High altitude thermals and soaring.
158.400 DCS 23
P2 / H2
Although this H2/P2 mountain site appears gentle and forgiving, conditions can change rapidly leading to dangerous flight conditions for both PG and HG (quickly becoming H3/P3+). The site sits at the top of the South Park basin and valley flow patterns (northerly/upslope conditions during daytime heating and southerly/downslope conditions) are the normal.
Prior to flying this site, a thorough understanding of valley wind systems, wind compression, and thunderstorm hazards is highly recommended. Early morning conditions are mild. The site is good for HG, PG, and MW, and pilots learning mountain flying specifics. This is a high alititude site, solid and aggressive launch techniques required.
Launch elevation is about 10,400', ideal launch aspects: SSW-S-SSE, moderate to clean slope, expansive area with many launch options, low grass and some shrub, some tape wind streamers may exist, pack all wind streamers out, launch access. It's a pleasant short hike and 4WD access is also possible.
Ideal Wind Range: HG 3-12mph max 25. PG 3-10mph max 15. MW 3-15mph max 18.
The main LZ is located on USFS property at 9,700' with undulating terrain with potholes, fast approach speeds in low wind conditions, low grass, cattle and bulls could be in the area -- if so, stay away/don't over-fly/land somewhere else/decide not to fly, pilots MUST understand where the USFS and private property lines are located- walk through with a local site guide/instructor is STRONGLY recommended.
Launch and Landing Map
Daily Use Fee should be paid in the campground area, if camping or hiking through.
Although the designated LZ is on USFS property, the landowner believes that their property extends farther than what is shown on maps (see map), tread lightly and don't walk through private property- to access Hwy 285 do not walk through the ranch's wooden fence/gate but directly east to the bend in the road, and remove all wind streamers upon departure.
Do NOT use gate in the landing area as it is on private property.
Parking/pickup/dropoff is not allowed at Lazy Bull Ranch, LLC entrance, along Hwy 285, and the ranch’s access road. Cross over the fence only on the Forest Service side of the property. See site diagram for private property location.
Great site when winds aloft are from the south and southwest. Wide open valley is located upwind.
Thunderstorm development very serious concern. If storms are dropping out, especially upwind, do not fly. Due to valley flow (South Park system) winds can ramp up very quickly, leading to blowback. If blowback occurs, there are fields downwind.
Beautiful in fall. Too early in the spring when snow is still present in the adjacent high-country, downsloping winds can result in very cross conditions.
Ideal Weather Conditions: S through SW synoptic weather pattern. Light winds aloft (through at least 18K, absence of jet stream). Low chance of thunderstorm development/OD.
Close to highway, you can sledder or soar here. Check forecasts as winds can pick up quickly out of valley. Allow adequate separation from terrain, smallest recommended wing to make LZ: 12m. Glide Ratio 3:1