"Black Mtn." Skull Valley

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  • #8170

    Anonymous

    It was the culmination of about a 20 year dream/ vision. To be able to fly the prominant mountain here near my home in Skull Valley. The obstacles were many: logistics, landownership, terrain and access, etc. My journey included entering into hanggliding, which on one occasion gave me the opportunity to over-fly this giant mountain but not to launch from it. So I turned to paragliding.
    In September of last year I pioneered a lower ridge that is part of “Black Mtn.”–a local term for this part of the Martin Mtn. range, but it wasn’t until yesterday, Feb. 8, that I finally pioneered this great mtn. with a short but sweet flight. I launched at nearly 6pm in light conditions after the day had quit, took a few turns in the ridge lift then headed out to land in the abundant fields below.
    The mtn. has multiple facets which face S, SE, E, and N. each with a launchable spot. There is continuous ridge lift and huge thermal capability. The problem is that it requires about a 2.5 hour hike/ climb with your equipment to get to the launch, but for me it was worth it.
    I want to acknowledge some outstanding people that were a part of this historical event:
    Landowner and rancher Dave Jenner for always being receptive to my requests, including giving us permission to do some scooter towing on his land.
    Dale Ballow for allowing us to do some scooter towing on his property.
    KC, foreman of the Jenner ranch for allowing me to kite in his pastures and for being a genuinely likeable and enthusiastic guy (he even donated a mule toward my efforts although my success in using him for the project has been limited.)
    And finally, Tim Snyder, who is ever the willing driver and fellow-hiker. May their names live on.
    Then there is an honorable mention for a landowner that I will simply name Harry Paulus, who indirectly inspired this success by giving me the determination to find an even better route that did not involve coming near his property. For him I dedicate this moment of silence…………
    Ok, that’s done. Now in closing, for you who are thinking of taking up HG in place of PG, keep in mind that this would not yet have been possible with HG, not until another small list of outstanding landowners, whose names will deserve to be emplaqued in gold letters on the launch, open some gates and revive the old road that leads to the mountain top. So don’t put your plastic baggie aside for bones yet. Come hike an hour with me up to the west launch of the “Y” and have an unforgettable flight first. This is a feat that I did on Dec. 26 while on a hike with my family, from this newly developed site which we should dedicate to the memory of the 19 fallen firefighters who ultimately made this possible. Viva el aire libre, y el volante libre!

    #30403

    Anonymous

    Correction: “yesterday, Feb. 8” should read “yesterday, Feb. 6.” (It was Thursday)

    #30404

    Anonymous

    So the 5th…? 😆 😉

    #30405

    Anonymous

    So Am I correct in assuming this is near Yarnell launch….or in the vicinity rather?

    #30406

    Anonymous

    You are correct, Shane. I must correct my correction to read the 5th; terrible with dates, especially when looking at the wrong calendar.
    Yes, this site is about 20 miles north of the “Y” and due west of Skull Valley center by a little under 3 miles.

    #30407

    Anonymous

    Great story, Russ. You are my latest hero. Congratulations on an epic adventure/experience.

    #30408

    Anonymous

    I flew it again today after developing another launch that faces north from the ridge. Wends went from about 20+ to less than five at 13:00 so I didn’t get the ridge soaring that I was expecting, still it was nice.

    #30409

    Gangsta g
    Keymaster

    Great story, would love to fly there sometime!

    #30410

    Anonymous

    I got a 2hr and 40 min flight, ridge and thermal soaring yesterday here. I launched the lower ridge in SSE winds, about 12-15 mph at 0900, ridged for a while then thermalled up to the high mtn. (“benched”). It gave me a good opportunity to get in tune with the glider and to mentally map out the house thermal and the less pleasant places. I got tired and cold so I went out to land.

    #30411

    Admin
    Keymaster

    I have heard rumors about a paraglider-friendly launch that is a short hike from the established hang glider ramp. Anybody know anything about it?
    Jeff

    #30412

    Anonymous

    There’s a ramp there?

    #30413

    Anonymous

    Hey Jeff,
    I’ve been away from this forum for a while so this is a late response. You can call me for more details, but this is the site I spoke with you about before. It is a slope launch, very easy, but requires about an hour of vigorous hike to get to (good exercise). It is on the northwest side of 89 above the area of elephant curve.

    #30414

    Admin
    Keymaster

    As a Prescott resident I greatly appreciate your efforts. Perhaps we could work out a day next week and I could hike it as your driver. Obviously we need to know the route to avoid angry land-owners. It will be difficult to find drivers willing to hike 1 hour each way. Had fun flying with you last time. Apache Maid may be good this weekend.
    Jeff

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