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Gray Hill flying and directions.

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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:29 pm

SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, 9:25 pm:
I just had a call from PG pilot Steve Crye, who had a very successful soaring flight at Gray Hill this weekend. He said that the winds were high, from NNW, but he waited until they settled down towards evening. He got as high as halfway up the tower (though nowhere close to that structure - it's kind of scary). Sounds pretty good. We probably won't have the same direction next weekend, but it may be fun to camp up there, regardless. Keep it in mind!
-Robin
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:23 pm

Way to go Steve,
For the coming weekend at Gray Hill:
Today I see the forecast has added around 50% chance of rain on Sunday.
We can just keep an eye on the forecast as the weekend gets closer.
Wind is for westerly just under 10 mph with high temperature at 70º and night just above 40º.
Sunday the wind may go east (not good if it does.)
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:17 pm

Taro checked back with me on email and he will be busy during the Gray Hill (tentative) weekend.
Mike R. will be kept in the loop if Gray Hill weather looks good.
I'll call Max M now and let him know----
Later edit:
Max didn't pick up but I left a message-----
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:09 pm

Bill Cummings wrote: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

Mike and I just talked and we are both free so we thought we would start packing tonight and phone again around noon tomorrow. The plan for us is to head up sometime after noon tomorrow so that we could fly Thursday through Saturday. The forecast is poor for Sunday.
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Gray Hill flying and directions. 09-21-2016----

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:29 pm

Mike E and I will head for Gray Hill tomorrow (Wed.) midday. Mike R on Thursday, Robin H on Friday, Lee B on Friday (?) Max not sure but a good bet.
I'll Email Ed Hurta tonight if I find his email. DC and Taro are busy. Robin may inform others. I think Wyatt, Steve, Rod, Hadley, and Jan should see this post but I'll call tomorrow since it's too late now. Who am I forgetting? :crazy: :?:
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby had » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:44 am

very nice - congrats!
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby BuzzNelson » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:58 am

If anyone is interested in somewhat boring PG soaring at Grey Hill, here is the helmet cam video from Sunday.

https://youtu.be/motofoUu2Eg

I really, really enjoyed the 20 minute sunset flight! Worth every penny of the gasoline and every second of the drive and every step of the hike back up to my car.

Buzz
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby RobinHastings » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:58 pm

We had a successful visit to Gray Hill this weekend. Thursday, Sept. 22 (the Autumnal Equinox) was rainy when Mike Ellsworth, Bill Cummings and Mike Reedy made it up there. There was rain on Friday evening, too, after I made it up that afternoon. (Too windy to fly - Mike and Mike hung out at camp, up by the tower, while Bill and I went out to explore a nice training hill out on Hwy 52, near the VLA.) Despite the occasional rains (not too strong) we had a good supper of hot dogs, and then enjoyed a campfire - it got pretty chilly up there! The clouds cleared off in the night, however, and the Milky Way shone beautifully, along with Saturn, Mars and a vast menagerie of stars. Sunrise on Saturday was clear, and surprisingly calm. It got stronger as the morning went on, however. Mike Ellsworth got in his first flight at Gray Hill somewhere around 10:30 am, flying the Falcon 195 that he and Bill bought from Dave Church last year. He did well, with a 2-minute sled run. Bill was next to launch, around noon, and was the first known hang glider pilot to soar the site. His flight was about 6 minutes, by my watch - conditions were soarable, but getting lighter by then. I had lighter winds still, but they strengthened enough that I had a minute or so of soaring at 3:10 pm, before I headed out to the road down below, and a decent landing there near the flag that Mike and Bill had planted. (Retrieval at Gray Hill takes only a few minutes each way, incidentally.) Bill picked me up, and when we got back to the camp by the tower Mike Ellsworth was contemplating a second flight. He got one, too, and managed, like Bill, to gain 100 feet or so in the couple of minutes that he soared the site. Mike's landing hit some switching winds, though (we had winds from south-southwest to west-northwest, all day long) and broke a downtube. That's life in the Southwest, I guess. After we got the Falcon packed up, I said goodbye and headed back home to Las Cruces. Further adventures will await our chronicler Bill Cummings to relate. Me, I had a great weekend - no complaints. And I did get a flight...
-Robin
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions.

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:05 pm

RobinHastings wrote:We had a successful visit to Gray Hill this weekend. Thursday, Sept. 22 (the Autumnal Equinox) was rainy when Mike Ellsworth, Bill Cummings and Mike Reedy made it up there. There was rain on Friday evening, too, after I made it up that afternoon. (Too windy to fly - Mike and Mike hung out at camp, up by the tower, while Bill and I went out to explore a nice training hill out on Hwy 52, near the VLA.) Despite the occasional rains (not too strong) we had a good supper of hot dogs, and then enjoyed a campfire - it got pretty chilly up there! The clouds cleared off in the night, however, and the Milky Way shone beautifully, along with Saturn, Mars and a vast menagerie of stars. Sunrise on Saturday was clear, and surprisingly calm. It got stronger as the morning went on, however. Mike Ellsworth got in his first flight at Gray Hill somewhere around 10:30 am, flying the Falcon 195 that he and Bill bought from Dave Church last year. He did well, with a 2-minute sled run. Bill was next to launch, around noon, and was the first known hang glider pilot to soar the site. His flight was about 6 minutes, by my watch - conditions were soarable, but getting lighter by then. I had lighter winds still, but they strengthened enough that I had a minute or so of soaring at 3:10 pm, before I headed out to the road down below, and a decent landing there near the flag that Mike and Bill had planted. (Retrieval at Gray Hill takes only a few minutes each way, incidentally.) Bill picked me up, and when we got back to the camp by the tower Mike Ellsworth was contemplating a second flight. He got one, too, and managed, like Bill, to gain 100 feet or so in the couple of minutes that he soared the site. Mike's landing hit some switching winds, though (we had winds from south-southwest to west-northwest, all day long) and broke a downtube. That's life in the Southwest, I guess. After we got the Falcon packed up, I said goodbye and headed back home to Las Cruces. Further adventures will await our chronicler Bill Cummings to relate. Me, I had a great weekend - no complaints. And I did get a flight...
-Robin

https://youtu.be/PA1VJsY4K_0

https://youtu.be/Cg9ZjewcxlI
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Re: Gray Hill flying and directions. 9-24-2016.

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:30 pm

RGSA/Hawks and drivers.
Where family obligations didn't get in the way of flying wind and rain filled in for fates effort to keep good pilots on the ground.
Mike E and I arrived on Wednesday but it was blown out.
On Thursday I took Mike to the VLA Training Hill for his first look. We continued past the launch to the camping area and on to the
East in search of another site that would be good for an east launch but there were none.
One good discovery was that the primitive road lead onto a very good tow road that is seldom used that is 2.6 miles long and lays SW to NE.
New tow Rd 2.6 Mi SW-NE.JPG
New tow Rd 2.6 Mi SW-NE.JPG (28.39 KiB) Viewed 520 times

So now we have three tow roads near Gray Hill.
When we returned to the Gray Hill area Mike Reedy pulled in to join us.
The wind and rain was only good for camping until Friday evening when Robin pulled in.
Saturday Mike Ellsworth set up our Falcon 195 sq' hang glider in the lea of the communications building at the base of the tower then Robin and Mike Reedy were on the wing wires just in case as Mike moved up to the west launch.
Mike At Gray Hill..JPG
Mike At Gray Hill..JPG (20.36 KiB) Viewed 520 times

I had one flight in between Mike's two and so did Robin but in all the excitement I forgot to tell the wire crew to start My GoPro for my flight.
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