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Happy Flying in 2012 from Mountain Wings!
The Story of Our Ramp Page 2
rear view ramp greg on launch
After hundreds of ideas amd many drawings we decided on a partial radial pressure treated ramp designed by greg black and alistair richie. It was built by jerry falice, guy laurens, and a few club members, largly pilots that could not launch untill it was completed, with help from many others hauling the heavy pressure treated lumber up to launch site. the new ramp built around the exsiting ramp measures 60 feet long by 52 feet wide. the pitch of the ramp was changed so as to clear the rocks and spanthe great cravass.the angle it faces was also changed to better work with the different wind directions. The north knob site was never intended to compete with the other launch site in any way nor was it meant to take pilots from that club. it was meant to be a fun launch site for paraglider pilots since the other launch was way to crowded for both to exist. the club was actually formed by paralider pilots that needed and wanted a home and a plce to fly of thier own. Because the hanggliders wanted a ramp to be built to the edge of the rock face, a small ramp was buil with donations from club members in the form of lumber and money. ( thank you Tom Kent) This original ramp , built in 1995 the year the club was fomed was replaced in 2002 with a 16x25 ft pressure treated wooden platform set and chained to the rocks. it was considered to be a hugh ramp for hang gliders but paragliders often had trouble with it due to the fact that they sometimes needed to run sideways in order to get a good launch. this occasionally led to pilots running of the side of the ramp efore they became airborn. although there were never any blown launches with hanggliders just looking at the row of jagged rocks at the end of the ramp was intimadating. to say the least. ( you need to look out in the valley not at the rocksand run). After all the ramp was 25 feet long and very steep so two steps and your off. some pilots would pull in the bar and dive at the rocks because they could not help looking at them . we needed to extend the ramp another 35 ft to cross the creavase which seperated the end ofthe ramp with a verticle slab of granite that then drops down 900 ft to the valley floor . so plans were made to enlarge the ramp. Because the hanggliders wanted a ramp to be built to the edge of the rock face, a small ramp was built with donations from club members in the form of lumber and money. ( thank you Tom Kent) This original ramp , built in 1995 the year the club was fomed was replaced in 2002 with a 16x25 ft pressure treated wooden platform set and chained to the rocks. it was considered to be a hugh ramp for hang gliders but paragliders often had trouble with it due to the fact that they sometimes needed to run sideways in order to get a good launch. this occasionally led to pilots running of the side of the ramp efore they became airborn. although there were never any blown launches with hanggliders just looking at the row of jagged rocks at the end of the ramp was intimadating. to say the least. ( you need to look out in the valley not at the rocksand run). After all the ramp was 25 feet long and very steep so two steps and your off. some pilots would pull in the bar and dive at the rocks because they could not help looking at them . we needed to extend the ramp another 35 ft to cross the creavase which seperated the end ofthe ramp with a verticle slab of granite that then drops down 900 ft to the valley floor . so plans were made to enlarge the ramp. By this time the land has gone up for sale and the owner contacted greg offering him first option. The launch was attached to a larger piece of land with a price tag that left pilots afraid that they were going to lose the launch site they had work so hard on. there was no way the club could afford this piece of land. we were saved when greg his brother charlie and wife janet came forward and bought this beautiful piece of heaven the pilots call the north knob. This piece of property will eventually become a dedicated flying site only piece of land that will foreverbe a flying site. Thanks must go out to many pilots and freinds who came through with labor and lumber, with the bulk of the cash coming from allisair richie. Donations club dues fund raisers mountain wings and eville outfitters. the ramp cost 8,000.00 on top of the cost of the original ramp. it wa good to see so many come through when club needed a little help to make a sfaer easier ramp launch for the members. ( a new wrinkle is seeing pilots getting lazy in thier launch because it is so easy to launch from now. ) the north knob juts out from mountainside providing a 270 degree view and potential launch direction. The next project is to cut a north/northeast launch and acess road to the right of the existing ramparound the corner to replace the overhead trolley system wayne and greg built to help bring gliders and equipment up to launch. UPDATE since article was published: the has been work on a road and is now driveable about halfway up to launch.