Paragliding at the Craters and South Mountain,
Pictures taken by Marcel Dettling in October
Day 1, Merriam Crater
The Craters are a well known
paragliding site that is located approximately 25 miles from
Flagstaff, Arizona. Here we are on the road towards Merriam Crater,
the site where we flew the first task of the Southwest XC league
view of Merriam Crater. Launch is right on top of the mountain.
the direction in which we had to go. The task length was about 15
Day 2, Sheba Crater
the flyers camp, where I spent the night. The weather was gorgeous,
but the wind was predicted to be strong.
nearest peak is Sheba Crater. Still before the pilots meeting, I did a
30 minute morning flight off its left (east) side.
The winds ramped up and the
task for today was canceled. In the evening, we flew the glass-off on
the west side of Sheba for more than an hour. However, we had to
launch at the bottom of the mountain (where the arrow points towards),
because the wind was way too strong on top. We could bench up all the
way to the summit, though.
While at lower elevations,
the wind was fine, it blew pretty strong higher up. As we hardly had
penetration at trim speed, I used the speedbar a lot. Until it broke,
as you can see on the picture. The tiger was at first a little scared
about that, but no worries, I could fix the problem and everything
Day 3, South Mountain
Day 3 was definitely blown
out at the Craters, so we headed back to Phoenix to fly South
Mountain. That's the view from the south launch, the arrow points
towards the tiny clearing which is the landing field.
This is the view from the
bottom towards launch. We had a nice flight, but the landing is a bit
tricky. The clearing is small and surroundend not only by brushes, but
also by cactus. You can seriously hurt yourself if you don't know how
to land on the spot. It worked well for me, fortunately.