Evening thermals and glassoffs.
Bellyache | Wolcott
P2 / H2
Wolcott is an afternoon and evening site that faces south southwest to northwest with west and southwest wind direction being the most favorable. Strong thermals and glass offs are typical for this site. It can be difficult to get down to the ground on good days, even after sunset. Solid descent skills might be required!
XC is very possible in the long summer evenings, with Edwards, Avon, Eagle Vail, and the Vail ballfields being popular destinations. Work high up the ridge to the north, then turn and run with the wind when you get as high as possible. You will likely find thermals each time you cross one of ridges perpendicular to I-70.
Wolcott iis one of the sites where RMHPA works closely with the land owner, which is the only way we can fly here. RMHPA membership is required - do your part!
Launch faces SSW to W and is near 9,000 msl, so winds aloft a very important. Favorable conditions are winds aloft in the 5 to 15 mph range up to 18,000'. If the winds aloft are 25 to 30 mph it will be too strong to fly this site. Max wind speeds for this site are 15-18 mph from 220 - 280 degrees.
The road to launch is four wheel drive. A vehicle with high clearance is needed.
The main LZ is a huge field with few obstacles. There are a few fences and electric lines to scout ahead of time.
The secondary LZ is the "dump" where dirt and boulders are constantly being rearranged. In addition to those hazards, the wind could be compressed and strong up the valley OR catabatic and flowing down the valley. You may not be able to detect the surface flow direction until the last 100'.
Both LZs are private property we use with permission.
Launch and Landing Map
Wolcott has a weather station right at launch.
Ideal Wind Range: HG 3-12mph max 25. PG 3-10mph max 15. MW 3-15mph max 18.
Miniwing rating M2 with a 6:1 glide ratio.
This site is close to the approach for Eagle County Airport. Planes have a designated flight path they usually fly on their approach. They are around 12,000' flying through the area, which is easily in our range. Before every flight we contact the Eagle Tower to inform them of our flying and proximity. They inform pilots on approach of our location and also include a NOTAM on the ATIS. There have been no close calls with planes since we have been flying this site for decades.
There is a high tension powerline to the south about 700 yards which can easily be avoided and not flown over.
This is a P2 site under very light wind conditions, but it's usually a strong-wind launch with high-altitude and big mountain considerations.
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