Villa and Mtn Flying S CO

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Villa and Mtn Flying S CO

Postby jj » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:00 pm

New season and some folks may either need a refresher or may not be familiar with some of the mtn flying sites.

A major mtn flying site in South Central CO is Villa Grove. See the many USHPA mag articles on CO Fly week. Amazing place. Huge air site, but in the mornings or afternoons it can be a novice site as well. NOT a novice site mid day, any day. Things can get big and gnarly very fast at Villa. If you don't know how to core sink you should not be flying Villa mid day, especially on an active day..

Also known as the Little Owens valley Villa has its own weather patterns. Mid summer some very nasty gust fronts and dust devils can ruin an epic flight. Spring flying can be rewarding but I caught 11m/s on my 6 second averager in March a few years back. Wild ride. Glad I was on a HG. Conditions change Very fast at Villa and big TStorms can blossom in 30 minutes with little warning. Keep checking conditions to the West during your flight.

You want winds from the SW for Villa, but even if the forecast doesn't show a perfect SW conditions locals know that the valley flow often dominates the forecasted winds. Winds on launch are almost always 1.5 to 2 x stronger than forecast surface winds. Be particularly mindful of upper winds. Check winds at 14k and 20k. If they are cranking you should consider mtn biking or hiking. PGs are particularly vulnerable to a strong venturi at Hayden pass. Note that since the big fire last year we can no longer retrieve people who get sucked into the Hayden pass venturi and caught in the trees at the top, or on the other side. The road to the pass is closed. If you get blown over, you had better be able to make it over the pass, past the rotor, and all the way to Coaldale. I believe it is a $10k fine if you are caught in the burn area.

On launch if you see the Northmost tell tale indicating a North wind Do Not launch. You will be launching in rotor.

With all that said, morning flights at Villa can be anything from a fun sledder to a great morning cook flight. Later afternoons can provide great flights and often epic glass offs. Villa is Villa.

Talk to people who have flown there before. Lots of people have flown Villa but the locals have a better idea of how conditions are shaping up for the day.

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