Routes on the RASP

We don’t have too many turnpoints illustrated on the Williams RASP, but we might identify some common routes  to help us focus our attention when looking at the forecast.

The RASP maps are remarkably accurate in predicting lift and are very helpful to pilots who would prefer to plan their flight rather taking a tow, without knowing what you will find, and then trying to discover what’s out there before you wander into areas of sinking air.  Reading the RASP before takeoff does sort of take the fun out of discovering it on your own, but on the other hand, it does allow you to practice your piloting skills of flying your ship in areas of rising air, as well as traveling far, and making it back home again! A much more fun approach to Soaring – and a heck of a lot safer too!

The following eleven locations  are displayed on the RASP maps.  Each name is centered on the location of the available atmospheric soundings:




Since the contour map is very rough in scale, with only 500 ft elevation lines, it is difficult for many of us to identify our common flight path routes.   Andy Hogben, the glider pilot here in our community who generously and continuously volunteers his time and resources to implement the RASP programs (written by Dr Jack in Fortran), has placed the above mentioned names on the RASP maps.  Andy suggests that maybe a few lines on the map might be useful, but he is still evaluating the feasibility of such an idea.

In an endeavor to assist us in reading the RASP map, relative to a potential flight path, I’ve created a guide map, with lines indicating common routes, that might help you.  About the only recommendation I can make to you at this point – study the following  illustration and apply it to the RASP maps as you are able.


Tows from Williams often go either to 3 Sisters, or continue on to Walker, or they go directly to Goat.

Final glides are often from St John to:

  • Williams (heading towards the “L” in WILLIAMS)

Common routes illustrated are from Goat to:

  • St John
  • Eagle Peak  (heading towards the “K” in YOLLAPEAK)
  • Black Butte (heading towards the “B” in BLACKBUTTE)
  • Gravelly  (heading towards the “R” in SAN_HEDRIN)

A common route from Black Butte is to:

  • Yolla Peak (heading towards the “A” in YOLLAPEAK)

A common route northbound from Yolla Peak is to:

  • Hay Peak (heading towards the “K” in HAYFORK).

Common routes also illustrated are from Goat to Bessa Towers and from there to 3 Sisters:

  • Goat (heading towards the “T” in Towers)
  • 3 sisters.

The significant point of looking at this illustration is for you to set  in your mind where the lines of lift need to be, in order for you to choose one of these routes.  Most of the routes are between 39N and 40 N, and all are east of  123W.  This will narrow your focus in the future when you are looking for convergence lines, and other lines of lift or clouds.  Memorize the locations of these lines in relation to the latitude lines of 39 n and 40 N and the line of longitude of 123 W.  These Lat/ Long lines are a constant on every RASP map!


In Summary:

Four Stars:

  • 3 Sisters
  • Walker
  • Goat
  • St John

Six tracks to the north and two in the south for a total of eight Tracks:

  • to StJohn
  • to Eagle Peak – see K
  • to Black Butte – see B
  • to GRavelly – see R
  • to Yolla (from Black Butte) – see A
  • to HaypeaK – see K
  • to Bessa Towers
  • to 3 Sisters

Revised 12/31/2018 1:15 PM PST

End end.

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