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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Saddle Mountain near Mattawa - TR

    Today was my first flight off Saddle Mountain. I headed out for Baldy Butte under cloudy weather, but hit sun and hit a decent amount of north wind around Quincy. I remembered Doug Stroop from Aerial Paragliding telling me that Saddle Mountain works in north days so I called Mark Shipman to confirm; yes, Saddle works under north or northeast conditions. I decided to forget Baldy and try a new site.

    The LZ is a sand dune ORV recreation site just east of Beverly at the base of Saddle Mountain (46.830, -119.896). I left a dirt bike for shuttle and headed up to launch. It's a drive up there.... head to Mattawa, take a left on R road and follow it longer than you'd think to get to the top. Great views from up there and I found a nice vegetated saddle to launch from (46.818, -119.881).

    So there I am looking north 1800' over the valley below all by myself. I’m a fairly new pilot and it’s always a little scary flying a new site by when you’re all alone. You start to wonder, is it too windy, will I be able to penetrate, am I making a mistake? It’s funny because I ask the same questions when I'm in a group but I'm usually a lot more confident in my answers. It's usually when I'm by myself that I really wonder. Either way though, it's on me because I'll pay the bill regardless of whether it was group or solo-think so I should trust myself. So, I got my gear ready and ran off the edge.

    Great first flight! I soared the ridge several times before the wind started to die, and then I got out front and caught a few thermals. The LZ is huge you'll have no problem making it. On landing, I met up with some folks who gave me a ride for a second flight.

    Notes: Great site on north wind. Be careful of northwest or anything too cross because you could get rotor off some of the north facing spines. Bring a 4x4 for the road because there might be some deep sand pockets. Definitely worth flying though. It certainly made my day!
    Last edited by Greg_Geo; 09-05-2016 at 07:39 AM.



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