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Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:30 pm

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2018:
Bill Cummings and I decided to see what the advent of the monsoon season here has done to our access to Magdalena Rim. Well, the rains have come, and most of the road is passable. But not all - and it only takes one block to make a road impassable. No worries, though. That one block is just shortly after you pass the road to the telephone towers, coming through the gap where Corralitos Observatory domes are perched. Before you reach that block, however, we found that you can turn off onto County Road D-010 (left turn). It is just west of a barbed wire fence. Go a few hundred yards on that, then turn right at the first road you come to, and follow that all the way (about 5 miles) until it reaches the pavement again. It's a dirt road but in excellent shape - even a Corolla can take it. At that point, turn left and proceed - there were no show stoppers after that. We marked where to turn onto this dirt road on your way back - just look for the ribbon of telltale material that he tied around a power pole. Bill and I worked on shoring up dams and building a water bar for the "road" into the Arroyo LZ, up there (I am renaming that road "The Ann Dunlap Memorial Highway".) Anyone who wants to fly Mag Rim, hey, the road is open.
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:21 pm

RobinHastings wrote:SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2018:
Bill Cummings and I decided to see what the advent of the monsoon season here has done to our access to Magdalena Rim. Well, the rains have come, and most of the road is passable. But not all - and it only takes one block to make a road impassable. No worries, though. That one block is just shortly after you pass the road to the telephone towers, coming through the gap where Corralitos Observatory domes are perched. Before you reach that block, however, we found that you can turn off onto County Road D-010 (left turn). It is just west of a barbed wire fence. Go a few hundred yards on that, then turn right at the first road you come to, and follow that all the way (about 5 miles) until it reaches the pavement again. It's a dirt road but in excellent shape - even a Corolla can take it. At that point, turn left and proceed - there were no show stoppers after that. We marked where to turn onto this dirt road on your way back - just look for the ribbon of telltale material that he tied around a power pole. Bill and I worked on shoring up dams and building a water bar for the "road" into the Arroyo LZ, up there (I am renaming that road "The Ann Dunlap Memorial Highway".) Anyone who wants to fly Mag Rim, hey, the road is open.
-Robin

7 14 2018 Mag Rim Rd 2nd Swale.JPG
7 14 2018 Mag Rim Rd 2nd Swale.JPG (24.62 KiB) Viewed 1607 times

A Steve Stopper. Robin too..JPG
A Steve Stopper. Robin too..JPG (34.29 KiB) Viewed 1607 times

I will throw a life ring Bill..JPG
I will throw a life ring Bill..JPG (32.48 KiB) Viewed 1607 times

Washed out the sign..JPG
Washed out the sign..JPG (28.3 KiB) Viewed 1607 times
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:56 pm

Friday Evening, July 27:
Bill Cummings and I went out to check out the local flying sites and their access. We headed out to Volcanic Peak first. What did we find? No access, following last night's thunderstorm. Right after we crossed the railroad tracks, turned right and went through the gate, we encountered a small lake about 50 feet long and of unknown depth and ground configuration. Having had experience with this sort of vehicle trap a year ago, we decided to back up (literally) the way we'd come, and contemplate aviation at other venues. We had a look at the Exit 116 towing road, and it looked fine. Too bad we didn't have the tow rig (or the Wills Wing Falcon) along with us! Finally, we inspected the Corralitos Ranch road out to Magdalena Rim. That is actually in pretty good condition. The lakes we encountered (and bypassed) on our last expedition to the Rim were pretty much dried up. We invented a new word with Steve Crye in mind: "Corollable". Yes, the road is Corollable, but when we checked out the launch, we had winds straight in and too light even to tempt me. After studying them a while, we shrugged and hiked back to Bill's X-Terra, where my U2 was still on the rack. We were home by 4:00 pm, happy enough with the day (not too hot, full of clean air and new puddles) and bearing valuable intelligence. I'm afraid the winds will be South/Southeast tomorrow, which tends to preclude a launch at Mag Rim - but if they ever come in southwest, the site looks accessible.

