Lakeside evening soaring flights.
Summit County Hike n Fly
Once you get off the shabby launch, the flying can be glorious. Huge views of the sun setting over Lake Dillon and behind the Gores or 10 Mile Range can be magical. The air can be butter smooth (or not... there can be rotor behind Sapphire Point and lingering thermals).
Ideal winds are 5-12mph from W-NW. Southwest is not ideal due to headwind preventing glide to LZ. West winds on Copper or Peak 6 around 15 gusting 22 are ideal for the Duck.
The site needs sun all day to work. Cloud cover shuts down the thermals.
Snaggy and crosswind - up 45 degrees off to the right (north) is common. This is where you put all that kiting practice to use. You did do all that kiting practice, right? The good news is the afternoon wind off the lake is pretty laminar, and launching isn't that bad once you get your wing stable in the air.
This area is damaged from fire, beetle kill, and dead-tree logging. The ground is a mess and there's not an obvious trail to launch. Look for the relatively cleared area that might have some streamers on the nearby trees. There is a second small technical launch to the north but is only recommended once you know the area.
The LZ is a beautiful strip of mown grass maintained by RC hobby pilots who generously share it with us.
It's a 10:1 glide from launch! It's downwind, and you should be able to surf the terrain most of the way... but only launch if you're confident the wind will hold. If the lake level is high (much of the summer), there just aren't great options if you start getting low. You might be able to stuff it in on the lake shore. The highway is far to busy to land on. If you're not sure you can stay up, let someone else fly first and make sure it's going to work.
Launch and Landing Map
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