Northwest USA

Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Idaho are all within range of this XC marathon

No holds barred we drive to wherever we can XC. If Chelan is on we will be there, if Sun Valley is going off we will be there. Pine Mtn, Woodrat, Mt Shaster what ever it takes to turn circles and do some solid distance

The northwest US Tour runs each year around June and July, The dates vary depending on the US and Canadian competition dates as we try to align the tour to coincide with the comps. Tis good to have a more extended circuit with these tours linking in with the comps

The tour dates are published here in the calendar under Tours

FAQ

Do I need a satellite tracker like SPOT

SPOTs are a powerful resource

  • They reassure your family
  • They reassure you
  • They make my life easier knowing I can find you

We are often flying in areas outside of good cell phone coverage. A SPOT with tracking activated and used could save your life

They are not mandatory for the clinics, if we are in the flatlands I strongly recommend one
We have a couple spare we can rent by prior arrangement

When do the Tours run
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What does the tour include?
  • Expert guides led by Brian Webb guiding us to the right sites for the weather ahead
  • Extensive local knowledge of sites and meteorology
  • Daily weather briefs, task recommendation, goal setting and in flight support.
  • Pre tour skills assessment and coaching
  • Ongoing coaching with goal orientated skills improvement throughout the tour
  • Tandem training with tour pilots where beneficial
  • Comfortable vehicles with coordinate capable GPS
  • Transport from and to Seattle airport
  • Transport to the sites each day
  • Dedicated retrieve driver
  • Full retrieve
  • Laptop friendly, I need my laptop and connectivity to be able to get the best from each day, I understand how important it may be for you
  • We encourage each pilot to get a SPOT satellite GPS tracker to ensure we know where everybody is – all the time
What does the tour cost

The tours have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 pilots.

The 14 day tour cost is $1,795

We also offer a daily rate of $200, use the enquiries page to request more details

How do I book?

For Australian pilots

Send a Aus $750 deposit to Sascha at Travel Scene quoting reference T15696
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK
ACCOUNT NAME – AISHA NOMINEES
BSB – 083945, ACCOUNT – 536354691

For overseas pilots

Use our enquiries page to contact us

This deposit is 100% refundable until the course is confirmed 90 days before the tour starts

Once the course is confirmed the deposit is non refundable, the balance is required 45 days before the tour starts

Please don’t book flights until you have a confirmation from us that the tour is running. We will be depending on a minimum of 3 guests before we confirm

How much luggage can I take into the US on an International flight?

Check with your airline but flights into the US often allow 32kg of checked luggage

What radio do we need?

The US pilots use a 2 metre frequency range allocated by their association USHPA

151.5050, 151.6250, 151.9250, 151.9550, 158.4000

Ideally we all use 2m

Who is organising the tour?

Brian Webb

Which sites are on the itinerary?

We fly where the weather presents the best opportunities to us

We start off in Seattle where there is a an interesting launch called Tiger Mountain, overlooking the city.

Good place to get over the jet lag and shake out some cob webs

Chelan is 4 hours to the east across the Cascade mountain range – if the weather forecast is good we will head that way – Chelan can be awesome

If the weather pushes us to go north then we look towards Lumby, 5 hours, and Golden 9 hours in British Columbia, Canada – more likely to be heading 8 hours south towards Pine Mountain, Lakeview and then Woodrat, Oregon

If we need to go east then Joseph, Oregon is 8 hours and Sun Valley, Idaho, 11 hours, are possibilities

Ideally we will be playing in between Woodrat, Pine Mountain and Chelan

Do I need a VISA to go to the USA or Canada?

It is now mandatory to obtain a visa for travel to USA.  The visa is applied for online and must be done 48 hours prior to departure or entry to the States will be denied. Canada does not require a visa if you are from Australia

How can I get a good price on an air ticket?

Contact Sascha at Travel Scene – she finds amazing fares – sascha@tsbright.com.au

Try Orbitz and Kayak – they regularly have good fares

How can I get from LAX to Seattle or Corpus Christi?

Contact Sascha at Travel Scene – sascha@tsbright.com.au

Try Orbitz and Kayak – they regularly have good fares

How much is accommodation?

Motels vary from US $30-100, camping is often around US $15 per night

Where can I get camping gear, do I have to bring it over?

I buy once I get to the US – at Walmarts everything is very cheap and the search function works well – a good size 2 person tent circa US $50 – you can get pillows, stretchers (cots), pots, camping stoves.

We can pull over at a Walmarts after the pickup from Seattle

How much is food?

Pretty similar to Australia, cheaper than Europe and we will always be close to grocery stores or diners

Do I need to join any US organisations to fly?

For sure, you will need a temporary membership of USHPA to qualify for their 3rd party insurance, US $25. We can help you with the paperwork required here

How much is medical and evacuation insurance?

QBE offer a good deal for circa Aus $300 – contact Sascha on  sascha@tsbright.com.au.

