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Elsinore - Soboba Ridge and Return (almost)

March 31, 1996 - 70 miles


We released at about noon over Elsinore Peak and immediately contacted thermal lift that took us to 5500' MSL or 4250' above Skylark Field. The "we" in this story is Kevin Perry in 1-26 #212 and Jeff Wright in his newly acquired Pilatus B-4. We left Elsinore Peak and headed North over the Santa Ana Mountains and fiddled around with some 2-4fpm bubbles for about thirty minutes. About a mile east of Mt. Pinos we contacted a boomer that took us to 6400' and we headed out on course. Today's goal was to reach the "S" ridge east of Hemet and try to get into the legendary lift that those Hemet-ians are always talking about.

Using a thermal at Railroad Canyon Reservoir and another at Gunn Hill in Hemet we managed to streak across the farms and dry washes and reach the "S" on Soboba Ridge just at about ridge height. Jeff turned around and made it back to the thermals at Gunn Hill and Rhinehart Canyon. Kevin found himself scaring lizards that were sunning themselves on the boulders of the ridgetop and slowly, slowly descending to the valley floor.

At 400 AGL #212 was almost ready to commit to a base and final into a newly plowed field when a crow flew past and led him to a bubble that would eventually dig him out of the hole and send him back to Hemet, back to the thermals at Gunn Hill.

Jeff and Kevin joined up again at Hemet and headed back toward Elsinore. No lift was encountered while bucking the southwest headwind and Kevin landed on the Ultralight runway at Perris and Jeff scraped over the Sedco Hills to the safety of the home field. The club towplane dragged Kevin back home after a mere 30 minute wait, saving his crew the exertion of a retrieve.