Manfred released at 3000' msl yesterday,
which was cloudbase. He is such a stud. Hope that shuts up the whiners.
Walt's Point, where many of the long Owens flight originate is around 9k msl. The valley floor is around 4k msl. It rises as it goes north up towards Mono Lake at 6200'. I have no idea what the rationale is with the Europeans on the 2k’ meter rule. Must have something to do with the Alps.
I can say this about Owens flights, it is a long way out to the highway any good landable terrain from the crest of the Sierras. That first 60 miles along the range headed north has to be accomplished in good time because when the sun moves from lighting the east face Sierras to the west face of the Whites and Inyos you want to be on your way across the valley to towards Black Mountain, at the south end of the Whites. Otherwise the onshore flow will start whistling down from the west, chasing birds out of the air and pounding gliders down towards the earth. Scratch your way up Black Mtn., head north towards White, get stinking high, hypoxic and your butt kicked above 14k and maybe you will slip off the end of the range into Nevada.
I still feel that Owens pilots have the big “ones”. No records there anymore just plenty big air. Double Black Diamond air!
L/D these days is so dependent upon cleanliness of pilot/harness/helmet/basetube/sidewires combos that it's kinda tough to say for sure. Some of the rigids are talking about 19:1. Maybe. It's safe to say 15:1 with a reasonably clean setup for state of the art stuff.
One of the big things that has made a difference is the decent glides at higher speeds that are now possible. In '84 your glide really went downhill at much above 30-40 mph. You could do 60 but so could a toolbox. Now, you can do 50-60 mph between thermals or transiting sink and still cop a respectable glide. If you need to go 70 mph you can do it.
[This message has been edited by jd (edited July 19, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">
[This message has been edited by jd (edited July 19, 2001).]</FONT>