Posted by slopemeno |
Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:33 PM | 4,817 Views
"Drop your sticky scissors.." the DJ on KOZT said "And go outside!"
I was cruising north on Hwy 1 near Manchester beach in Mendocino County CA, checking out the trees waving in the wind. It looked like about 20-25 mph NNW. I knew a spot.
I pulled into the parking lot of the Navarro Bluffs County park and the wind had picked up. The Navarro Bluffs sit just north of the Navarro River, and form a 'wind cheat'- the wind climbs over the bluffs rather than make the sharp turn into the mouth of the river.
I picked up my Performance Composites Starling and my Alula and walked to the lip. It was *going*. It was good. I should have left the Alula in the car... The 50' cliff drops straight off into the Pacific Ocean, and there's only a tiny beach over to the right to bail out.
I plugged in the Starling and wiggled the sticks- deep breath. It's going to be OK. I walked to the edge and glanced over. 6' high waves crashed into the rocks. I chucked the Starling out, and it shot up in a solid band of lift. Even though the wind was NNW the face turned the air WNW, and made a really nice stack of lift that seemed to go up 250' or so.
OK- half pipes. The air was a touch rough down low, but the half pipes were big and effortless. Loops, rolls, a loopchevak or two.
Landing approaches are a bit touchy- drop below the shear and your plane rockets ahead. Fortunately the LZ is huge- a hundred yard square.
If you're in the area and the wind gods are in your corner- try this spot.