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Sierra South Tip
aka SST (or Sierra Southern Tip)
Posted 9/2015 / Updated 9/2015
2 Launches near the South Tip of the Sierra Range
See Google Earth [KML] file showing both launches / Canebrake and Nine Mile, which are named after their access roads. Canebrake is about 8 miles SW of Nine Mile.
Nine Mile launch might enable an earlier start because you can get on course from a lower altitude since it is right on the range. Canebrake looks like easier logistics, particularly for HGs, but you need to get several thousand over launch to transition east to the main range which is about 4 miles east of launch. Heading east is likely easy by midday, but might be an issue at 10 am.
About a thousand vertical to big open valley (900 from the HG launch). Less than a 3 to 1 glide. Faces South (SE to SW)
Launchable off the side of the road for HGs? PGs might want to hike uphill about a 100 feet?
The HG roadside launch looks easy enough on Google Earth. About 4800 MSL. PGs could use the road cut, but will likely prefer to hike uphill above the rock cliffs for better airflow on pullup? Not sure of the road condition. It might be 4x drive, but it looks ok on Google Earth.
Reportedly, Bruce Barmakian has used the launch.
Back in a canyon. More suitable for PGs? Faces East to South East for morning launches.
About 5250 to 5500 MSL depending on how far above the road you hike. 250 to 500 vertical hike to launch above the access road. Launch is about 1400 vertical above the canyon creek out front in the fizzle zone, but if you flush you would likely land side hill rather than going all the way to the creek which would require an uphill hike to get back up to the road.
A number of PG pilots have used the launch including Alex Gagarin, Dave Turner, and Dean Stratton. As of this notation, it appears that Dean Stratton and Jimmy Huang hold the site record at 167ish miles?
I flew twice from 9 Mile:
There is also video of the start:
Itís a bowl and easy to launch, but could be quite windy, I recommend to launch 9:30-10:00. Landing is the canyon not an option because of trees and cactuses, road is much better option. However itís very easy to get up there and Iím not aware of anyone to bomb out. / Alex
Dave has an article of his 121 mile flight from 9 mile posted at: