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Gray Hill flying and directions.

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Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:35 pm

I'll post the directions to Gray Hill again but this time for 4-9-2016 to ---?

From Las Cruces, New Mexico, for two hours or a little over, I will be going north on interstate 25 to Socorro New Mexico.

I’ll take exit 147 and go to business 25 to the middle of Socorro and supply at WalMart. Also meet up with other glide heads.
Call on 151.925 WPRY420.

Coming from Albuquerque, (ABQ) New Mexico on Interstate 25 to Socorro NM it takes just under two hours driving time.
You then should take exit 150 to be on business 25.

From the north exit (150) business 25 is also hwy # 60 and California St.
You can take care of your business once on business 25 and also go shopping.

After meeting at WalMart for ice, food, and what not, we can head south and stay on Hwy # 60 as it goes west toward Magdalena, NM.
Magdalena will afford us a second opportunity should we absentmindedly fail to stock up or gas up.

Hwy # 60 if you follow it too far will take you to the Very Large Array if you wish to “Phone Home.” (long distance calls only.)

About 11 miles WSW of Magdalena hwy # 60 will bend it’s elbow and take you WNW.
From the elbow in the road you only go about 0.7 miles and go south on road 168. About two miles on 168 you will want to turn SE toward Gray Hill.
Gray Hill is Lat: 34.037940 Lon: -107.446247
The top of the hill is at 7,677’ msl. The LZ looks to be 400’ lower. (It's a training hill but sometimes soarable.
There is a Verizon cell tower on Gray Hill.
Retrieve fees are: one can of soda or beer.
Camping fees are about half of that.
All fees can be waived with a smile.
BLM land. Top and bottom.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Check weather:
https://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=pws:KNMNEWME10
_____________________________________________________________________________
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlnaa3GyUiM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t20B0It5mrA
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Re: Gray Hill and ten miles west a training hill.

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:15 am

After Robin and Taro headed home on 4-10-2016 Mike R. and I went exploring for an Apache Hot Spring.
On the way south, on hwy 52, from hwy 60, and past the Very Large Array (VLA) I couldn't help but notice the best tow
road that I had seen in New Mexico. (USA)
VLA.PNG
VLA.PNG (783.97 KiB) Viewed 970 times

_________________________
Highway 52 is about ten miles west of the turn off to Gray Hill. Hwy 52 runs SSW - NNE.
From Hwy 60 to the VLA turn it is black top road. This stretch of road may have visitor traffic but south of the VLA turn
the pavement ends and turns into good dirt road.
I clicked this picture as I followed Mike to the Hot Spring.
Darn. A tow rd, with no fence, trees, poles, wires to hang yarn on..PNG
Darn. A tow rd, with no fence, trees, poles, wires to hang yarn on..PNG (868.51 KiB) Viewed 970 times

_________________________
Off to the east of the road I found a perfect, rounded, shallow, grassy, ridge for training. (I would want 8 to 12 mph. from 275 degrees.)
W. face training hill. somebody pinch me..PNG
W. face training hill. somebody pinch me..PNG (626.99 KiB) Viewed 970 times

_________________________
Thanks Mike R for allowing this detour. I glassed the hill and I'll be darned -- there is a road to the top. I just had to drive up it in two wheel drive.
With a road to the top..PNG
With a road to the top..PNG (633.28 KiB) Viewed 970 times

_________________________
Below is a picture from the top --(did that make sense?)
Anyway the black area was a burnt area. There is nothing in front for miles but grass.
Found a new training ridge that faces 275 deg..PNG
Found a new training ridge that faces 275 deg..PNG (646.98 KiB) Viewed 970 times

Next I will go to the BLM office here in Las Cruces, NM and buy a map of the San Mateo Mtns.
There is a good chance the land with Mike and Bill's Training Ridge (AKA The West Face, VLA Training Hill.) is controlled by the BLM.
In this area is the San Mateo National forest and some state land. (Things are really looking good for this training hill/ridge.)
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:46 pm

