|Glide||4.59 to 1|
|XC Record||None to date|
|Pilot Rating||Bell Mountain is technically a P3 site according to USHPA guidelines because the glide ration from launch to the Primary LZ is 4.59:1 and the Emergency LZ is not visible from launch. We strongly recommend that P2 pilots, with a foot launch rating, fly Bell Mountain under the supervision of a P3 pilot with Bell Mountain experience.|
|Site Location||Shake Rag Rd, Hiawassee, Georgia|
|Number of Flights per Year||400 Estimated|
|Additonal Notes||Slot Launch, Long Glide|
|Site Assessment||Click Here for the site assessment|
The launch at Bell Mountain faces due West and the Primary LZ is directly NW. The Emergency LZ is directly N and can't be seen from launch. Launching is possible in winds from SW to NW. The launch is an open rocky area 2 gliders wide but is tucked in between tall trees. Launching in winds 45 degrees or more off of West requires special care to make sure that your wing stays fully inflated during your launch sequence. Your kiting and launching skills should be at a P3 level to launch in cross winds at Bell. There is also a fair amount of wind gradient effect at launch. Regardless of the wind speed observed at launch, make sure you are checking the streamer at the top of the trees and top of the rock structure, if it is there. Once you are clear of the trees, wind speed can be double what you are feeling on launch. Because of this we strongly recommend not launching in any winds above 10mph.
The launch at Bell is privately owned land but made available to the public at the wishes of the recently deceased land owner. The land is part of a trust and to kept in it's original state not to be developed. As good citizens we like to keep launch clean and safe for everyone. It's good practice to bring a garbage bag and do a quick trash pick up prior to flying. Locals visit the top all the time and it's in always good to be accommodating to them.
Primary Landing Zone
Please park in the grass, near the trailer and off the drive, so we don't interfere with their coming and going. We should probably leave only one truck/car there at a time. We should also strive to pack our gear as quickly as possible and try not to linger any longer than necessary to pack gear and go. After packing it wouldn't hurt to stage all the gear, and ourselves, together so we don't have stuff spread all over the LZ.
Emergency Landing Zone
The emergency LZ is located directly north of launch. It cannot be seen from launch so make sure you check out the topo map and know where it is. It is also a good idea to site this LZ after launching so that you know where it is and can easily find it when you need it. The emergency LZ is for emergencies only. Do not stay on the ridge to find lift because you know you can hit the emergency LZ if you donӴ. Staying on the ridge too long to find lift does not constitute an emergency. If you land in the Emergency LZ for any reason, we request that you voluntarily donate $5 to SPP as an incentive not to do it again. All proceeds will go directly to a beer fund for club gatherings and fly-ins.
Bell is a mile long ridge and only a smaller portion of that is facing west. This area can get crowded fast so please remember it is your responsibility to make sure to avoid collisions and to follow all right of way rules. The spine to the north of launch often produces turbulence as a west or southwest wind curls around it. Directly out in front of launch and a little to the north is a small hill we call 'Baby Bell'. This is often a good thermal trigger. Many pilots have also found good thermals to the south of launch near the radio/cell towers. As mentioned, Bell is a P3 site because of the long glide ratio to the Primary LZ. Pilots should not get lower than 100 feet below launch before heading to the Primary LZ. We sometimes see horses in fields and yards around Bell Mountain. Most horses will be very distressed and panic over a paraglider flying low overhead or nearby. Do not fly low over horses or land in any fields or yards where they are.
The LZ is located in Hiawassee off the lake. They GPS coordinates are 34.972344,-83.744316
Some form of radio communication is required to fly Bell Mountain. A 2 meter radio is preferred, but a GFS (family band) is acceptable.
Many pilots like to visit the local Bar-B Que resteraunt Smoke Rings, located at 325 Big Sky Dr after a day of flying, however they are closed on Sundays. There is also the Boat House Bar and Grill located at 3399 Hwy 76 West which pilots enjoy after a day of flying.