Friday, September 08, 2017 Cobra flight #597, PIC #610, 2 landings Mt Hossick, Hossick Lake, Spring Creek Falls, Gothic Mountain, Yule Lakes, Marble

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1 Friday, September 08, 2017 Cobra flight #597, PIC #610, 2 landings Mt Hossick, Hossick Lake, Spring Creek Falls, Gothic Mountain, Yule Lakes, Marble Pagosa Springs: 7:35 am Marble: 10:39 am Today s Airtime: 2.9 hrs Total PIC Time: Total Logged Time: I checked out of the condo packed up my trike for the flight over the high mountains to the north of Pagosa, followed by another high altitude crossing to reach Marble. I had my O2 system ready for use today. It took me 2 hrs from alarm clock to takeoff which seems to be a universal constant, regardless of whether I fly from home, camp in the backcountry, or use a hangar.

2 Skies were clear this morning. I went around the pattern once to make sure everything was fine, then I headed north.

3 I knew I would have to climb high up to 13,000 to clear the mountains to the north. I started my climb early and was near 10,000 ft as I approached Williams Reservoir. The Paraglider Dashboard app was working great and indicated 3-4 mph catabatic wind out of the north. I headed for Mt Hossick, looking for it s mysterious lake.

4 As I climbed, I worked my way east and west between Cimarrona Peak and Mt Hossick, and could not find the lake. I climbed a little higher and there it was. I was surprised at how high it was, ft, and tucked back in a corner surrounded by 3 peaks

5 Hossick Lake

6 I climbed up to 13,600 ft and headed north over an series of alpine high country meadows to the west of Squaw Canyon. It was very calm and peaceful up here. There were dozens of lakes up here, this large one below is called Squaw Lake. I knew this canyon joined the Rio Grande Reservoir to the south. I cruised along, amazed at the view.

7 I made it to Rio Grande Reservoir (far right) and looked down on Weimenuche Pass. With today s relatively calm winds, I could have made a low altitude crossing down in the valley and over the Pass. But it is much easier, and relaxing to just climb above every bit of terrain, and the cross the mountains, with no worries about any treacherous wind currents ripping through the passes. Especially, when flying alone like I would be on this trip.

8 I stayed high, crossing the mountains near Spring Creek Pass, and then down the a series of valleys towards the town of Gunnision Colorado. I monitored the airport frequency for any activity and then announced I was passing through at 10,000 ft. I continued north, heading directly for Crested Butte. Here I am flying past Carbon Peak. A valley headed off to the left, in the direction of Marble. I am glad I resisted the urge to go that way, because it would have taken me nowhere near Marble.

9 After crossing a couple ridges, the town of Crested Butte came into view. Here I am flying over Meridian Lake, long and narrow lake that lies in a grove carved by glaciers on top of a ridge. I knew were I was now, and where I had to go to get to Marble. The large mountain in for foreground, on the left side is Gothic Mountain. Schoefield Pass is behind and to the left of Gothic. And from there I could glide downcanyon to Marble.

10 When I made it to Gothic, I realized how big these mountains are up here. The peak to the left of center on horizon is 14,156 ft Maroon Peak and all the surrounding peak were almost as high and there were a lot of them up there. Turned on the O2 and circled above Gothic Mountain, catching some steady thermal lift to take me over the top.

11 I flew up to the next thermal generator, a rusty colored peak called Baldy Peak. I approached cloud base and picked out a course between the clouds that would take me in the direction of Marble. It was getting a little bumpy, and I decided I would put off exploring the mountains today, and try it on an early morning flight later in the trip. I saw a canyon on the left and remembered from last time it was a pass with a chain of lakes that would lead to the Marble Valley.

12 I made to Yule Lakes, and continued down this valley which I knew emptied out to the town of Marble.

13 I could see the large lake (Beaver Lake) in the valley which is next to the town of Marble. About this time I heard two airplanes on the radio, in the pattern at Marble. Seems like I got here just in time. I flew over to the Beaver Lake and spiraled down.

14 I called my downwind leg over the beaver pond and saw two planes parked on the grass.

15 I touched down just past the planes. The grass field seemed very bumpy. I taxied back past both planes, and one of them back taxied and took off. I parked my trike next to the remaining plane, a Husky on the south side of the airstrip.

16 I secured my trike and set up my tent, and put a plastic tarp over the nose to protect my radio and other electronics from the rain that was expected that afternoon. I made friends with the Husky pilot, Steve, and we hitched a ride into Marble to eat at the fantastic Slow Grooving BBQ. I ate my one meal for the day, and we lucked out with another ride back down the road to the airstrip. The wind and rain kept other pilots from showing up that day. Kirk, Sue, Andy and Ann showed up for a campfire, and then I turned in for very comfortable night s rest.

17 Here is my GPS track for today s flight. Gothic Mountain Marble Airstrip Creede Mount Hossick Pagosa Springs Airstrip Rio Grande Reservoir

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