Tehachapi is in the southern "foothills" of the Sierras, and makes a perfect launch point to fly into Nevada and back for the local sailplane pilots. I have not made that trip, so it was great to be able to fly the route without even working hard.
Except for 25kt winds out of the west, the soaring conditions were great. I had to stop and take a couple of thermals to cloudbase just for grins.
Approaching Mt. Whitney
Closeup of Mt. Whitney. About 10 hikers were on top, and seemed pleased to see me. But the wind spilling over the peak really had me bouncing around, and with a long way to go through this air, I decided to head on up for smoother air. And as long as I was already going past 16 grand, I wanted to see what the climb performance would be up at 18 grand (17,999').
The good ole Phoenix U2 Spyplane didn't have any qualms about climbing right up to 17,999. We were still climbing about 400fpm at that altitude.
The view from 18 grand was quite different from below the clouds at 15 grand, so I'm glad I went up for a look.
I stayed high past Mammoth Ski Area, and started a descent into Minden about 30 miles out.