Fly-In and state record attempt
Intermountain league meets are held in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah every year, and are a great way for XC pilots to meet up and fly together without having to commit to the cost and time needed to participate in a sanctioned competition. The flying generally takes place over a long weekend, and the fees are minimal (typically $25). There is often a loosely chosen "winner" for the weekend, and if there is any money left after beer and gas have been covered, he or she may get paid for their efforts. Mostly though, the league meets are an excuse to group up and explore the potential of a site or area with some of the best mountain XC pilots in the United States.
Ellis Peak (Google Maps) is located 35 miles southwest of Dillon, MT. More 100 mile XC hang glider flights have been flown from this site than any other site in Montana. It will soon hold the record for paragliding distance flights as well!
The launch is a drive-up, accessible with a 4WD vehicle. Launch is almost 10,000 ft above sea level and nearly 3,000 ft over the valley floor below. There is ample room for numerous gliders to set up and launch at the same time.
The flying is "big mountain" thermal flying over remote terrain, with cloudbase often exceeding 17,000 ft - similar to King Mountain or Sun Valley. We've found the air to be a bit milder than King or S.V., probably due to the greener, grassier landscape of Montana. There are opportunities for flying north, east and south. Flying in a northeast direction (common with the typical SW flow aloft) will put you in line with Dillon, Virginia City, Ennis, Bozeman, Livingston, Big Timber and Billings. Flying directly east will put you on a course for West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park.
XC Mileage From Launch:
Ennis: 75 miles (120 km)
West Yellowstone: 94 miles (151 km)
Bozeman: 115 miles (185 km)
Livingston: 135 miles (217 km) - Would beat current state record of 125 miles!
Where To Meet/Stay:
We will be meeting at 8:30 am on Friday at Clark Canyon Reservoir (about 20 miles south of Dillon on I-15). This will also be where we camp during the meet. There is an official campground with bathrooms and drinking water and a reservoir fit for kiteboarding, boating, fishing and all other water activities.
Be sure to watch the 2009 video in full screen below: