Peavine Peak Slope Soaring Site
Description: This site is located on the California/Nevada border just off Interstate 395, about a 90 minute drive from Grass Valley, and has the same desert climate as the Red Rock site a few miles to the NW. The bowl-shaped east-facing slopes are at least 3000 feet high, and there is a west facing slope several hundred feet high. You can drive to within a few feet of the launch site, and the wind is great here when other locations are weak. With an east wind, this site provides some amazing slope lift, and with either an east or west wind some nice dynamic soaring. The site provides a spectacular view of eastern Nevada and looks over the Red Rocks site, Reno, and the Mogul site.
Location: Find yourself near the intersection of I-80 and I-395 in Reno, Nevada. Go about 8 miles north on I-395, and turn off on Stead Blvd. At the stop sign, turn left/west and go under the freeway. Drive the quarter mile to the stop sign, and turn right/north on the frontage road. Drive 0.5 miles on the frontage road, and turn left/west onto the broad bumpy dirt Peavine Road up the hill next to the blue house and just before the large squat green water tank. Cross the railroad tracks, and follow the road southwest around the south side of the summit. Stick to the well-traveled dirt road, and follow it about 6 miles to the summit.
The summit is a maze of dirt roads and at least 5 antennae farms. You can take some time to explore the summit and try several sites. There is one ridge extending down from the central summit directly south that provides a reasonable dynamic soaring site. The additional drive to this particular part of the site short but is steep and rocky. But a dedicated soul can either walk to it or put his vehicle in 4WD and get right to it without too much trouble.
Flying and Cautions: Rocks are everywhere with little foliage to cushion a landing, so . . . think about a landing zone well in advance, and make a few passes to check out the wind in your landing zone before you ease it in. This site is at about 8000 feet—use suntan lotion and a hat or you will get fried. At these higher altitudes, your plane will fly noticeably faster and need less ballast. Those radio towers are not there for decoration—they can pump out megawatts of RF energy that can interfere with your R/C system. Also, your transmitter signal can reflect from the metal radio towers and cause frame misread interference in your plane’s receiver, so keep your plane closer to you than the antennae farms. One time on this site with a passing squall, my car antennae was snapping with energy, and the thunder scared the @&#* out of me as I dove into the car for cover.
Video: Click here or on the picture at right for a short video of dynamic soaring the east face at Peavine Peak. Rob Crockett flying the Extreme, Brian McLean on the video cam.
Many thanks to Adventure Productions for documenting this hang-gliding site on their web pages.
TopoZone topographic map of the site. There are several giant slopes here, but the DS slope is on the ridge extending south from the “Lookout” at 8266 feet. You can make out the saddle in the ridge about 0.1 miles south of the lookout that is the DS site. You can take the steep hike down from the lookout to this site. The road (goat trail) to this saddle is not marked on the map, but is steep and rocky, extending from the fork in the road directly west of the site, continuing from about “7852” to the saddle.
Yahoo map of the Peavine Peak area. You can see the turn off from 395 to Stead Blvd, the frontage road, and Peavine Road (the dirt road to the summit).
The photo at top right is at the DS site, looking SW over Reno, with a Fun-1 in the foreground. The second picture is the water tank near the entrance to Peavine Road off the I395 frontage road. The third picture is Rob Crockett’s Extreme DS’ing in the east bowl, Brian McLean on the video camera. Click on the DS picture for a 10Mb MPEG video of some dynamic soaring.
3D topographic map of Peavine peak from the south. The top green dot is the DS site, but you can see several other enormous east facing bowls that are flyable. The west face at the DS site is just steep enough in a west wind to make altitude and start in on the east “back side”.
From the DS site, looking north at the Lookout. The main Peavine Peak is just to the right of the picture.
From the Lookout, looking south at the DS site towards the west end of Reno.
Brian McLean DS’ing the bowl with his Extreme in a west wind, here looking directly east. We got a little rain that day.
Rob Crockett 5/2001