I bought the map and can now direct pilots to the VLA West Face (275 deg.) Training Hill on BLM Land. (100' high)
Starting from the Hwy 60 at the turn off to Gray Hill go 7.6 miles west on Hwy 60 to Socorro County Rd. 52 and turn SSW.
Just after crossing the VLA RR tracks in a mile and a quarter starts BLM land on each side of the dirt road. Start towing SSW here for
about a mile and a quarter where it enters State land.
Darn. A tow rd, with no fence, trees, poles, wires to hang yarn on..PNG
Darn. A tow rd, with no fence, trees, poles, wires to hang yarn on..PNG (868.51 KiB) Viewed 954 times

If you are going to the HG/PG, VLA, West Face (275 deg. 100' high) Train Hill the turn off is left 8.89 miles from Hwy #60.
Take the primitive two wheel drive road about 1,600 yards to the top.
HG-PG Training hill 100' high 10 mph. Takes wind 275 deg BLM.PNG
HG-PG Training hill 100' high 10 mph. Takes wind 275 deg BLM.PNG (608.6 KiB) Viewed 954 times

Remember! No off road motor vehicle travel is permitted on BLM land. Only pull off so as to not block the road.
The tow road and the shallow hill is the best I've ever been to. :thumbup:
Nothing but grass out front for miles and miles.
Found a new training ridge that faces 275 deg..PNG
Found a new training ridge that faces 275 deg..PNG (646.98 KiB) Viewed 954 times
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Click on picture to expand if need be.
The 8.89 mile turn off to the training hill is between mile post 79 and mile post 80 on Socorro County Rd. # 52.
8.89 mile turn off is between MP 79 and MP 80.PNG
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:26 am

Another pathetic photo that doesn't do justice to the Landing Zone for advanced gliders flying Gray Hill.
There really is nothing we can do about removing the obstacles within this LZ, ten miles distant. Sorry!
If it were not for the Very Large Array (VLA) Radio Dish Telescopes out ahead (top center picture) we would then be able to
offer twenty miles more for pilots that are having trouble with a Restricted Landing Field (RLF) sign off.
I haven't checked on Google Earth yet but I would guess the VLA restricts this landing field by
being plunked down somewhere this side of the middle.
Great caution should be taken not to over shoot this LZ due to the power lines ten miles ahead.
Once again -- we are extremely sorry that we couldn't find you a better LZ :srofl: :lol: 8-) :shifty: :shh:
(If need be --- click on the photo to expand it.)
Sorry about the LZ obstructions 10 miles ahead..PNG
Sorry about the LZ obstructions 10 miles ahead..PNG (986.75 KiB) Viewed 919 times

LOOKING WEST._________________
Below, LOOKING EAST.
LOOKING EAST.PNG
LOOKING EAST.PNG (1.16 MiB) Viewed 919 times
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:12 pm

Besides the tow road thru BLM property south of the VLA there is another tow road out in front of the Gray Hill launch to the west.
I have worked up a Google Earth Snipping Tool picture of what I am talking about:
(If there is a scroll bar to the right of the picture try left clicking on the picture to expand it.)
Tow Rd (Yellow) directions 035 & 215 deg. 1.22 mile long.PNG
Tow Rd (Yellow) directions 035 & 215 deg. 1.22 mile long.PNG (402.46 KiB) Viewed 887 times

Above the yellow line is the tow road and the fences in the area I have partially marked in red.
The yellow marked tow road is one and two tenths mile (1.22 mile) long between the fences.
Towing is to the NNE (035 degrees) or the SSW (215 degrees).
If you think you are experienced enough to land, beside the road, in the size of the Landing Zone (LZ) depicted below you should be okay.
LZ along the tow road in my discription.PNG
LZ along the tow road in my discription.PNG (986.23 KiB) Viewed 887 times

Remember that there is to be NO off road motor vehicle traveling on BLM land. Do not block the road to thru traffic. Road traffic has the right of way. Please take only pictures and leave nothing behind but tracks on the road.
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions, and information (WX)

