Last week I went up to Lake Pillsbury/Hull Mountain to check out the roads and LZ.
Roads: The county road in from Potter Valley to the LZ is really in great shape, as good as I’ve seen it, not wash-boarded nor really dusty. However don’t get stuck in the mud 100 ft from the LZ park. This will dry up completely in a few weeks unless it rains some more. The road from the LZ to Timberline launch is OK, very close to its condition as we left it last Fall. Its passable with an all wheel drive with high ground clearance and a strong radiator. The rocks are worst the first mile going up, and the last 1/4 mile before Timberline. Save your tires and go slowly in these two sections.
Landing Zone: The lake level is down about 2 ft from high water, so the flag in the LZ is on dry ground, but the grasses not far away South of the flag are in damp terrain. Again a few weeks into June and this should be much drier. If the dry area seems rather small for your landing style, consider the airport or the East edge of the “slot”.
I had heard from other cabin owners that the lake filled early in the winter and I had hoped that the high water level and wind would have moved the driftwood out of the LZ. No such luck, there was more driftwood than I had ever remembered (37 years). I hauled out quite a few of the largest of the logs to the edges of the LZ. There are many smaller driftwood branches to be carried out of our flight path. Please dedicate some time to help out with this task especially if you drive up in a large, open pick up.
We have had a cool Spring, and the weak low pressure troughs have been offset with brief periods of off shore East breezes. Although the low pressure areas have lead to some very unstable weather, much of it have also resulted in NW to NE breezes on the mountain, wind directions that are usually not safe for launching or flying Hull. Before you drive up Hull, check for an afternoon forecast of SSE to W. (see below).
Wed, 5/23 forecast for Memorial weekend: Chance of rain showers Thur-Sat. If you are willing to risk getting wet, the lift of Thur, 5/24 may go up to 11k SSE according to XC Skies. Warmer starting Sunday, and excellent lift to 12 k, but the wind direction is forecast to be North. The first chance of a decent, thermally SW wind direction at Hull is Tue 5/29, according to the program “Windy”.