See you at the meeting tomorrow night, I hope!
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:26 pm

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018:
Well, the forecast didn't look bad. About 7 mph in the afternoon, S-SW, so why not take a try at Mag Rim? Bill was willing to drive. We got to launch (using his Nissan X-terra, and his wonderful little glider cart) and by 4:00 pm I was ready to launch my U2-160. I was ready for quite a while, too, as we waited - and waited - for enough wind to make it worthwhile. Conditions were pleasant, with storybook cumulus clouds slowly meandering across the sky, temperatures in the 80's, and, occasionally, a little SW wind. About 4:30, though, I finally got about 15 mph coming straight into launch, and I took it. Up I went, left I went, then right I went, and saw that unfortunately I was now looking UP at Bill and the launch. Ah, well - I'm getting used to it. Sometimes, folks, the lift just isn't there. I turned and went along the ridge towards the LZ, hoping for more lift, and I actually found a little, at least enough to sustain me for a couple of minutes. But whatever drives up, must come down, and very soon I was setting up a landing approach into the Arroyo LZ. The landing was the best part, though; despite no wind on the flag, I waited out the entire approach, timed my flare perfectly, and had an excellent touchdown. I had 6 minutes of airtime, easy, and at this sort of torrid pace I could find myself with close to an hour of flight for the year, even before December! How's that for some hang gliding expertise, eh? Well, regardless, it was nice having a day outdoors with Bill, and my feet off the ground a while, before the new semester next week takes over my every waking moment grading papers. Enjoy the summer, everyone, and get some good times in while it lasts.
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:37 pm

RobinHastings wrote:Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018:
Well, the forecast didn't look bad. About 7 mph in the afternoon, S-SW, so why not take a try at Mag Rim? Bill was willing to drive. We got to launch (using his Nissan X-terra, and his wonderful little glider cart) and by 4:00 pm I was ready to launch my U2-160. I was ready for quite a while, too, as we waited - and waited - for enough wind to make it worthwhile. Conditions were pleasant, with storybook cumulus clouds slowly meandering across the sky, temperatures in the 80's, and, occasionally, a little SW wind. About 4:30, though, I finally got about 15 mph coming straight into launch, and I took it. Up I went, left I went, then right I went, and saw that unfortunately I was now looking UP at Bill and the launch. Ah, well - I'm getting used to it. Sometimes, folks, the lift just isn't there. I turned and went along the ridge towards the LZ, hoping for more lift, and I actually found a little, at least enough to sustain me for a couple of minutes. But whatever drives up, must come down, and very soon I was setting up a landing approach into the Arroyo LZ. The landing was the best part, though; despite no wind on the flag, I waited out the entire approach, timed my flare perfectly, and had an excellent touchdown. I had 6 minutes of airtime, easy, and at this sort of torrid pace I could find myself with close to an hour of flight for the year, even before December! How's that for some hang gliding expertise, eh? Well, regardless, it was nice having a day outdoors with Bill, and my feet off the ground a while, before the new semester next week takes over my every waking moment grading papers. Enjoy the summer, everyone, and get some good times in while it lasts.
-Robin

https://youtu.be/zYMbHiv8bUM
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:44 am

Well! That didn't look so bad. A short flight, but complete - thanks for showing me all that happened! And eventually, we're going to get some great conditions again.
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:51 am

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018:
This was an interesting expedition to Magdalena Rim. First of all, the conditions looked good - big, puffy cumulus clouds all over, blue skies, southwest winds about 5 to 10 mph. (That usually means 10 to 15 at the launch, for reasons we haven't yet determined.) Temperatures were in the high 80's, a fine relief from the blast furnace heat of June and July. Bill emailed me to say, "What do you think of Mag Rim today?" And I called back - "Hey, it looks fine to me, and I'll be proud to be your driver. And by the way, Nancy wants to talk to you..." Well, Nancy wanted to make a movie, for a contest. (Make a movie in a weekend, on a theme you pulled out from the hat. Her theme was "Road Trip.") Bill, as you may have noticed, is an expert with a GoPro, so a lot of things came together all at once. We zoomed out to the launch site, capturing jackrabbits, obstructionist cattle, green desert and blue skies on digital film all the way - almost all of which was left on the cutting room floor, because, really, it's the hang gliding that's important. (Right? Right?) We got it all on the keel-mounted GoPro and the hand-held Canon, and all in all it was a good flight, starting at 4:07 pm MDT. Bill launched in a wind over 20 mph (sorry, no PG's allowed this day) and floated upward. He was nothing but blessed, the first few minutes, while Nancy and I packed up the gear and started downhill. How could he lose, way up there? Then, suddenly, the winds dropped back to 4 or 5, and Bill dropped back down below the launch. (Coincidence? You decide!) He headed for the LZ, caught a little more lift on the way (and went weightless at least once), then made a perfect touchdown, after a fine flight of 13 minutes. It was all on the GoPro, too. (Since I only made 6 minutes the last time I flew here, that makes Bill at least twice the pilot I am.) We helped Bill pack up his glider and gear, recovered the flag and the toilet bowl plunger (don't ask) and made it back home by 6:30 pm, after a stop at Subway where Mr. Cummings generously fed his film crew. (Not the same as a catered Hollywood lunch for the extras, but mighty welcome anyway.) We then spent until after midnight editing, captioning and adding music to this cinematic extravaganza, and at the end of it my dear wife pronounced herself satisfied with the result. Ultimately, along with airtime, can anything be more important than that? Well, maybe getting some sleep this afternoon...
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:20 pm

