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Paragliding Windy Hill, CA

Paragliding Windy Hill, CA

best Conditions

Wind Dir. : SSE SE ESE ENE NE NNE
Wind: Mini: 0| Maxi 25 mph Gust Max : 18 mph

Description

Windy Hill is a Northeast-facing paragliding and hang gliding site located in the Bay Area, USA. This site is known for its technical challenges, including a long glide to the landing zone (LZ), a confined LZ, and frequent strong winds at launch. It is suitable for experienced pilots who possess excellent judgment and skills. To fly at Windy Hill, pilots must: - Be members of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA). - Hold a USHPA Advanced (P4 for paragliding, H4 for hang gliding) rating or an approved foreign equivalent. - Obtain a special use permit from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). This permit must be printed and carried at all times. - Arrange for a site introduction from a Windy Hill administrator or an experienced pilot familiar with the site. - Sign the Chapter Affirmation e-Waiver. For permit requests, email windyhillchair@wingsofrogallo.org with your name, USHPA number, and USHPA expiration date. Ensure you meet all pilot requirements and have visited Windy Hill on foot before requesting a permit. The MROSD may take a few days to several weeks to issue permits, so plan accordingly. Windy Hill is not suitable for pilots with limited experience in turbulent conditions and strong winds. The site requires the ability to execute spot landings in limited space and the physical fitness to hike with equipment if landing in the LZ is not possible. Driving directions: - Lower parking lot: [Google Maps Link](https://www.google.com/maps/place/Portola+Valley,+CA+94028/@37.3757133,-122.2234934,220m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x808fa581aa97a2d9:0x333cc60b656e800b!8m2!3d37.3757023!4d-122.2227962?shorturl=1) - Upper parking lot (Spring Ridge Parking Area): [Google Maps Link](https://www.google.com/maps/place/Spring+Ridge+Parking+Area+-+Windy+Hill/@37.3667347,-122.2474732,56m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808faf5ebc96a841:0x12f1e0e20168cdbd!8m2!3d37.3668813!4d-122.2475083?shorturl=1) The glide from launch to the LZ is shallow (6:1), and strong headwinds at launch can make it difficult to reach the LZ. Lower-end paragliders and even higher-end wings may struggle, especially if there is sink near launch or if the wind is crossed from the North. There are several bail-out options along the Spring Ridge trail for emergencies. Avoid landing in wineries or private properties adjacent to the LZ. Rotor hazards include: - Downwind of the two large trees immediately in front of and to the right of launch. - The large trees in front of and to the left of launch before the terrain drops off. - The entire tree line on the South side of the canyon. The LZ is surrounded by high trees on three sides and can be thermic in late summer and fall, making landing challenging. The LZ can also be wet and cold in winter, producing strong sink. Pilots must be prepared for fast landings and demonstrate the technical skills to land safely in a restricted field. Windy Hill is near three small airports and several hospitals with helipads, resulting in significant general aviation traffic. Pilots must stay below 4,000 feet to avoid San Francisco Class B airspace, which increases to 6,000 feet to the south. Weather forecasting tools and a nearby PG&E weather sensor (station ID: 018PG) can help predict flyable conditions. Expect wind speeds at launch to be up to 5 knots stronger than the sensor shows due to ridge-top compression. For more information, visit: - [Wilder Adventures](https://www.wilderadventures.com/launch/1004/windy-hill-portola-valley) - [Wings of Rogallo](https://wingsofrogallo.org/windy-hill/) - [Fly Zephyr](http://www.flyzephyr.com/windy-hill.html)
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