Be sure your insurance covers you for paragliding

How do we set up our GPS

Your GPS should be set to a coordinate system of degrees.degrees (d.ddddd)

If you want to keep an useful tracklog you should be taking tracklog points every second, depending on the storage capacity of your GPS unit

What is the philosophy of the tour?

The tour is dedicated to providing pilots with the best opportunity to maximise their flying. We provide the infrastructure to help you to achieve. Rather than base ourselves at one site we will drive the km’s to fly whereever is on and right for the group.

If we can’t fly or realistically travel to a site to fly then we will chill and play tourists

When is the best time to fly Texas and the US north west?

Spring often brings exceptional conditions, April, May and early June, problem here is that these exceptional days are sparsely mixed in with lots of not so good days.

For consistency fly June and July

Where can I get a cell phone?

You can use your own phone with international roaming or find lots of great deals for cell phones – check out walmarts prepaid, heaps of others as well, the word is that Verizon offer better rural coverage in Oregon.

If your personal phone will take a SIM card and is not locked then you can get a US SIM card and plug it straight into your own phone.

Woolworth’s do a international AIM card plan that could work out

What do we do if we get bad weather?

We have budgeted to be able to drive to various sites over 1,000 miles.

The geography of Oregon and Washington is quite diverse and subject to different climates and meteorology. We will drive to where ever looks best for the flying we want to do. If the weather is evidently bad along the whole of the west then we will play tourist and relax, waiting for the change and being sure to be in the right place

What is involved in the skills development?

An important part of the event is individual and group goal orientated skills development.

We work with each pilot to identify areas of opportunity to develop and improve individual skills. We discuss and agree strategies to work towards measurably improving those skills. We jointly identify achievable goals that over time demonstrate how well those strategies are working.

Some of these opportunities are discussed and developed before the event via an internet based remote skills development process.

All of these opportunities, strategies and goals are documented and become part of a skills improvement package that you take away with you to continue to use and develop your flying.

How does the retrieve system work?
  • All pilots need a clear inflight radio communications system (we can work with you to help you get this properly sorted out), a GPS and a cell phone.
  • We all fly from the same site each day, as you fly you routinely radio to the retrieve driver your GPS position based on bearing, height and distance from launch . If they have not heard from you frequently enough they will ask you for updates. We can find you based on this information alone
  • A  SPOT or Delorme satellite GPS tracking system is mandatory. This unit will transmit your coordinates via satellite (does not need cell phone coverage) to our driver. We can also track you whilst you are flying. We can rent you one if you give us notice
  • When you land you use your tracker to send your GPS coordinates to the retrieve driver
  • You will need to land or walk to a vehicle accessible road, we will not haul you out of dense bush. Remember a good looking track may have locked gates so be smart and focus on landing beside paved (sealed)roads.
  • The retrieve driver has a vehicle based GPS that will accept your coordinates and guide the driver to you, they also have maps of the area
What would a typical day consist of?
  • Meet up and get into breakfast for 8:30 to 9:00, check out the weather for the day and agree a schedule for getting up to launch. Round off the debriefs from yesterday evenings discussion of flying and cover any questions.
  • Catch up on the email and internet, grab some water, fruit and lunch for the day
  • Get to launch for 10:00ish and assess the quality of the day. Prepare gear and meet to agree on a course direction and personal goals.
  • Early launches so we can get up for a reflight if we bomb then make the best of the day we have. Work as a group onto the course then as the day warms up start to move up the course and get a feel for the day.
  • Pick up all the group, grab a beer or soda, swap tall stories and head on back to town for a swim, shower and dinner
  • Get together for dinner, debrief over dinner, download tracklogs, discuss highs and lows, good decisions and decisions that can improve. Check gear then hand over for the evening
How can I get a good price on an air ticket?

Contact Sascha at Travel Scene – she finds amazing fares – sascha@tsbright.com.au

Photos

Tour calendar

If you cannot see a date that suits you or there is an event scheduled and you are not sure if you are suitable for it then don’t be shy, contact us to talk it thru

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Bookings

Bookings

To book please check the dates of your event then contact us via the Enquiries page.
Be sure to let us know the dates you are interested in
We will then follow up with you to be sure we have you on the right event

If you have any questions call on +61 (0)417 530972 or skype to brianmwebb

Payments

Payments can be made by bank transfer or PayPal

Bank transfer
Bendigo Bank: BSB 633 000
Account name: XCkms
Account number: 122842537

PayPal
Regret this bears a 2% addition to cover administration costs
Please pay to webbie@XCkms.com

Local XContest flights

Why us

Why clinic with XCkms

  • Expert guides with demonstrable experience
  • Extensive local knowledge of sites and meteorology
  • Tandem instruction where appropriate
  • Comfortable 4WD vehicles with GPS, tablet, SMS and SPOT facilities
  • Dedicated retrieve drivers
  • Briefing facilities including whiteboard, big screen video replay, tracklog projection and WiFi

Costs

The tours costs are $1,795 per pilot or $175 daily, see the FAQ above for details of what is considered and covered

For further details please contact us here

Where we can go