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45.7255, -121.446 : 687.0 m
Heure normale du Pacifique (-0700)
Site Protocol: The launches are on a ranch that tolerates paragliding and care must be taken with fences and private property owners that are adjacent. The LZ is in a public park, so be aware of other park users. Be cool; don't spook cows, be low key and fly safely. Lock the gate behind you and be aware gnarly bicycles may appear at any time flying down the hill.
Description of Site: Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, Bingen is Gorgeous. A deluxe manicured grass LZ at the Bingen Marina from a 2100' sled ride with soaring potential with a reasonable drive around makes this one of the gorge's premier sites. With south and west launches it works best sunny & calm, but also works in very light east or west winds (under 10 mph). On good thermal days, gains of 2500' are common with XC potential to the east. if there is a wind, westerlies are best from the Intermediate west launch, east winds tend to be rough and unpredictable making for crosswind launches and tumbling air at the south launch. Unfortunately, Bingen bisects the high wind windsurfing capitol of North America and private property. If there are whitecaps on the river at Bingen Marina or a wind line is moving from the west, it is blown out. Like all other Gorge sites, pilots must keep a sharp eye on the river for the streaks of dull looking water and whitecapswarning signs of the Gorge locomotive, The Wind. Park across the road from the log cabin. The trail starts walking downhill and turns back uphill as it goes around the property owned by the log cabin. Please do not cut across their property as it only takes 1 minute longer to go around (if that) As you approach the gate at the cattle fence, please remember to close it and latch the chain behind you. The hike up to the South launch is 5 -10 minutes from the car. You'll see a large flat launch area west of a large lone oak tree. This launch is suitable only in East or South winds. (most likely East) Make sure you have visited the LZ prior to going to the launch as the Columbia River Gorge is famous for higher winds in the LZ. If it's windy and you can't kite the LZ, don't launch off the top. If the wind is out of the west, continue along the trail for another 15 minutes and you'll end up at the west launch. This is a great launch for spring thermal and ridge soaring. Keep in mind from this launch, you cannot see the LZ. Make sure you keep an eye on the water as wind moves in from the west like a freight train. If you can see white caps 4 miles away near the hatchery, then you need to top land or get down fast. Keeping an eye on the river is critical. The landing is located beside the Columbia River. There is a wind sock up all the time. Remember, check out the LZ first and make sure the forecast is calling for winds to stay below 12-15. If your not sure, then just practice your kiting here. It's a great spot for that. To get the the LZ, from the bridge from Hood RIver, head east to the town of Bingen. At the East end of town, you'll make a right turn heading for the Bingen Marina. Follow the signs and make your way towards the buildings. Don't go to the boat launch. From Hood River, cross the Hood River Bridge and head East on Hwy 14. Go to LZ first and check out the wind. From LZ AKA (The Marina), exit right onto Hwy. 14 and go about 3.5 miles to a left on Courtney Rd. Follow steep road up to gravel and continue taking right turns following signs to Ya'at'e'eh. After about 2.5 miles, the road will narrow. Look for a right 'Y' on H500 road. Road becomes gravel and dirt. Soon you pass through trees to a clearing in sloping meadows. Park on side of road across from the Log Home, before the road climbs back into scrub oak stand
Wind comes up like a freight train. If in doubt, better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than the opposite. Winds are often very different above 1500 feet. Watch landing area closely when coming down.