A few weeks ago some friends and I planned a trip to Dunlap for this past weekend. As the weekend got closer, it was clear that it would rain on Sunday. So we decided to give it a try anyway on Saturday. It ended up being a great day!
Dunlap is about 3.5 hours away from home, I carpooled with a friend and his wife. That morning was a little hectic. Every time I carpool I want to be sure I don’t leave anything behind. With all this going on, I accidentally took my Harley Davidson helmet instead of my new pointy and shinny Icaro hang gliding helmet. Both of them where inside its black cloth bag. How could I do that!? The motorcycle helmet is somewhat heavier than hang gliding helmet. Oh well!
Back to Dunlap. There was lift all along the ridge up to 6000ft all day. I think I got to 5900 ish. It was a little rowdy as well, I ended up giving up after about 35 minutes or so as I was tired of fighting the turbulence. But this is one thing I need to improve on. I think I need to be more confident with my glider and with the turbulent conditions, I tend to freak out. While I got a couple of scary moments, the other pilots had no complaints, so not sure. I did get a couple of cable twangs tho.
I have flown Dunlap a few times, but never really flown to the right of launch, I wanted to give it a try. Seeing that there were consistent thermals along the ridge, I went to Delilah, the peak on the right of launch. As soon as I got there, I I found a nice strong thermal. So strong that I decided to fly back to launch, it shook me well. I passed launch, the conditions were getting stronger, so I continued on to the far left of the ridge. I think they call that Last Chance. The wind around me was doing all sorts of weird things.
I ended up fighting it a little bit and now I’m still a little sore. From the moment I launched until the moment I left the ridge, about 35 minutes later, I never went below launch. It was fun watching all the gliders above and below. After that time, I decided to leave the ridge and head over to the LZ area, when I got to the LZ I was still about 2,500ft above it, so I decided to continue. I got a small thermal in the valley, which was pretty cool, and ended up crossing it and reaching the other hill. At that point I was getting a little low. I decided to go back to the LZ and hope for a thermal to get up again, but ended up landing. I actually encountered a lot of sink on my way to the LZ.
It was a great day! No regrets on the long day trip. My flight was a little under an hour, but it felt a lot longer! Some of the other pilots stayed up for over 2 hours (some did 15 and 20 minutes as well). No one really sunk out.
There were 12 pilots in total, I think.
Here are some more cool photos of that day: