We have three principal sites covering all wind directions, all are short drives from Piedrahita.
Tarmac road linking Piedrahita to the Peña Negra pass.
This is the main launch site that is usable on 90 percent of good flyable days. There is a car park, a bar (not is use, and vandalised since 2001) and the take off area is divided into two sections: above and below the road.
With nil wind it is generally better to take off below the road as it is steeper and if there is any danger of catabatic wind it affect the upper take off first.
With a few km/hr of wind, the top take of is used. There is a fence to the rear, so if there is any chance of you being dragged back on a failed take off, it is best to prepare a little down slope.
If you top land, the best area is the flatter area near the windsock on the west side of the upper launch.
The whole area is a little rocky, and also there are a number of gorse bushes. We have been clearing the site by hand, improving it as best we can. For 2009 a significant improvement is anticipated with help of the local government and town hall.
The flatter fields of the valley are approximately a 4.5:1 glide from Launch. There is a landing field at the half way point on the spine running down on the right of take off. This is just before the forested section (called locally the Monte de Jura). It often has about 70 beehives in summertime, so we name it ®The Bees® (although its real name is Los Ramos). There are also good fields in the gulley before the forested section next to the road. On the Chalet spine there is the option to land near the Chalets.
The official landing field in the valley can change year by year. We will inform you of it when you arrive.^ Top of Page
From in front of the bar of the village of Lastra del Cano there is a forestry track. After 400m there is a gate, which maybe closed by the people in the fire watchtower. The principal (S) take off is about 4km along the track. There is also a good west face below the Watchtower(W), the but presence of Black Vultures prevents its use during much of the season.
This is an epic site. For a time in the 1995 it held a huge number of national distance to goal flights (after a goal of 170km to Arcones in the PWC). The European record has been achieved at this site on 3 occasions.
The take off is a grassy slope, in a large clearing in the pine forest which covers most off the hill. There is always a smell of wild Lavender and thyme, and the view out front toward the Gredos mountains and the river Tormes below are fantastic. On a day when we fly here it means that the wind is too strong from the south for the anabatic wind to come up the Peña Negra launch (on unstable days, southerly winds of more than 20km/hr can be stopped by the valley breeze at Peña Negra). Unless you get away early, the conditions can become too strong to take off. During the evening conditions usually lighten and provide excellent smooth ridge lift, occasionally with usable wave from the Gredos in front.
The face of the hill is steep, and has many granite fingers and ledges where the Griffon Vultures nest. When we fly here there are always vultures to accompany us.
Lastra is a spine backed ridge, so it is easy to go over the back and land on the main N-110 highway where there are plenty of large easy fields. Normally on an evening flight we will all ®go over the back® and try to get to as close to Piedrahita as possible along the main road. In front of the hill the fields are generally smaller fields and though they are generally easy for a paragliders, they can cause some stress for hang glider pilots.^ Top of Page
From the south side of the Chia pass there is a dirt track which leads to both launches.
South East launch: This is in the bowl facing ESE. Parking near the water container, you walk 80 m up the hill were there is a large grassy launch, suitable for easy top landings.
Southerly launch: follow the track out of the bowl to the main southerly face. Take off is a very shallow grassy area which is safe and easy for top landing.
This is an excellent easy site, which offers good ridge soaring in the evening when restitution often sets up. We often go to this site when the wind is over the back at early in the day at Peña Negra. If pilots have not climbed out by around 2pm, we will often return Peña Negra. It is common to go over the back at Chia and find convergence with the anabatic wind up the face of the Piedrahita range. We have had some excellent XC flights from here to Salamanca and Cuidad Rodrigo.
Out front of the S launch is very flat, with many unfenced large fields. We normally land in the large field with the goalposts. From the SE take off you sometimes do not reach the football field. There is a suitable landing field next to the road going down.^ Top of Page
There are other sites in the greater surrounding area and a number not detailed below but used unofficially by Steve and his groups