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Old Mar 05, 2008, 12:36 AM
I DS slower than I build!
Cory's Avatar
Idaho Falls
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Kepp's Crossing Near Idaho Falls 2008

We're nearing the beginning of the flying season at the Kepp's Crossing site east of Idaho Falls. I thought it would be good to have one thread to coordinate flying days for all you guys who come in from out of town to fly here. Last year, I almost missed a couple of times when somebody started a new thread announcing when they were coming to fly. If we all use this thread for the 2008 season, it should be easier to let everyone know what plans are. I know I will not have as much time to surf the forums this year, but I should be able to just pop a quick peak daily. Let's keep the chatter minimal on this thread, and try to stick to flying plans and flight reports so that this one thread will last all year.

Frank was getting the itch yesterday and asked about the snow conditions. I went up today and took some pictures The front side of the hill is almost bare of snow, not because we don't have much snow, but because it is so wind swept. The road is only plowed for about 200 yards to a parking area for snowmobilers. Currently the only way in is by snowmobile, X-C ski's, or showshoes. I'm sure there is a huge cornice on the back side, making recovery from a backside crash landing probably only possible with crampons. Last year I found the flying site at the end of March. There was no snow then. We have a lot more snow this year. Still, I'm hoping we are only 4 or so weeks away from being able to drive to the bottom of the hill, and 5 or 6 weeks from being able to drive to the top. I'll keep you guys posted on the snow conditions. We're supposed to be in or near the 40's for the next week, so hopefully the melting will start.
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Old Mar 05, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the pictures, Cory. That looks like a long way to snowshoe, but I might try to ski in.

We might be able to cut the cornice with a rope if it's a problem for retrieval and/or flying. Standing on a cornice can be very dangerous. We had a huge Search & Rescue callout here in Jackson a few months ago for a guy who broke through a cornice and was carried over a cliff.
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Old Mar 05, 2008, 11:18 PM
I DS slower than I build!
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Idaho Falls
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I'd like to ski in there, too. I doubt I'll be free until next Friday afternoon or Saturday, so don't wait around for me.
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 09:27 AM
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HI Cory and Frank,
I live in Victor, and want to get into slope flying. Would that hill by Idaho Falls be a good spot for my first flights?

I'm building a Le Fish and want the first flights to be in a treeless, friendly, smooth air spot. The only experience I have on slopes is a number of outings with my Discuss glider on hills in the Big Holes. (I'm an avid electric flyer though, so at least have some good RC skills which I hope will help a little).

Thanks! -Steve
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin
HI Cory and Frank,
I live in Victor, and want to get into slope flying. Would that hill by Idaho Falls be a good spot for my first flights?

I'm building a Le Fish and want the first flights to be in a treeless, friendly, smooth air spot. The only experience I have on slopes is a number of outings with my Discuss glider on hills in the Big Holes. (I'm an avid electric flyer though, so at least have some good RC skills which I hope will help a little).

Thanks! -Steve
Hi Steve,

I haven't tried to fly anywhere on your side of the Tetons, so I don't know if there's anything closer, but I generally maiden planes at High School Butte in Jackson, mostly because it has the mellowest landings in the area. It's not a big lift hill, but it should keep a Fish up with no problem. Right now it's still snow covered, but it will probably melt off by early April. It's about a 400 vertical foot hike up to the launch/landing zone.

Kepp's Crossing would be fine, too, but I think it's a bit less friendly, particularly for landings.
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Thanks Frank,
I was considering High School Butte as well, and since it comes with your recommendation I think that should be the place. I should have my plane done in a week or two, and as soon as weather allows will give it a try. I'd be delighted if you were interested in joining me.

On this side, I've had a blast in light lift with the DLG from the hairpin corner on the Targhee road and also up horseshoe canyon in the Big Holes.

A couple weeks ago I did some motorized sloping up on pine creek pass:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=820192


-Steve
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Nice pics and vid, Steve. I guess I don't have to worry about the hike up High School Butte being a deterrent to you. I'll probably start trying to fly again in the next week or two, so I can check out HS Butte. The skiing has been so good this season that I'm only just now starting to think about toy planes again.

