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Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:27 pm

Sunday, March 7, 2021: After some very chilly weather last month, it was a delight to be at Dry Canyon launch in a T-shirt. Now, the road is no delight - it's in terrible shape, and Finis Miller had to make several runs at it, in at least two places. (Most of it's OK - but it only takes one show-stopper.) Nevertheless, we made it to launch in an hour. Winds were southwest, 10 to 12 mph, skies were clear with some cirrus coming in, and as mentioned, the temperature was lovely. I took off at 2:55 pm MST, and immediately went up 100 feet. I worked thermals all along the ridge from there. They were strong and hard-edged today, with enough sink in between to set off my vario's alarm. But there were plenty of them, and I had no problem reaching the West Face with several hundred feet of clearance (my highest altitude today was only 7700' MSL, about 700 over launch). I hung around until I lost enough to impel me towards Cox Field, where I worked a bit more to extend the flight, then made a west approach and had a fine landing. Half an hour of airtime, and a beautiful day to get it in. I took Finis to dinner at Can't Stop Smokin', which he appreciated - after making up and then DOWN that road, he deserves anything we can give him. (We will definitely need to put in some serious work on it before we hold another Fly-In.) Anyway, in summary, this was a great way to spend a Sunday.
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Thu May 06, 2021 2:58 pm

FRIDAY, MAY 7 through SUNDAY, MAY 9:
It looks like another typical spring weekend for the Southwest - dry, warm and windy. Expect high temperatures in the upper 80's F (30 C). A slight chance of rain Friday evening, but I'm ignoring it. Winds will be southwest to west, in the 10 to 15 mph range on Friday and stronger on Saturday and maybe Sunday. If you go early, then La Luz, the Little Floridas, Agave Hill and Nelson's Launch are worth a try, through the weekend. Mag Rim looks good on Friday, too, but again, only if the winds are not too strong. You have to pick your battles carefully, this time of year. If you do fly, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about some airtime, even if I'm not up for it yet myself.
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Finis » Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:25 pm

Has anything been done about the Dry Canyon road? What about the Forest Service? Would the city help or pressure the Forest Service? I might go hike the road and report.

Based on the last time I drove there are 2 or 3 places that now present a barrier to most trucks. Otherwise it is very rough but the typical 4wd trucks you all bring here are good. ATV's and dirt bikes should have no problem. Paragliders could use them right? It was possible to pass the barrier spots with a big truck, macho tires, a lot of ground clearance, DIY road repairs, a spotter (get out and guide the driver), and disregard for scrapes dents and minor damage. There would be a possibility of getting stuck which would block the road and be bad news for a Fly In. Suitable DIY repairs should prevent that.

If anyone wants to fly here I'm often available to drive. Bring enough truck. Nancy Hastings has given my email address to RGSA for driving purposes, use private message here, or the contact form on my website (icon here is active) to inquire about driving.
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Nate » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:39 am

So great to read you Finis. I you you are well. I too am curious about the condition of the road going up Dry.

In addition to knowing that, it would also be good to stay in contact which the NFS folks. Long Ridge is another site I'd be interested in. I have drove to where the road is closed. It takes about the same time as crawling up Dry. Robin said the vegetation had grown up around where they used to launch. I would like to see for myself. I did have the oppt to inspect it from a few hundred feet above but slopes and vegetation can be misleading from above.
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Finis » Tue May 17, 2022 7:27 am

Paraglider pilots Steve Crye, Lee Boone, and others returned 5-14-22. For the previous expedition they brought super Jeeps (see my recent film) to travel the road. This time one super Jeep and Lee's Toyota Tundra made the ascent. I thought the Tundra had less than 50% chance of making up there but it did. With scouting, planning, and a spotter navigable paths could be found. Outside of those paths is a zone for vehicular rock climbing but the super Jeep had no trouble with that. One the way down I put a lot of rocks in a deep hole and passage through there was much easier. Lee got one wheel in the air at that place on the way up. The ascent took 45 minutes.

Since the Tundra succeeded I think some more capable trucks with glider racks could too. His truck is long (short is better for this driving), has a little lift for clearance, and large all terrain but not serious off road tires. So it is difficult but possible to get up there with a capable but less than purpose built vehicle. Filling deep holes with rocks at three areas that are barriers would be good. Consider that the chance of damage to a vehicle is higher than the old road conditions. I would strap hang gliders on much more securely than usual since the ride is very rough.

The pilots talked of returning for an informal Memorial Day gathering.

I got good video and photos. I'm busy with work in the warm season but there will be a new film sometime.
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Finis » Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:57 am

Any progress on repair for the Dry Canyon road or a new landing zone?
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:03 pm

Hey Finis,
I haven’t heard anything new about work on the road up Dry Canyon.
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