Baldy Butte, located between Ellensburg and Yakima, is the highest point along the Umtanum Ridge. The Butte is a privately-owned site available to current members of CBCC and NWPC who are also current USHPA members to fly Baldy after receiving a site orientation and signing a waiver. The site works well with most wind directions. XC potential is best on light and variable days or light S/SW winds. This can be a very active site with strong mid-day conditions. The site also offers very nice ridge soaring when the wind is northerly or easterly.
Site protocol: By agreement with the landowner, CBCC members are welcome to fly Baldy provided they are current USHPA members and H-3 rated pilots. All pilots must participate in a site orientation with one of the Baldy Butte guides and must sign a comprehensive site waiver. NO EXCEPTIONS! To arrange a site orientation with a site guide please contact Rich Hass at 425-453-7177 or richh[at]nwnexus[dot]com Vehicles will need a gate key. All vehicles must be 4wd and equipped with fire extinguishers and shovels. Other site requirements are covered in the orientation.
Site Rating: P-2/H-3
- Rik Ely in Ellenburg: (509) 306-9525
- Rich Hass (PG pilot): (425) 453-7177
Launch Elevation: 3,225′ MSL at summit
Best Time to Fly: Fall-Spring with fall being the best. Best XC is mid-day with lighter/flyable conditions earlier or later.
Soaring: Great ridge soaring when northerly; excellent thermal flying when light and variable or SW. Solar heating at the south launch makes for good thermic flying on sunny days. XC pilots must avoid the Yakima Firing Range located east of the Butte.
Additional Notes: There are huge, inviting fields next to the river. DON”T LAND IN THEM! The site orientation will identify the field we have permission to land in. Check conditions for both Yakima and the Kittitas Valley/Ellensburg. The site works with most wind directions as long as the winds aren’t strong.
All incidents should be documented via the current USHPA incident reporting protocols with a courtesy copy to the site contact. Any incident involving non-pilot property damage, injuries or assistance from non-pilots(EMS, police, public bystanders etc) must also be reported as soon as practical to the site contact.
In an emergency, Call 9-1-1 first.