Mont-St-Pierre Highlights


In July 2009 I took a trip to Mont-St-Pierre with some friends to participate in the annual hang gliding festival held there.  What a neat place, and what great people!  Special thanks to Harry and Roxanne for the drive and their wonderful company.  Thanks to Lindsey and the Chew family for our day hike on an iffy flying day.  As always it was great to be in the air with Harry and Lindsey at a wonderful site and to get their wise input into hang gliding there and in general.  Flying there is no sweat for a hang 3 like me, just make sure you talk to the locals about the peculiarities of all the launches as well as micro-meteorology to be mindful of.

I had several flights during the course of our stay in Mont-St-Pierre; most were sledders.  On our last day before the trip back I had a 90 minute flight working the ridge over launch.  The lift band is quite narrow, a lot smaller than what we're used to at Ellenville, so you need good gaggle skills to stay up.  Toward the end of the flight I saw a small squall moving east along the coast toward launch and eventually some of the local pilots standing on launch indicated that I should head for the LZ and land.  I later discussed with some local pilots and was told that the LZ can get really hairy when squalls move through, so this was a safety issue.  On my flight it was not a problem but better safe than squashed.  This flight was a great way to conclude the trip and I really got a chance to appreciate the special quality of the site.

My feeling is that as Ellenville ambassadors we made a good impression.  Don't be surprised if we have some Canadian visitors at our site in the near future!


Harry clowning around.


Harry and Roxanne

Moon over Mont-St-Pierre

Moon over the valley

Sunset at Mont-St-Pierre

Sunset on the beach

Panorama of the ramp launch, Mont-St-Pierre

Panorama of the ramp launch at Mont-St-Pierre, at center. 

Panorama of Mont-St-Pierre LZ, originally uploaded by falcon170ct.

Here is a picture of the landing zone at Mont-St-Pierre.  The peak with the main launch is in the center of the frame.

To see all of the pictures I took on this trip, click here.

Video highlights of ellenvillers at Mont-St-Pierre

Below are a few of the many videos shot on this trip.  There is a link at the bottom for the rest of the videos.


Lindsey makes a landing


Harry makes a landing


On this flight I land in the bushes and relearn the value of not going brain-dead when setting up my approaches.  The camera is pointed in kind of an odd angle but you may notice me popping the glider over a large bush at the very end then parachuting down into the bushes; the grass there was up to my chest.  The good news is, all of my landings after this one were great!


One of my first flights off of the east launch... Lindsey gives me encouragement while Harry records the video (thank you gentlemen!)


Lindsey makes a low transition and a nice landing.

Here is the full playlist of videos from the trip. There are 54 videos in all, and include a number of launches and landings, as well as views of clouds over the mountains and other scenes from the area.

A great day at Ellenville

Arrived at Ellenville launch yesterday about 2pm, found it blasting NW. Dave and Stan (?) were already on their XC adventure. It being too strong to launch, I decided to hike up to check out Bear Cliff and the new SW launch; in retrospect not a long walk but I wouldn't want to drag a glider up there without a lot more conditioning. Talked to some locals on the rock and had to sit down because of the strong surface wind. Saw a hawk hovering about 50 feet away.

Me at Bear Cliff

Got back to launch around 3:30, Tom Galvin and Chad were set up and getting ready to go. Chad launched about 4 and shot up like a rocket, Tom not long thereafter.

Stepped in some pilot's dog poop which I wasn't too happy about, but I kept my mouth shut and focused on setting up. (got home later with yellow socks, not sure what that's about)

I launched around 5 when it was still somewhat strong but had calmed down (direction was very consistent). Good launch; went up immediately, textured air but nothing too nasty. Hopped on a couple of express elevators to 4400 feet msl. Felt a bit of vertigo on the first turn in the core but shook it off and was fine (it's been a while since I've been in a nice strong thermal). The airport by the prison was probably doable. Whizzed by a bald eagle (I think) at my level, going the other way. Strong lift wasn't hard to find, and it wasn't crazy-crowded like it sometimes gets. Came in to land at sunset. Some bubbles around 600ft agl. Bled off altitude over the pumpkin patch, had a nice 2-step landing about 20 feet from the bullseye without doing anything stupid down low. Flight time: 2 hours 46 minutes; felt like 30 minutes. I think I've finally fixed my launch and approach problems, just need to repeat it a few times for consistency. Feeling pretty good this will be my first year for XC.