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Commodore

Bald Mountain

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Stockton, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024

Location

N40º 23' 23.7" W112º 17' 4.5"

40.3899, -112.2846
Elev 8808' / 2685m

Ratings & Skills

UPSHPA H3 / P3

High Altitude, Foot Launch

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

Alternate . . . . . . . . 447-8.25

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560

Access

High-clearance 4WD req'd to reach Upper Launch. Seven-mile two-track dirt road, washboarded, chains required Nov-Mar. Muddy after snowmelt or rain.

Known Hazards

Lower Launch setup area confined to the roadway. Steep launch, high altitude. Wind shifts accompanied by severe shear. Transmission towers and wires between launch and the LZ.

Site Sensitivites

Numerous abandoned mines in the launch area. Tooele Army Depot storage site is 2.3 miles south of the LZ. Do not overfly or land in the No Fly Zone.

Attention All Users: Commodore is a challenging, high-altitude mountain-thermal site. No pilot should fly at this site who is not a current USHPA and UHGPGA member holding the minimum USHPA ratings and skills indicated. Visiting and first-time users should obtain a detailed in-person pre-flight briefing from a local UHGPGA member-pilot with recent flying experience at this site. This briefing should take place at the launch site on the day of the flight. Pilots should also familiarize themselves with the known hazards and site sensitivities described in this guide. As pilot-in-command, you alone are responsible for assessing your fitness for flight, the airworthiness of your glider and equipment, the suitability of the current conditions for launch and recovery, and for continuously monitoring glider position and performance to ensure a safe landing at an approved landing zone. If in doubt, do not launch.

Road Condition:

4WD is required to reach the Upper Launch. Chains may be required during snow season. Expect mud following snow-melt or rain. The trail is rocky, wash-boarded, and rutted. You will gain nearly 3500 feet in elevation between Stockton and the Upper Launch, with the steepest grades in the last mile. Turnaround space is very limited. The area around both launches is dotted with closed mines and mining relics.

Lower Launch:

At the 5 mile point you’ll come to a wide spot in the road with a gravel drop-off on the west side of the trail. This is the Lower Launch, primarily used by paragliders.

 

Upper Launch:

Another 2 miles of steep grades and switchbacks brings you to the Upper Launch, which is primarily used by hang gliders. The one-acre setup area is broad and level, with room for several vehicles. There are no permanent tie-downs at either launch site. The launch itself is moderately steep and rocky, with trees left and right of takeoff.

 

Dust devils in the valley during midday heating are your best indicator that turbulent thermic conditions may exist. Late afternoon glass-off is probably the best time to launch at Commodore.

 

Expect severe shear when winds shift from south to north (typically midday or later). Be aware that north winds may be present at altitude even when surface winds are blowing straight in on launch.

2024 Commodore Upper & Lower Launch Detail.webp
The Landing Zone:

The broad valley floor below you offers nearly limitless safe landing zones. The terrain appears uniformly flat from a distance but in fact features small drainages and knolls which will not be apparent from altitude. A north-south line of transmission wires and towers, marked by a parallel dirt utility road, runs through the landing zone 1.7 miles west of the Upper Launch. You’ll see the dirt road before you see the wires.

The terrain in the LZ is mostly flat or gently rolling open range, with sparse high country vegetation. Small clumps of dense sage are easily avoided, and dirt roads criss-cross the valley in all directions. A retrieve vehicle parked along one of these dirt roads makes a useful aim point.

Part of the Tooele Army Depot’s massive storage bunker complex is 2.3 miles south of the LZ. Flying over or landing within this complex is prohibited. Remain north of Highway 73 and you will be well clear.

Commodore LZ & No Fly Zone.webp
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