Home of the Red Rocks Wide Open and PWC Monroe

Paragliding World Cup, Monroe, USA – 2024

Bill Belcourt launches Mt Edna Photo Ben Horton

The Swell

Thad Spencer flying over “The Swell”
Photo Bill Belcourt

2021-10-04 09.18.49

Fall colors of Mt Monroe
Photo Ben Horton

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Event Information

Reliable weather. Big Air. Bigger vistas. 4 launches that take different wind directions. HUGE XC potential through some of Utah’s most incredible natural wonders. Welcome to the Monroe PWC, the first world cup hosted in the USA since 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho! This is a World Cup Cat 2 event that promises strong conditions and long tasks that take advantage of deep, tall mountain ranges and high-desert flatlands. Participants should be very comfortable with flying in strong thermals at high altitudes. Please consider conditions in the Rocky Mountains and where we host this competition. The altitudes are very high and conditions can be very strong. You can expect long tasks. In the 2023 US Nationals we had two triangle tasks over 100 miles (160 km)!

Get a feel for the remarkable area with this short film shot by Ben Horton during the 2022 Global Rescue XRedRocks hike and fly race.

Full Details on Local Rules and Regulations here.

Selection and Registration

Registration is via the PWCA website.

Cost

€400 (through PWCA website)

Schedule

Event days: September 7, 2024 – September 14, 2024 (September 7 is a practice day)

Saturday September 7, 2024

  • Official training day. Transport to launch provided. Retrieve from main landing zone provided. No official task set.
  • 1600–1830 — Official Registration and equipment inspection
  • 1900 — Mandatory Safety and Race Briefing

Sunday September 8 – Saturday September 14

  • Contest flying days

Saturday September 14th

  • 1900—Prize Giving
  • Closing Ceremonies
  • BBQ for pilots, family, and friends
  • An EPIC Party!

Getting There

To get to Monroe from out-of-state or overseas, fly to Salt Lake City international Airport (SLC) and arrange a car rental to drive to Monroe. Or, schedule a shuttle through us for $50 per-person (SLC to Monroe). It’s about a 2 hour drive. We recommend getting a car or camper van either before or after the comp to explore this incredible area, but you do not need a car during the event!

Visa Information for International Pilots

Visitors from many countries, including most European countries, do not need a visa to enter the US. However, you must have a valid travel authorization (ESTA) before arrival. Citizens of all other countries must apply for a visa. If you are from a non ESTA country and need a visa we can help.

Mandatory Equipment

  • Garmin InReach or other suitable satellite tracker (we strongly suggest Garmin InReach over SPOT). We do not have units to lend, but we can arrange a 20% discount on purchase through Garmin. You will be provided a one month upgrade to their “Expedition Plan” which provides for unlimited texting and 2 minute tracking at no charge. You must already have the “Safety” or “Recreation” plan on your device. To correctly set up your device go here.
  • Headlamp
  • External battery for your phone

Oxygen

Flying with oxygen is HIGHLY recommended. You can expect long tasks and very high altitudes, and oxygen helps you keep from getting hypoxic (which can be dangerous), helps you think more clearly and helps you stay warm.

Each tank fill is $15. We make no money on this. The equipment for filling to higher pressures is expensive and our oxygen expert takes it seriously.

We will have oxygen kits for rent or purchase (which we will buy back after the comp for a small fee. We will have complete units (tanks, regulator, cannulas) available for purchase for $250–$300 and will buy them back for $100–$150 (the variation depends on the tank manufacture date). Canulas and basic carrying case will be provided for the comp systems. We are doing everything we can to make the units as affordable as possible. These units and regulators operate similar to more expensive “pulse” conserving technology systems at a very good price. Feel free to reach out with questions. If you want to reserve a system follow this link.

For those who desire the “best in class”, research “Mountain High Sport oxygen systems” (https://www.mhoxygen.com/). They run about $1200. We cannot offer these systems, but have arranged a 10% discount with Mountain High. 

Local Transportation

Shuttles to launch are provided each day from the following locations:

  • Quality Inn Richfield
  • Monroe Canyon RV Park
  • Sevier River RV Park
  • Monroe LZ (Headquarters)

Required Insurance

Per PWC rules, all participants must have third party liability insurance with a minimum coverage of €800,000 or foreign currency equivalent. We will provide temporary USHPA membership for all foreign pilots, which provides 3rd party insurance.

We highly recommend having Global Rescue insurance in addition to your own medical insurance. Global Rescue is repatriation insurance and will get you home to a hospital of your choice. Is it very reasonable. In addition, you will be required to sign a participant waiver at registration.

Insurance options for flying in the United States are summarized here.

