Saturday couldn’t have been any better.
After a morning of rock climbing out at Stoney Point, Bart, Heidi, and I headed over to San Bernardino to catch the 2:30 van up to Marshall. On the way to Marshall, the van stopped at Crestline to let the hang gliders out. The wind was maching at Crestline… a solid 20 miles per hour with even stronger gusts. We were concerned we wouldn’t be able to get off. Fortunately, the wind wasn’t as strong at Marshall and as we pulled up, we saw a hang glider slowly climbing at the house thermal. We got out and were greeted with light cycles.
We quickly spread our gear and launched.
The thermals started out pretty light. Bart got up right away, but I had to scratch around for ten or fifteen minutes before finding my ticket upstairs. The thermals started building and turned rowdy rather quickly. We were pushed and rolled for the better part of an hour and a half before conditions started to mellow again. Once we got high, we did some mini-XC and headed toward Pine Mountain. We didn’t have the altitude to connect directly- and, while it was a buoyant glide, we couldn’t find the lift we needed, so we headed back. We bounced around and played tag as we hopped from peak to peak.
With the exception of a few hang gliders, we had the sky to ourselves until the 3:30 and 5:00 vans showed up for the glass-off. The lift was smooth and abundant by 5:30 so we boated around until after 6:30. As always, there was a party in the LZ and we were greeted by a friendly crew when we landed. We saw a few Santa Barbarinochigans… including Susumo. I’d only ever seen him at the training hill- so it was fun to watch him ridge soaring out front at Marshall.
We can’t wait to go back.
Total flight time- 3 hours, 8 minutes
Flight distance – 90k