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Direction: Westerly

Type: Thermal soaring

Altitude:

Launch: Intermediate

Vertical to LZ: 4000 meters

Emergency LZ: Many available

Where: Western foothills

About the Site:

Salamiou is an excellent site for several reasons. The valley that this launch overlooks is largely free of trees and obnoxious plants. The hillsides are mostly grassy, with some rock, and thus provide many places for landing outside of the chosen LZ. The valley is adjacent to the Dora-Fasoula valley. In fact, one can see the Dora launch from the Salamiou launch. Thus Salamiou offers XC potential with known, relatively easy landing fields if one flies toward Dora or Fasoula from here. But on windy days there is the very real possibility of strong rotor on this route if you get low.

To the left and behind launch the ridge drops down to a saddle before going up again to higher hills across the bowl. A creek runs down from below the saddle to the river plain and the slope of the subsequent ravine is shallow. It is a long way to the river plain down this ravine. We have found that one tends to encounter sink in this area. Beware.

Note that down in the valley there are no villages, no places to eat or pick up food or water. You have to bring with you water and nourishment. In summer time this valley is very hot. Heat exhaustion is a very real concern. Bring a good hat and lots of water .

About the Launch:

Launch is at the peak of the highest hill southwest of the village of Salamiou. It is very steep and easy to get away from. The top, where one stands for launch, is a flat area about big enough for one glider. Behind, a field drops away steeply . Standing at launch, one faces westerly into a small ravine. To the left is another ravine and a spine separates them. Thermals may roll up both ravines simultaneously, being split by the spine. Depending upon which ravine has the greatest share of the thermal one may find that there are crosswinds on top coming from the left, even though air is coming directly up the launch slot as well. We find it useful to place a wind indicator directly on the spine as well as in the launch slot. Then, when the launch slot indicators are good and the spine indicator shows wind flowing toward the ravine to the left we feel reasonably sure that crosswinds will not be a problem. Should the spine indicator drift to the right then the left ravine has stronger wind and crosswinds may interfere with your launch.

Besides crosswinds, this launch is a narrow slot with pine trees to both left and right. Any turns induced by poor launch technique may result in a sudden tree landing.

About the LZ:

As mentioned above, one may land in many places in the valley. Due to the lack of stout vegetation there are many opportunities to land on hillsides as well. The river plain is wide and open, if rough with rocks and small bushes. There are power lines in some areas. Thermic turbulence may interfere with landings, particularly in the river plain. Prevailing winds tend to be up the valley from the coast, though this is not always so.

We have found a very nice field that sits about 40 feet above the river plain on the east side of the river bed. It is visible from launch. Look diagonally to the left, following the lower range of hills down to the river plain. Just after the last hill, before it drops off completely, you will see this field. It is a comfortable glide from launch.

Getting to Launch:

Follow the map to the village of Salamiou and drive into the village. Coming from the coastal direction you will find that, once in the main village, the road makes a 90 degree left turn and then goes about a hundred meters or so, widens slightly and makes a 90 degree right turn. As you approach this right turn a large building with bars all over the windows is directly in front of you. Instead of turning right with the main road, turn left onto a narrow concrete paved road that goes up the hill. This will soon become a dirt road. As you approach the crest you will pass two large concrete water tanks, sitting side by side, on your right. Shortly after these two tanks the road crests and splits. The right fork continues up the hill, the left goes down into the bowl. Take the right fork and wind your way up to the fields at the top. You will see launch as the top of the highest hill in the vicinity. Follow the road to the base of that hill and then park. The carry up is about 100 meters.

Getting to LZ:

From launch, drive back to the fork just above the two water tanks and take the right turn, away from the village, and follow that road down to the valley. This road may also be accessed from the highway just prior to dropping down to the village. It comes out just half a km. upstream from the preferred LZ, which can be reached by further roads along the river.

 

 

 

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