Paragliding at the Craters and South Mountain, Arizona

Pictures taken by Marcel Dettling in October 2005.

 

Day 1, Merriam Crater

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 competition.

 

Merriam Crater

Another view of Merriam Crater. Launch is right on top of the mountain.

 

Crater
Country

That's the direction in which we had to go. The task length was about 15 miles.

 

Day 2, Sheba Crater

Flyers Camp

That's the flyers camp, where I spent the night. The weather was gorgeous, but the wind was predicted to be strong.

 

Sheba Crater

The nearest peak is Sheba Crater. Still before the pilots meeting, I did a 30 minute morning flight off its left (east) side.

 

Sheba Crater

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.

 

Inspiration
Point

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 worked well.

 

Day 3, South Mountain

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.

 

South
Mountain

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.

 


Home Marcel Dettling, 6.10.2005