|Ellenville, N.Y.I am sure you've heard of the place. It was the home of the 1980 Nationals and 2001 national fly-in. Conveniently located just 70 miles north of New york city' it pulls in many pilots from all over the northeast. the launch sites on the west side of the Shawangunk Mountains offer incredible vistas of the distant catskills.
This entire area is an adventurer's playground! Just minutes away are the renowned Wurtsboro Sailportand the world famous rock climbing area known as The Gunks. If your are one of the crazy, extreme -sports breed of humans, you also need to know about the class 4/5 whitewater kayak trip that ends up running through town, under the main street. And directly behind launch on top of the mountain is Cragsmoor, a famous artist community and ho,e of the Ice caves mountain that has views of several states from sams point as well as a cave renowned for having ice all year round! Oh Yeah did i mention that ellenville has been a hang gliding flying site since 1969. enough of the breif history of the place.
This is a story abot a new ramp that the local club built on the ellnville mountain. Anyone who has ever flown ellenville knows the othrer launch site. It is incredibly beautiful i\with room to assemble mutiple gliders and park several cars, a great social site once owned and operated by tony covelli and greg black. this partnership disolved , leaving the ownership to tony covelli who now runs the site by himself.
So why is there a second launch ramp so clise to the first? there area number of reasons.overcrowding, politics, the formation of a new club, the non acceptance of the new sport of paragliding and the fact that greg needed a plce to fly his HG. A knob north of the original launch was looked at as a potential site and after deciding it would concievably work the land owner was contacted. the owner required a lease and insurance so a club was formed to raise money. the club named NeASA (northeastern air sports association)quickly grew to 95 members in just its second year. The locations of the launch site is an easy walk across the face of the mountain starting just off 52. ( thank god its not an uphill climb!) The north kob as the launch is known is a flat slab of polished granite worn smoothby the glaciers of the past ice age. this smooth rock extends up the mountain 200 feet. from root 52 and ends at the lip of hthe ramp. it is the place to go on light days since the house thermal is located right in front. what a view. nothing to look at when you are about to launch except the great valleys below the distant catskills and the cloud streets above. But i get ahead of myself. in order to build this beauty the club formed a work party to clear trees, cut shrubs and weeds move rocks, dig up stumps and clea a nice area to lay out a paraglider or two.Robert wilner donated large pieces of carpet as he did not want his wing to lay in the dirt.;this was in an area that did not need a ramp but was sort of flat and requireda really good run.