Retrieve

Live trackers, Telegram, and InReach tracking are used for coordinating pilot retrievals.

Communications

Please join our Telegram Chat

This will have official announcements, chat, and retrieve.

PLEASE set up your satellite tracker per these instructions: 2024 InReach set up instructions

Medical Emergency

Our safety director, Justin Grisham, and his crew are all ER Physicians or wilderness medical experts.

Emergency Telephone
911

Nearest Hospital
Sevier County Hospital
1000 N Main St
Richfield, UT 84701
Phone: +1 (435) 893-4100

Flying in the Monroe Area

Launches

Monroe has 4 world-class launches.

Monroe Peak

Monroe Peak is the main launch, at an altitude of 11,171 feet and faces SW. It is an astonishing 6,000′ above the valley floor! HUGE distances have been flown from Monroe (over 300 km). A list of the top flights.

Cove

Cove is a local favorite for getting incredible restitution glass-offs of well over 15,000 feet even in October! Cove has launches from N, W and S. 

Mt. Edna

Mt. Edna is one of the most stunning take offs in the Rockies is the highest drive-up launch in Utah, with various launches that take nearly all winds between 11,500 and 11,700 feet. 

Junction

Junction is a southeast facing launch where HUGE XC flights (several over 300km) go down nearly every year.

We can also use Wales and Horse Heaven, about an hour+ north of Monroe which provide for even more flexibility and weather options.

Central Utah has the most reliable flying weather in the Intermountain West. CUASA, the local club hosts an annual fly-in at the end of September every year and it is nearly always flyable every day. We are hosting this event right after the monsoon, when overdevelopment becomes much less of an issue and yet the days are still long and cross-country potential is still fantastic. The fall colors will be setting in and the terrain is nothing short of mind-boggling. Expect long and varied tasks (FAI triangles, downwinders, and out and backs) that utilize the most of every day. To view the tasks from the 2023 event go here.

Airspace

The applicable airspace is described on the US Salt Lake City (SSLC) VFR sectional aeronautical chart, available from the FAA or SkyVector.

Weather

CUASA Cove Station
NOAA Central Utah
Weather.com – Hourly 
USAirNet.com Winds Aloft – US 
WindCast – Utah / Soaring Forcast 
Live Feed on Cove Two hour time span on Cove 

Historical Track Logs

Historical flights on XContest from Monroe Peak and surrounding launches

How should I dress for flying? How cold is it?

Daily temperatures on the ground in Utah in September are typically around 70–75 F (21-24C), but we can get VERY tall in this area — frequently 15,000’–18000’ (4572–5400 M). 18,000’ is Class 1 airspace which we CANNOT violate and will result in a zero. At these heights temperatures can be at 0° F (32 C) or colder. Think Alps in the spring on a cold day. DRESS WARM for flying — big gloves, hand warmers, or electric gloves and a big puffy.

Lodging

If you have the flexibility to bring camping stuff we highly recommend camping. We have a couple different spots that have full facilities (showers, kitchen, lots of grass, etc.) that are very convenient and cheap ($10-15 per night). All our staff will be staying at the Sevier River RV Park  near Joseph (about 20 minutes from Monroe) and we can accommodate a few dozen competitors there. In addition there are quite a few hotels in Richfield (about 10 minutes from Monroe and more of a “town” but not as quaint as Monroe). In Monroe itself (the main LZ and what you can think of as the “HQ” there is only the Monroe Inn and a lot of cute AirBnB’s.

Tell me about this party I keep hearing about!

We are not shy about claiming the US has the best comp scene in the world right now. Why? Partly because our flying is wild — remote, stunning, surreal and just totally out of this world. But it’s our community vibe AND a lot of this is because of our parties. After the awards we get cranking. LIVE DJ with Reavis, who is VERY, VERY special, lasers, lights, sound and all if it in a very cool natural amphitheater of amazing red rocks and wicked stars. Bring your costumes, prepare to stay up all night dancing and getting weird with us!  DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHT HOME FOR EARLY SUNDAY! You will regret it!

Local Activities and Sites to See

Our flying zone is VAST — high mountains, surreal deserts — and southern Utah is one of the world’s great wonders. MANY national parks and monuments surround the area — Bryce Canyon National Park, Escalante National Park, Dinosaur National Park, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef National Park…and of course the Grand Canyon. If you have time before or after the event, we HIGHLY recommend taking some time to see some of these places (it is impossible to see them all!). Activities on weather days include EPIC mountain biking, ancient petroglyph sites, visits to Bryce or Zion national parks, hot springs, river floats (SUP, raft, etc.) and star gazing like you’ve never seen before.