WEST RUTLAND DESCRIPTION
SW-facing ridge. Many pilots have their first mountain flights here.
Offers a variety of flying conditions, from sled rides, ridge soaring, thermal soaring, and glassy wonder-wind soaring.
Well known for the 4×4 drive to the top.
Meeting Place: The pit
Coordinates: 43.610513, -73.099905
Wind direction: Ideal 235 from the left and 245 from the right.
Wind speed: HG Min. 5, Ideal 10, Max. 15 … PG Min. 5, Ideal 8, Max. 10
Glide ratio: Main LZ 4.7
The pit is a working farm lot where farm equipment is parked and manure stored. Park your vehicles out of the way of the farm equipment and off of the access tracks. Roll up your windows to prevent a vehicle full of flies. Consolidate gliders and pilots into as few 4WD vehicles as possible for the drive to launch.
Head east on Route 4A, pass under Interstate 4 and immediately turn left onto Whipple Hollow Road. Turn off onto the launch access road, pass through the locked gate, engage 4WD, be kind to the road and drive to launch.
Offers good ridge soaring and frequent wonder-wind conditions. Southwest days are not usually the best thermal days, but the local terrain produces thermals if conditions are at all favorable.
Soarable on calm to moderate southwest days. Usually soarable and pleasant on light south or light west days as well.
Pilot must have a H3/P3 rating or better.
An H2/P2 rated pilot may launch if supervised by observer or approved mentor.
An H2/P2 rated pilot may launch if supervised by an H4/P4 or higher rated pilot that is not an observer or mentor if the H2/P2 pilot previously launched here and the official observer or mentor gave permission to the H2/P2 pilot to launch while supervised by an H4/P4 or higher rated pilot.
Do not land in the old dome field, this is now a horse farm.
The launch is near a natural gap along a long ridge line. Air flows through the valley in front of launch and speeds up as it flows through the more narrow gap. Pilots have measured wind speed above the ridge at 10mph, while in the gap, the wind speed was measured at 30mph. Don’t get caught in the gap with a glider that can not penetrate stronger winds.
Light south wind days are fine, however, as the wind speed increases turbulence increases as air flows over a point (Birds Eye) on the other side of the valley. There are exciting stories that start with pilots launching on strong south days.