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Paragliding Owens Valley_Paiute , CA

Paragliding Owens Valley_Paiute , CA

best Conditions

Wind Dir. : NW WNW W WSW SW SSW
Wind: Mini: 0| Maxi 25 mph Gust Max : 18 mph

Description

Paiute Launch, located at an altitude of 2444 meters with a height difference of 1150 meters, is a frequently used paragliding site known for its excellent cross-country (XC) potential. The launch area is spacious, offering various takeoff options for different wind directions, making it ideal for setting up. You can reach the launch either by hiking or using a 4WD vehicle, although the dirt road is very challenging with sharp rocks that can damage tires, taking about 40 minutes from the landing zone (LZ). This site is unregulated, but it's recommended for pilots with at least an H3 rating. The high altitude launch provides a sense of security as the LZ always feels within gliding distance, which is great for building the confidence of students. It's advisable to wait for a lull in the wind before launching. Paiute is situated in the Owens Valley, North-East of Bishop, California. The Owens Valley is renowned for its big and often turbulent air, making it a hotspot for some of the longest flights in California. However, only the most experienced pilots should attempt to fly here during peak XC weather. The best flying seasons are from April to early June and from September to October. Summer months can be too windy with frequent cloud over-development. As the XC season winds down at the end of September, conditions become more manageable, allowing less experienced pilots to enjoy some fantastic first cross-country flights. With knowledgeable instructors, students can also experience amazing early morning or late afternoon flights, provided the weather is calm. One of the main challenges of flying in the Owens Valley is maintaining terrain clearance, as the glide out to a road can be deceptively long. Pilots usually fly along the front or mid-points of the valley, which are less stressful compared to the top ridge. The top ridge is only flown when conditions are perfect, with good wind direction and speed, and high thermal tops up to 16,000 feet or more. Known areas of increased turbulence, such as Silver Canyon and Barcroft Station, require extra caution. Paiute Launch faces west at an altitude of 8000 feet and requires a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle to reach due to rough road conditions. There are no facilities at the launch site. The site works best with a west wind but is also flyable with light east winds due to wind shadowing. Strong winds from the north or south can cause dangerous turbulence near ridges. For more information, you can visit: - [Sierra Nevada Facebook Group](https://m.facebook.com/groups/Sierra-Pilots-572758099419600/) - [Sierra Nevada Weather Stations](https://sierragliding.us/?fbclid=IwAR0-uVwyKB6SH0TOXnw-BCBKfNsC1Ba57D8Tnz5_L166elVhzLU0Xrryde0) - [Owens Valley Telegram Group](https://m.facebook.com/groups/572758099419600/permalink/4391826357512736/?m_entstream_source=group&paipv=0&eav=AfaGvwOO16ZEWumpX0jhChtkqMJ4B9jPQj8CuncWwKgaz2mLMKm7EhXvEY2Xvp1AQJg) - [Introduction to Owens Valley Flying (HG)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg5EvhN4IU0) - [Cross Country Travel Guide](https://xcmag.com/downloads/cross-country-travel-guide-2010-dps.pdf) - [Wilder Adventures XC Info](https://www.wilderadventures.com/launch/850/paiute-bishop) - [Owens Valley Flying Info](https://karicastle.com/owens-valley/) - [BHGC Site Information](http://www.bhgc.org/sites/#site_paiute-piute-mountain-ca) For a visual overview, check out this [YouTube video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zOBXeWZWzk).
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Paragliding Owens Valley_Paiute , CA
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