RobinHastings wrote:SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018:
This was an interesting expedition to Magdalena Rim. First of all, the conditions looked good - big, puffy cumulus clouds all over, blue skies, southwest winds about 5 to 10 mph. (That usually means 10 to 15 at the launch, for reasons we haven't yet determined.) Temperatures were in the high 80's, a fine relief from the blast furnace heat of June and July. Bill emailed me to say, "What do you think of Mag Rim today?" And I called back - "Hey, it looks fine to me, and I'll be proud to be your driver. And by the way, Nancy wants to talk to you..." Well, Nancy wanted to make a movie, for a contest. (Make a movie in a weekend, on a theme you pulled out from the hat. Her theme was "Road Trip.") Bill, as you may have noticed, is an expert with a GoPro, so a lot of things came together all at once. We zoomed out to the launch site, capturing jackrabbits, obstructionist cattle, green desert and blue skies on digital film all the way - almost all of which was left on the cutting room floor, because, really, it's the hang gliding that's important. (Right? Right?) We got it all on the keel-mounted GoPro and the hand-held Canon, and all in all it was a good flight, starting at 4:07 pm MDT. Bill launched in a wind over 20 mph (sorry, no PG's allowed this day) and floated upward. He was nothing but blessed, the first few minutes, while Nancy and I packed up the gear and started downhill. How could he lose, way up there? Then, suddenly, the winds dropped back to 4 or 5, and Bill dropped back down below the launch. (Coincidence? You decide!) He headed for the LZ, caught a little more lift on the way (and went weightless at least once), then made a perfect touchdown, after a fine flight of 13 minutes. It was all on the GoPro, too. (Since I only made 6 minutes the last time I flew here, that makes Bill at least twice the pilot I am.) We helped Bill pack up his glider and gear, recovered the flag and the toilet bowl plunger (don't ask) and made it back home by 6:30 pm, after a stop at Subway where Mr. Cummings generously fed his film crew. (Not the same as a catered Hollywood lunch for the extras, but mighty welcome anyway.) We then spent until after midnight editing, captioning and adding music to this cinematic extravaganza, and at the end of it my dear wife pronounced herself satisfied with the result. Ultimately, along with airtime, can anything be more important than that? Well, maybe getting some sleep this afternoon...
-Robin

https://youtu.be/Z8cHELi1AEo
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:39 pm

Sunday, September 16, 2018:
It was another pleasant day at Magdalena Rim. Temperature in the mid-80's, clear skies, gentle winds. Ah, yes - gentle winds. Bill Cummings was my driver today. When I launched at 1:07 pm MDT, it was into a decent wind. from a thermal. I may have gained a few feet in it, but that was not enough to hang a flight on, so to speak. After one pass across the launch I was at best even, and then not even that. I headed out for the Arroyo LZ, hitting a few little bubbles on the way but nothing big enough to work. Not much turbulence, though, after the initial thermal. I had plenty of altitude when I came around the cone, made a good approach, and had a perfect landing wind when I passed over the flag. Nice touchdown (well, it is a football Sunday) and a five-minute flight. Good company, and nice to get my feet off the ground, so I'll call it a day well spent. I hope that others had some airtime this weekend - post it up and let us know!
-Robin
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Re: Magdalena Rim NW of Las Cruces NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:25 pm

RobinHastings wrote:Sunday, September 16, 2018:
It was another pleasant day at Magdalena Rim. Temperature in the mid-80's, clear skies, gentle winds. Ah, yes - gentle winds. Bill Cummings was my driver today. When I launched at 1:07 pm MDT, it was into a decent wind. from a thermal. I may have gained a few feet in it, but that was not enough to hang a flight on, so to speak. After one pass across the launch I was at best even, and then not even that. I headed out for the Arroyo LZ, hitting a few little bubbles on the way but nothing big enough to work. Not much turbulence, though, after the initial thermal. I had plenty of altitude when I came around the cone, made a good approach, and had a perfect landing wind when I passed over the flag. Nice touchdown (well, it is a football Sunday) and a five-minute flight. Good company, and nice to get my feet off the ground, so I'll call it a day well spent. I hope that others had some airtime this weekend - post it up and let us know!
-Robin

https://youtu.be/ot3NGc3yOmc
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