You mentioned that you used to ski patrol - was that around here?

I've thought about taking a plane up Mt. Glory in the winter and trying to slope and DS the Great White Hump. It's too rocky in the summer, but I think it has the right shape.
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 05:16 PM
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the thread is a good idea to coordinate some flying cory. i'll plan on coming up when the snow is gone. looks like you have almost as much as us. 5 or 6 weeks is probably about right!
later

marty
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Hey Frank,
Here's some parkflier flying on top of Glory for you:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7807769

A slope plane is probably a better tool for the job. I'm looking forward to hiking into a number of spots once I get my skills up.

Any idea how far of a hike/ski would Kepps be from the parking area?
-Steve
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Old Mar 06, 2008, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin
Any idea how far of a hike/ski would Kepps be from the parking area?
I'm not 100% sure where the parking is, but from Google Earth I'd guess it's just over 2 miles. I figure you could ski down to the base of the hill, then boot up to where we fly. Maybe stash skis at the bottom so you don't have to carry them up/down along with all the flying gear. I'm assuming I'll use alpine touring gear instead of cross-country skis if/when I go.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 12:16 AM
I DS slower than I build!
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I showshoed in about a mile today. I was hoping to get off work an hour earlier so I could make it all the way to the top of the hill, but I didn't. The snow has melted quite a bit since last week. There's still a lot, though. If current melting trends continue, I'm guessing the main road will be driveable in three weeks. Maybe two, but don't get your hopes up too much. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so that will probably speed the melting. I may try to get in again on Thursday if the weather permits, or on Monday. It may be to slushy to be an enjoyable trip by then. We'll see.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Cory
It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so that will probably speed the melting.
NWS forecast for Idaho Falls tomorrow says partly sunny. USAirnet is calling for 10-15 mph winds. I'm gonna put a plane on the charger tonight, just to keep my options open ...
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 12:37 AM
I DS slower than I build!
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The snow today was just a little slushy, but not too bad. I won't be able to go tomorrow. Have fun if you do go.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 09:42 PM
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I decided to give it a shot today. It was a big effort, but I'd do it again.

The alpine touring ski gear was probably a mistake. The road from the parking area to the base of the hill wasn't very steep, so I ended up skating and poling a lot on the way down. Once there, my touring ski boots weren't very good for hiking up the hill face, which is mostly scree. They were even worse on the descent. Skinning back up the the truck was straightforward, but a long slog. It took me about an hour from the parking area to the top of the hill, and about an hour and a quarter for the return.

Next time I think I will just snowshoe/walk. It might take a bit longer, but it will be less gear and more straightforward.

The ridge is mostly snow-free, but you need to walk on snow to get far enough back to fly. It was mostly firm today, but I broke through a couple of times. Once I sank to mid-thigh while trying to fly.

There's no cornice on the backside. Plane recovery would be easy with snowshoes.

I brought my DS Acacia, which is mostly white. As it turns out, white isn't the best color for a plane when the backdrop is mostly white, too. It also tucked at speed quite a bit, and I didn't have any lead with me for nose weight. I added 31 cents to the nose, which helped a little bit.

Winds were probably 20 mph, and the direction was good. I only flew for a total of about 20 minutes or so, because the plane felt squirrelly and was hard to see. I'd guess top speeds were in the 130-140 range. There was plenty of energy for going faster, but I didn't push it at all.

I think today's conditions were about right for a winter hike/fly day. Temp was just above freezing, and it was mostly sunny, which helps a lot. I didn't get too cold flying, and cooked on the walk out.

I agree with Cory that it's probably at least three weeks before we can drive up there.

I'd be psyched to do it again if someone wants to go with me.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 10:34 PM
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Frank,
Sound like a fun little outing--thanks for the report.

I'm just about ready to cover my Le Fish, so I'm getting closer.

While I'm not ready for that DS fast stuff, I'm getting excited to do some basic slope flying. That Kepps hill is good for that too isn't it?

-Steve
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