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon May 02, 2016 5:52 pm

I came across a weather reporting station that appears on the Wunderground Map to be located at the Very Large Array (VLA).
It does also have text that indicates Socorro, NM so I'm not sure if the station pictured below is miss-located or is in fact right where I want it to be. Near the VLA.
If it is at the VLA site this would be the closest reporting station, up wind, to the west of Gray Hill, that I know of.
It would be just over eight (8) miles north of the VLA West Face Training Hill.
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KNMSOCOR9#history
A Google Earth Search of the location description may help us confirm its position:
Forecast for Magdalena, NM > 34.070 -107.628 > 6980 ft (needs Google Earth Search because on the map the spot is located at the VLA.)
Below is a graph Snipping Tool capture that I took earlier this morning.
(Left clicking on the picture may expand the picture to full size for some browsers.)
Is this at the VLA like it shows on the map.PNG
Is this at the VLA like it shows on the map.PNG (43.7 KiB) Viewed 876 times

________________________________________________________________
Below is another Snipping Tool capture of earlier information.
VLA WX station.PNG
VLA WX station.PNG (73.64 KiB) Viewed 876 times

________________________________________________________________
You can also select dates from the history VIEW button.
B sure to click on VIEW then scroll down to the graph..PNG
B sure to click on VIEW then scroll down to the graph..PNG (14.42 KiB) Viewed 876 times
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed May 04, 2016 8:02 pm

I found another picture of the tow road out in front of Gray Hill.
Gray Hill Tow Road.PNG
Gray Hill Tow Road.PNG (1.09 MiB) Viewed 866 times

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
About ten (10) air miles to the SW of Gray Hill is the VLA West Facing Training Hill that Mike Reedy and I found on our search for the Apache Hot Springs :shh:
Looking at Google Earth I think that I found a camping spot a mile past the crest of the training hill. It is a total of 2.1 mile off of Socorro CO Rd. # 52.
The road to the camping spot is among some trees on the same road that take one to the top of the training hill. Camping is permitted on BLM land.
Camping in this location will be just over the hill from the main road # 52 and will provide a modicum of privacy. Privacy comes sparse half way up a grassy mountainside. Maybe camping among the trees will keep us from drawing those Expensive Third Party Ambulance Chasers. (We don't want nor need no stinking insurance premiums or third party targets.)
Allow me to harp again --- at the camping area keep your vehicles at the existing road.
The 8.89 mile turn off to the training hill is between mile post 79 and mile post 80 on Socorro County Rd. # 52.
2.1mi. off Rd. 52 is Laylow Camp - among the trees..PNG
2.1mi. off Rd. 52 is Laylow Camp - among the trees..PNG (455.79 KiB) Viewed 866 times
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue May 10, 2016 3:00 pm

I'm still looking for information on the Very Large Array (VLA) weather station.
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KNMSOCOR9#history
Mike R. and I were out to the building site of the VLA and I looked for an Anemometer outside but didn't see one.
Anemometer.JPG
Anemometer.JPG (11.87 KiB) Viewed 848 times

Looking at the weather history for today at the VLA site it was showing a loss of laminar air above 5 mph.
More than 5 mph laminar air is lost - why.JPG
More than 5 mph laminar air is lost - why.JPG (32.89 KiB) Viewed 848 times

I've come up against this situation at other official stations in Minnesota. The Anemometer was
mounted on the roof of a building and just back a ways from the edge of the building.
As the wind speed increased at some point the Anemometer was in the standing rotor set up by the building.

We seem to be at the mercy of brain dead know-it-alls that are pressed for time to read the instillation instructions.
Either that or the instructions were written by someone like me.

Anyway if pilots stop in at the VLA, give another look for where the Anemometer is located and see if it has been
mounted downwind of a tree or a parked mobile crane or some other obstruction.

With all the open grass land in that area it is difficult to believe that air would be as turbulent as the history is indicating.
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue May 10, 2016 3:52 pm

From Gray Hill to the west face (275) 100' training hill is a total of 20.3 miles one way.
Gray Hill to W Face VLA training hill 20.3 miles by Rd..JPG
Gray Hill to W Face VLA training hill 20.3 miles by Rd..JPG (38.11 KiB) Viewed 849 times
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