Notice: Palomar Gate Codes change to the 2021 Combo This week & The Laguna Codes will change by the end of June.
For Palomar Palomar Main LZ gate, we have been asked to open and lock the gate behind us as we pass through the gate like we do at Launch for the next few months.
Great News! The Laguna Upper Launch in the Anza Borrego State Park is back open, with our Permit for launching and landing within the State Park being renewed for 2021!
The Laguna Site Guide and Permits pages have been updated with the latest protocols and Permit information. Please read through the complete site guide before heading out to Laguna, as things have changed in the past year. Also, be sure to print out the Permit and COVID-19 Safe Reopening Plan along with your Membership cards to have on hand for the rangers.
What we know as of today/ the above post date. . .
All SD Sites are back OPEN but roads up Horse & Big Black may closed before & after storms this time of year.
Flying Site Status with all of the COVID-19 and Fire Closures. We will try to update this list as we receive updates, but no guarantees and always check the referencing links.
If you have or know of any updates, please let us know and we will update this list.
Sites that we know are Closed :
Some Sites are listed as OPEN; However, the County stay-at-home and social distancing orders except for essential needs are still in effect. Also the status of these sites may change to to Fire Hazards. Keep an eye on Sky-vector for TFRs & the Cal Fire maps this time of year. Also, flying XC from many sites could put you over CNF closed access terrain.
Sites we know are open (if following City & County mandates):
Status of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the PCT:
Status of SD City Parks/ Flying & Kitting Locations: as of 4-20-2020
Be sure to check the PDF List at the Above link as some of this may change. Note that larger/ higher use areas and trails remain closed. The following areas are open or closed for Passive Use only (walking, jogging, or hiking). We have no formal interpretation if this included passive Free Flight)
In San Diego, the situation for impacted hospitals and service workers is just starting to ramp up and we can expect hospitals to be triaging similar to what was experienced in Colorado this past weekend.
There was an incident in Colorado this past weekend where a snowboarder ended up with a broken clavicle (collarbone) and at the ER, he was turned away from treatment at triage with the explanation that collarbone surgery is elective. They were an impacted hospital and not doing any elective procedures . . . that are not life-threatening. At Tiger (WA Site), there were also two separate incidents requiring ER and hospitalization in an impacted area this past week.
If you do decide to continue to fly:
Hoping we get through this and back in the air without complex social health concerns.
Regards and Safe Flights!
Steve Rohrbaugh (SDHGPA President) and the SDHGPA Board
Horse Road Rain and Fire Closures:
The road up to the launch at Horse Canyon, Sheephead Mountain Road (15S18), may closed before and after periods of heavy rain or severe fire danger. If that is the case, the gate just past the postage stamp lz will be locked.
The reason if and when the Gate is locked for rain, is that the road is wet and they don't want vehicles tearing up the road. The plan is typically that closures would be for just a few days until the dirt dries out a bit. With periods of heavy or extended rain this it will likely be a few more days.
Border Patrol activity during an active pursuit might other reason that the Gate could be locked. In this case, closure would be for a very short term and not show up in the following tables.
The road to Horse is the Sheephead Mountain Road (15S18).
When the road is open it will not appear on the table. I have been told that the table is updated right away whenever there is change to a road status. So you can check each morning to see if a road is closed or not.
Big Black Road Rain and Fire Closures:
Also on the table is the Black Mountain Road (11S04), the road we use to get to Big Black. Road closure due to wet ground is rare at Horse, and more common at Big Black. A few years ago when there was an unusually wet winter the road to Big Black was periodically closed throughout the rainy season. It was closed just after a rain when it was wet and the wind was West. Then it would be open for a few days when a Santa Ana wind dried things out. Such is life.
This past Sunday (January 12th, 2020) we got the year off to a fine start with another Holfuy weather station installation, this time at Little Black. After about a year and half of working with the park rangers there (well done Jeff Brown!) we agreed on a spot, set up a date, and rallied the troops.
So you found the SDHGPA weather station on El Cajon mountain, eh? Maybe you hiked out there and saw the QR code link on the mast*. Maybe you heard about it from a fellow paraglider or hang glider pilot. Perhaps you’re a supporter of the San Diego River Park Foundation, or a biologist over at the US Forest Service. However you found it, there’s a pretty rad story behind how it got there, who the players were, and just how much effort and expense we went to in order to plant that mast and gather weather data.
Like any good story, this one starts in a few different places.
Effective 7-25-19 The Palomar Main LZ is Closed for a Roberts Ranch Project until further notice.
We are trying to see if we can keep the site open using the other LZs and Bailout. Until we have confirmation on that, The Entire Palomar site should be considered closed.
From the Pala EC:
“The Executive Committee is currently working on a project at Robert’s Ranch, and are storing equipment and water linings and etc., on the LZ Landing Area.
This project is going to last 4-6 weeks, maybe longer. Chairman Smith asked me to notify you to cease using the LZ Landing Area until further notice.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during the time we are having projects done on our property. Please notify all your members immediately. “
Palomar has been reopened for Weekday flying starting 7-16-19.
However, there are new Protocols worked out with the Pala Roberts Ranch for checking in and out with the Ranch office and Tribal Security along with a few other protocol updates.
Make SURE all Pilots read the full updated Palomar site guide!
Key updates and those not followed 100% in the past few months:
Flying Laguna? There's a new protocol. More to follow, but the short version is this:
As soon as it is known how many are going to take off from the upper launch, send a text to Bill Helliwell (his area code is 760, then dial 500 followed by 1265) with the number of pilots. Sorry for the robot avoidance attempt.
Bill will text the park ranger Point of Contact. Also As soon as it is known how many pilots are landing at the Earthquake Valley LZ (the number could be zero) send another text to Bill Helliwell.
For all Site Protocols and information, see the full Laguna Site Guide.
The San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association