EJ Launch Enhancement / 2021

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EJ Launch Enhancement / 2021

Postby sd » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:35 am

We are in the process of enhancing our EJ launch site

Because it’s use has increased and there is often a que (we should be able layout 4 across for pullup when commissioned).
and
If we can go down the front side even just a little into some upslope convection, we can often encounter upslope flow to launch the south side when it is light OTB from the north at the top.
and
There have been frequent close scrapes (and some more than close) with the brush and rocks in front of launch when the launch conditions are weak and marginal.

Work Strategy
What to do with the “trimmings” is a huge concern and varies depending on the scenario. On the steeper sections below EJ launch it is easier to go downhill with the trimmings, but we don’t want to build a web of line snagging punishment when we need to abort a launch attempt. We don’t want to hack a few branches at the top and toss them a few feet where they will stay until the next fire. We need a path to move the trimmings far enough downhill that they won’t be an issue even on abortions. At EJ we have started from below and are working uphill.

Currently, I could do the work myself, but there are several tasks that could happen in parallel that would result in quicker attainment of the objectives and more polish than I can muster solo. It would be good to have
at least one person trimming,
and
someone moving the trimmings
and
at least one person grooming
and
If we have more able bodies
we can use them for woody weeding and raking in the pullup and setup areas. The proven tools for this task are a chopping mattock, a rake, and tarp for transportation.

Once the overgrown downslope trimming is established, we can more easily and effectively maintain the height via semi-annual trimming with a hedge trimmer (if we don’t let it get too thick).

In the flatter setup and pullup areas we don’t want any woody growth that can snag lines.

In the steeper runout area, we do want some growth to stabilize and reduce erosion, but we want the growth maintained low, which can be done quickly with regular trimming, but iff we let the growth get too thick, then we can’t simply swipe across with a hedge trimmer.
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Friday night update for EJ on Saturday 2/13/2021

Postby sd » Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:22 pm

Friday was productive. Most all of the trimming is complete (still need to relocate some yuccas) and 80% of the trimmings have been relocated to their final destination at the bottom of the launch.

On Saturday, if we get 8 workers on site, we can wrap up the project in 45 minutes to an hour, or an hour and a half to 2 hours with 4 volunteers, or half a day with only 2 volunteers.

Since it likely won’t be flyable due to excessive wind, no need to start super early. Will likely roll through Parma about 10ish.

Remaining task include:
Move any remaining trimmings downhill to the bottom of the launch clearing.
and
Relocate several dozen yucca plants of various sizes. We have already relocated 50ish, but there are some remaining. Yucca tips are sharp and will poke holes in your canopy.
and
Rake loose debris (to minimize sticks in our lines). Similar to what we did at the Skyport about a month ago…
and
Fill the shallow hole (vis shovel) where the boulder previously sat.
and
Seed (naturalized grass) areas where the ground cover has been disturbed

Hopefully we can get a good turnout and give EJ a final polish. I’ll bring the following tools
3 mattocks (for yucca relocation)
3 leaf rakes and 2 garden rakes
1 shovel
There is a tarp on site (we use a tarp to transport loose rake debris)
Some water and Gatorade

If we have extra bodies and a pickup truck, we might also remove most of the railroad ties that we previously used for cribbing and drop then at the next location where they will be needed.
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