 at 4K.

My favorite part was reporting my high point on radio, and SD asking why i wasn't topping out!
Looking west toward the Watershed Divide at Monte Arido and Three Sisters
Looking west toward the Watershed Divide at Old Man Mountain and Monte Arido
2021_06-27c_carpinteria state_beach_by_patrick.jpg
Arriving over the Carpinteria State Beach
Patrick's Google Earth KMZ file for Sunday 6/17/2021
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Carter Crowe Narrative for Pine Sunday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:18 am

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram Chat on Sunday 6/27/2021 at 17:44 PDT by Carter Crowe as a reply to Patrick’s posting. Copied her for consolidation.

Pretty much. I took it up to 17K twice then went on some glides, I think from Old Man to Snowball to the offshore oil derricks to Viola I averaged over 13:1

The team was awesome helping me out of the bush after a botched launch. Boutique day. Jeff's hooting and hollering and triggered off a nice thermal for us at Old Man Peak.

I recommend trying this out if you haven't. It was probably the best sight-seeing flight I've had.

SB is beautiful on any given day. It's mind-blowing coming over the front range at 10k msl
Carter's Google Earth KMZ file for Sunday, 6/27/2021
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Dave Patterson narrative for Pine Sunday, 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:35 am

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram Chat on Sunday 6/27/2021 at 18:23 PDT by Dave Patterson.

Awesome day all around. After a wobbly launch off the 5500 I got above pine summit fairly easily and then one smooth climb to 14500. A beautiful bouyant glide out over Casitas Pass to Padero. My flight was small compared to some of the others today but lots of firsts for me, one of my favorite flights
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Sage Report for Monday 6/17/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:36 am

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram Chat on Monday 6/28/2021 at 21:19 PDT by Patrick Switzer (in response to Jeff Longcor’s report request).

Sage was great! 5 pilots, top of lift about 2700. Had fun following Austin on a convergence sniffing mission out west.
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Pine Report for Monday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:41 am

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram Chat on Monday 6/28/2021 at 22:47 PDT by Wayne Wicks (in response to Jeff Longcor’s report request).

Ayrvi Group Link for Pine on Monday 6/28/2021

10 pilots went up to Pine for a great afternoon! Probably not as awesome as everyone who flew Pine to SB yesterday, but a great time. One group of 3 flew to Nordhoff and then a second group of 3 -- all of us in this second triplet -- making our first Pine to Nordhoff trek. I think some got near to 14k.

Thank you again to whomever didn't launch and drove my truck down.

Looking SE toward Ojai on Monday / by Wayne Wicks
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Jeff Longcore narrative for Pine Sunday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:14 pm

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram DM Chat via multiple post starting on Sunday 7/4/2021 at 12:35 PDT by Jeff Longcor as a reply to Tom’s request for a narrative about Jeff’s flight from Pine on Sunday 6/27/2021

A strong W was forecasted, but not feeling that up high, and getting a good glide, I played a middle line paralleling the front range, but let curiosity get the best of me and stayed in the backcountry too long instead of coming out front. If we were all trying for a bigger day, I would likely have taken a similar line as my previous flight to Santa Maria - NW along Cuyama, where there were clouds and a forecasted convergence possibly developing, however, no retrieve going that way and with the day not really working as well as I'd like to take a deep line, I hedged my bets. I had an adventure which is what I wanted. I also considered flying back to Pine from Divide and then going east for a turnpoint, but thought it would make for some challenging logistics. My initial plan at launch was to fly East then West, but in the air, I decided to join Carter as he went West, skipping the Eastern leg.

I put myself in a difficult position given the terrain and conditions, dropping into the W flow sooner than anticipated and landing in high wind. Grateful for the positive outcome, learning, views, and adventure.

Short Video on instagram at:
Beautiful flight from N side of Pine to the backcountry where I encountered strong valley winds, managed a difficult landing, jumped in the pools, and was picked up by Josie and @kommanderkate. Great day of flying with solid teamwork and learning.
Jeff's Google Earth KMZ file for Sunday, 6/27/2021
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Hooper Pennington narrative for Pine Sunday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:14 pm

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram DM Chat on Sunday 7/4/2021 at 15:41 PDT by Hooper Pennington as a reply to Tom’s request for a narrative about Hooper’s flight from Pine on Sunday 6/27/2021

Really fascinating to see everyone’s choices of line. I was initially waffling on whether or not to launch since I was running out of time before needing to get home. Deciding finally to risk being a bit late, I launched the original north into what (to me anyway) were fairly bumpy conditions. Nothing bad, just active air overall. Having not flown that side of Pine, I loafed around for a while on the spines before going OTB at 8500 then finding some smooth convergent lift to 14.5K. After that I aimed in the general direction of Ojai and, having gotten there with altitude to spare, followed the ridge west toward White Ledge. Finding no more lift out there, I went back and had an easy landing at Nordhoff. Thanks again to the drivers for a fantastic day - really appreciate the logistical support!
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Chris Diebold Narrative for Pine Sunday 6/27/2021

Postby bb_secretary » Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:05 pm

Originally posted to the SBSA Telegram DM Chat on Wednesday 7/7/2021 at 12:22 PDT by Chris Diebold as a reply to Tom’s request for a narrative about Chris’s flight from Pine on Sunday 6/27/2021

You basically nailed it in your outlook of my flight SD! Knowing how fast my wing likes to pop up I opted to start farther back on launch (even though SD was 100 percent correct that there is a significant wind hole farther back). To be honest, that launch was a little frightening. The first pull up plucked me a little too much, where I should have unloaded and run toward my wing much more than I did. The check was not near enough in that circumstance. But on my second try, I was able to bring the wing up with good control and launched into some pretty buoyant air. When I felt I was high enough over launch to bench over to the spine to the East, I continued bumping my way up in search of a solid core. The thermals on the north side seemed pretty patchy and had a lot of punch to them. My biggest worry while working my way up the ridge was getting blown over the back. The wind around 6-7,000 ft seemed a bit strong from the North, so i did not want to enter into the lee of Pine.

Once I was able to find a solid core, that thermal took me up very smoothly almost to base at about 6 M/S up to 15,200ish feet. I probably should have continued to try and get to at least 16, as it seemed possible, the thermal just kind of petered out, so I decided to go on glide following the cloud line. The line was pretty buoyant and extremely smooth, which made for a very relaxing flight! Once passing the divide, I started to assess if I could make the beach. My initial attempt was going to be to fly over Rincon and land of the beach out there. That would have worked if I maintained the glide, I had North of the divide, but I started to encounter more and more head wind. I have experienced enough headwind with my wing where I know when my wing is not going to penetrate (no matter how much bar) and presumed I would have to land right before Rincon. Since I did not know what type of terrain or LZ potential there was in that specific area, I opted to fly downwind toward Ojai, as I saw a large field that I knew I could make on glide, especially with a tail wind. The landing was interesting, as the wind right on the ground was blowing West, where as a couple hundred feet above, it was blowing East. Overall, the landing was very smooth, and I am very happy with my decision to not try for Rincon / the beach. I think SD is correct, where if I angled my glide more West, I would have certainly been able to make the beach with less headwind.

Overall, it was a fantastic flight! That was my first flight from Pine and loved everything about it. Flying over the Ojai / SB backcountry is awesome! Thanks to all of the guys doing retrieves and SD for helping out with all of the launches. A super fun day with awesome people!
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