The Wolcott site is an afternoon and evening site. This site faces south southwest to northwest with west and southwest wind direction being the most favorable. This site is rated for P2 pilots. Strong thermals and glass offs are typical for this site. The site is 1800 vertical feet with two landing zone options. The hang gliding landing zone is near a four lane highway interchange with about a mile square of landing area to use if needed. The paragliding landing zone is located by an industrial storage facility with approximately 200 yards square of landing area. The paragliding landing zone has a slight slope to the south which can make it tricky at times. The landing zones are on private property which permission is needed to access.
The road to launch is four wheel drive. A vehicle with high clearance is needed.
The Wolcott site faces south southwest to northwest and is a thermic and dynamic site. Conditions most favorable for this site are winds aloft in the 5 to 15 mph range up to 18,000 feet msl. Generally if the winds aloft are 25 to 30 mph it will be too strong to fly this site. We look at the 9,000, 12,000, 18,000 foot msl winds forecast. Wind speeds for this site when we fly are maximum 15 to 18 mph. Wind direction for this a most favorable bearing 220 degrees to 280 degrees. You can launch in south southeast to northwest wind direction. There is a large windsock on launch that you can see from the landing zone easily with binoculars. It is also easy to see from 1,000 feet agl above launch while flying. There are streamers on a rock about 500 feet directly below launch. We also have two streamers on either side of launch with another windsock to the right of launch. In the landing zone we have three windsocks. Two in the middle of the LZ, one on the east end and one on the west end. There is also another windsock on the northeast end of the LZ by the road. This site’s launch is near 9,000 msl, so winds aloft a very important.
In the paragliding landing zone there is a long fence where the industrial storage begins. There is a half mile of field before the fence that can be landed on. There is a stream to the south of the landing zone that separates sage from the main landing zone.
In the hang gliding landing zone there is a few scatter rocks and irrigation gullies that surround the main landing zone. They are located more than 100 yards from the actual touch down area. To the northeast there is a landscape storage operation which is about 500 yards from the touch down area. To the east there is approximately a mile of grassy landing options. To the south about 500 yards away is the four lane highway.
This site is close to the approach for Eagle County Airport. The planes have a designated flight path they usually fly on their approach. Their minimum altitude over our area is 10,200 msl, but generally they are around 12,000 msl flying through the area. Before every flight we contact the Eagle Tower to inform them of our flying and proximity. They in turn 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 20 years.
Obstacles: Launch is natural grass and is convex, getting steeper as you run forward. It is surrounded to the east by a large shrub and sage brush on all other sides. There is a high tension powerline to the south about 700 yards which can easily be avoided and not flown over. The ridge runs basically north to south for about 3 miles. Cars park to the southeast below and behind launch in a flat area approximately 100 yards from launch.
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In case of a serious accident that needs emergency medical care, call 911 and Vail Mountain Rescue. Since this site is more remote there is potential to call in a helicopter if needed with many landing options near the top. The local EMS knows the site and location and has GPS coordinates.