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Parapente Chief  2_Ojai, CA

Parapente Chief 2_Ojai, CA

Conditions Optimales

Dir. vent : WSW SW SSW S SSE
Vent: Mini: 0| Maxi 25 mph Rafale Max : 18 mph


H 1447 m, HD 1180 m
rating 3/6
regularly used, thermal soaring, xc possible.
There is an alternative takeoff 350 m east from here
Direct link to flights
Region: California - USASee flights near this point [ 26 ]Site record : 48.7 kmLink to more information : -
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Ojai, Ca
Good off-season alternates to Pine with a variety of launches and flight routes
Several launches are available with launch directions ranging from east to south.
The most commonly used launches are as follows: Chief's Peak, a relatively flat (maybe 2 - 3 : 1) smooth south facing rocky slope at about 4800ft. MSL toward the northeast end of the range;
The Back Ridge - a much steeper (1:1) series of south-southeast facing rock and dirt launches with mildly obstructed running room at 5100 ft. MSL about a mile west of Chief's;
and Nordhoff Ridge a steep unrestricted east-southeast facing dirt slope at 4400 ft. MSL another 2 or so miles west of the Back Ridge.
Typically launches at both Chief's and the Back Ridge are a lot more comfortable with a few mph of breeze -
Chief's due to its flat slope and the Back Ridge due to its restricted running room.
Nordhoff is a more reasonable light to dead wind launch. Chief's and the Back Ridge are both a reasonably easy (about 4:1) glide to the nominal LZ across the valley in Upper Ojai.
Particularly, from the Back Ridge though, it's best to work out onto the front spines as getting low back in the launch canyon can make any reasonable LZ difficult to reach.
Nordhoff Ridge, being a few miles down the range from the other two launches uses different nominal LZs. The bailout from Nordhoff isn't visible from launch,but is a long straight dirt strip on the far side of the knoll directly out from (and about a 1:1) glide from launch.
An alternative LZ that is usually makeable (but is a comfortable glide with a thousand feet of extra altitude - your mileage may vary) is the large field at Nordhoff High School just north of the northernmost intersection between 150 and 33 which has the advantage of being a very convenient retrieve.
The main LZ for Chief's Peak and the Back Ridge is a large series of grass fields (near but NOT including a soccer field - an easily recognizable green landmark from the air) in Upper Ojai. The ground near the soccer field is flat, but is gently sloped to the east and west. The useable LZ here is enormous and the wind is almost always out of the west - allowing for an easy long landing corridor parallel to the field. The bail-out LZ for Nordhoff is a dirt strip maybe 150 - 200 ft wide but more than a quarter mile long facing southwest away from the mountain. Landing is pretty unrestricted, but there is a power line that crosses the field about a third of the way down its length. The Nordhoff High School LZ is several hundred yards both long and wide, flat and unobstructed - but is bordered by houses, phone/power lines and crowded roads on several sides. These shouldn't present any problem for a Hang II or above pilot, but be aware of them on approach.
Ostensibly, the road to launch is open only to 4WD vehicles. In practice, many 2WD vehicles with reasonable ground clearance and enough power/low gearing to climb steep hills should be able to make it to the launches when the roads are dry. The road to the launches is generally steep but smooth dirt with few obstructions and is reached through a locked gate at the Rose Valley campground.
Informally regulated by the Topa Flyers. Recommended ratings are a minimum of Hang II with high altitude experience (and a more experienced pilot present) for the Chief's Peak or Nordhoff launches and a minimum of Hang 3 for the Back Ridge. A permit from the USFS must be obtained to get through a locked gate on the road to launch. Call the Ojai district ranger station at 805 646-4348 for more information and to obtain a permit. Plan in advance as they are closed on the weekend.
Usually at least scratchable, but good soaring conditions generally require that the marine inversion that lives in the Ojai Valley be driven out by a weather front or an easterly wind off the desert. Frontal soarability with good road access makes this a good wintertime choice. The Nordhoff launch, in particular, can sometimes yield really good convergence conditions in a Santa Ana (northeast) wind condition that shuts down everything else. In these conditions it may be possible to track west down the range and make the glide out to the Carpinteria/Santa Barbara area.
Take 33 north out of Ojai up through Wheeler gorge and turn off at the Rose Valley cut-off. Follow this road about 1 - 2 miles and turn right at the signs for the Rose Valley campground. Drive through the locked gate at the far end end of the campground up the steep one-vehicle-wide road to launch. Follow the road directly to get to the Chief's Peak or Back Ridge launches. Ask a local which turn-offs to take to get to the Nordhoff launch.
N034° 30' 09.49"   W119° 10' 15.21"© · last update 1/2023Feedback / Correction
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