On Saturday, September 13th, we had excellent local soring conditions around Hollister. A bit after noon, I took a 6,000 foot tow in the 1-34 and released over the 2nd ridge by the Tin Roof. There was nothing.
What follows is the flight report I posted that night on the HGC Yahoo Group.
The lift was strong on the first ridge today--mostly around Three Sisters. I took the 1-34 up for an early (around 1pm) flight when several gliders launched on Panoche toes. I towed to 6000 over the second ridge, since that's where the local lift always is. But it wasn't. The air was very smooth. No lift, no sink. I listened to the guys struggling at Panoche as I waited to lose some altitude, assuming that the lift must be a bit lower. It was. Eventually I made my way to the tree sisters and the "bowl" nearby. I didn't find anything until I got below 5000, but between 4000 and 5000 it was good. Three or four times I got low and climbed back up to 5000. Meanwhile, the guys in Panoche were calling for Alan to head down in the Pawnee. How odd. I stayed up about 1.4 hours. About 20-30 minutes before I headed back, Lance and Darren arrived in an ASK-21 to prove that the lift was still there and quite good. Hopefully they'll describe their flight. They got higher than I did and stayed up as least as long. After 30 minutes or so, I got too low for my comfort in the 1-34 and headed back (and found lift on the way!). I'm still experimenting with how low I can be and safely return in the 1-34 on a windless day. When I landed I noticed a real absence of gliders on the ground. After a break to eat and hang out, Darren and I launched in Grob 15M around 3pm and headed back to the same spot. The lift was even stronger than before. The extra 2 hours to let the rocks heat up made a real difference. There were good 4-6 knot thermals and an occasional 8 knot. Lance and Joyce came along in 63JJ after flying some loops and found good lift with us. Steve headed back from Panoche (the only one who didn't need an tow back, I believe) in Pegasus CA and joined us in a thermal long enough to out-climb us. We experimented a bit on the way back (took a few detours) and found that every group of exposed south, west, or southwest facing rocks were producing lift. It's not often that local Hollister lift is better than Panoche! In total, we flew for an hour or so before heading back to call it a day at 4pm. But it wasn't for lack of lift. We flew 70 knots back to the airport and found lots of zero sink and 2 knot thermals along the way. How unusual. 63JJ followed not far behind. The sea breeze didn't arrive until 4pm or so. And even then it wasn't very strong. Did anyone try going west? Maybe out toward Fremont Peak? We discussed it early in the day, but I don't know if anyone tried it. Anyway, the BLIPMAPs for tomorrow look very similar so far. Get down to Hollister and enjoy it. :-)
It was a good day to fly indeed.
Posted by jzawodn at October 02, 2003 08:43 PM