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Parapente Marshall Peak , CA

Parapente Marshall Peak , CA

Conditions Optimales

Dir. vent : WNW W WSW SSE SE ESE
Vent: Mini: 0| Maxi 25 mph Rafale Max : 18 mph


H 1222 m, HD 700 m /easy-medium
rating 5/6
frequently used, thermal soaring (house thermal just below), good xc possible.
works from SE to W, possible to get off in East.
Direct link to flights
Region: California - USASee flights near this point [ 2478 ]Site record : 168.4 kmLink to more information : -
function cIt(iIP) (xc info)
Marshall Peak launch (or simply “Marshall”) is a very large, flat slope launch in the San Bernardino Mountains. It sits at approximately 4000′ MSL, has ample parking and setup areas, and separate launch areas for hang gliders and paragliders. Hang gliders can be either foot-launched, or launched on wheels via the wooden runway at the bottom of the launch area. There are no restrooms or additional facilities at this launch.
Pilots must familiarize themselves with this information before arriving, and this information DOES NOT replace the need for an in-person site briefing from a local pilot or instructor familiar with the area.
Visiting Pilots: All launches and LZs require a P3/H3 rating or above. Visitors NOT meeting P3/H3 requirements must schedule instruction or observation with a local instructor before arriving.
Minimum ratings: Intermediate (P3/H3). Read the General Site Guidelines for exceptions.
Type: Flat Slope Launch.
Altitude: 3973′ MSL.
Orientation: SW, SSW.
Best conditions: Light S winds (0-10 mph for PG, 0-15 for HG). SE to W winds are acceptable. Launching is not advised if greater than 5 mph N winds at Crestline launch.
Glide ratio to AJX: 3.7:1.
Vehicle access: Dirt road (2WD vehicles with moderate clearance OK).
High Wind and Gusty Wind Conditions
The Marshall Launch can be susceptible to gusty winds and high winds. Pilots are advised to consider their launching technique and experience before launching in these conditions and to use a wire-man. HG pilots are encouraged to obtain launch assistance during periods of high winds or gust spreads. Simply being able to launch does not imply that “the worst is over,” as the thermic air may be rougher than the pilot wants to manage. More information on when rough air can be expected is available here.

The Caution Zone
In front of the launch’s flat slope where air coming up at a more vertical angle mixes with the general winds, one should expect turbulence.
Venturi Area
One should expect venturi immediately west of launch.
Marshall is a key thermal generator and can see extreme mid-day thermic conditions. There have been instances of gliders getting turned back into the hill and paraglider collapses close to the terrain.
Hang Glider pilots are strongly encouraged to walk down to the lower launch next to the windsock.
Top landings are not recommended during mid-day thermic conditions.
Pilots intending to top land should yell down to those on the ground to make their intent clear.
Wildlife danger – snakes, mountain lions, bears.
Thunderstorms can develop, particularly in the spring and fall which can lead to gust fronts. Be on the lookout for a “wall of dust” (See figure 2 and 3) on days with towering cumulus.

House Thermal
The house thermal can be found at the top of the spine just to the pilot’s left after launching. Do not explore the area east of the house thermal spine, unless with sufficient altitude to come back while facing a headwind.
Marshall is a fairly flat slope launch – expect touch and go’s while launching. Paragliders should consider progressively adding some braking if they think they may touch the ground again and re-run. A good time to launch is when one feels desirable wind where they are on launch AND the windsock at the front of launch shows desirable wind as well (as that wind will arrive in a few seconds).
If ridge soaring in front of launch at launch height, keep in mind that you may be blocking pilots waiting to launch. Please be aware of pilots on launch that are either preparing to launch or actively launching, both to prevent holding up launch traffic and to be aware of others joining the air traffic.
Hang Glider Top Launch
Experienced, local pilots often launch from the top of Marshall just North-West of the paraglider launch. When the wind conditions are right, this top launch is a viable option. However, the top launch is a shallow slope launch and very susceptible to wind shadow. The wind shadow often sets up towards the end of the launch when a pilot expects their wing to start flying. Pilots must be proficient with shallow slope launches and understand how to read and access wind shadow before attempting to top launch at Marshall.
It is possible to top land at Marshall and local pilots often land paragliders and lower performance hang gliders on the top of Marshall. Before attempting to top land, pilots must be aware of the winds and thermals that cycle across Marshall peak and they must be aware of spectators and gliders that are on the ground. Pilots need to have the skills to assess out-landings with varying wind conditions and have the skills to define and follow an approach while flying before attempting to top land at Marshall.
All top landing approaches have risks. In the following diagram, the “right rear” approach is the best compromise for most pilots, as the least amount of time is spent in the turbulent area behind launch. It is helpful to turn into the wind at the end of the final approach. The “right front” approach is an option for pilots capable of timing a landing turn (which has its risks). Timing is critical for this approach, as pilots need to execute a sharp turn into the wind during the final approach, which increases sink. If sunk on final approach: close call with terrain. The “left rear” and “full rear” approaches are to be avoided.
All vehicles should park on the east side of the upper setup area. At the end of the dirt road, you will notice railroad ties, forcing you to make a 90° turn to the right. The parking area is to your right after this turn. Parking in areas other than the designated parking area to the east can block setup operations and pilots attempting top landings.
Take off : Marshall Peak is a forgiving gentle slope launch that drops off steeper. There is room to set up several gliders at once when the winds are southerly, which they usually are. Grasses around launch are trimmed from time to time but sticks in the lines are possible. The top of the peak is dusty dirt but it doesn't seem to stick to gliders much. The normal way up is to drive around the back in a truck, which takes about 1/2 an hour. Most of the distance is paved, with the last couple of miles being a dirt road in variable condition. Four wheel drive is not usually necessary, but some amount of clearance is helpful. Drive slowly on this road, as it is two way traffic with blind corners. Collisions do occur. It is also possible to hike up to launch, and elevation gain of about 2300 feet (700m). Be aware that rattlesnakes are common in the summer, and mountain lions and bears are sometimes seen. No mountain lion or bear attacks on people have been recorded, but hiking alone at sunset might not be the best idea.
There is another launch 1200 feet (365m) higher in the town of Crestline. This launch is flat grass becoming steep quickly. It is often windier at Crestline; there are many days when Marshall is good for paragliding and Crestline is too windy. Hang gliders launch there more often than paragliders. On days with good lapse rates and light base winds it can be great for paragliding too. Driving to Crestline is all paved roads. Hiking is not an option unless you are an ironman or plan to camp half way.
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N034° 12' 35.51"   W117° 18' 10.50"© · last update 1/2023Feedback / Correction
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