Home of the Red Rocks Wide Open and PWC Monroe

Red Rocks Wide Open 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 Red Rocks Wide Open! This is a USHPA National Championship series 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.

Selection and Registration

Registration opens April 1st, 2024 at 1600 MST.

Minimum qualifications: P4 or International equivalent. You can expect strong conditions in Monroe, very high altitudes and at times when we fly downwind, potentially limited places to land. If you do not have a P4 or international equivalent please contact the race organization with your flying background if you feel the Red Rocks Wide Open suits your ability. In the 2023 event we had two triangle tasks over 100 miles!

Full details on pilot qualifications here.

Full Details on Local Rules and Regulations here.

Cost

Entry fee is $625 USD for early payment (April 1-April 15). The top 15 NTSS pilots will receive a $50 USD discount on the event fee. Rankings will be as of April 1st, 2024. International pilots ranked in the top 400 in the WPRS will receive a $125 USD discount on the entry fee. The price increases to $675 USD after the early payment period. You might be wondering why comps in the US are so expensive?

Cancellation Policy

Any pilot who cancels their registration will be given a refund as follows:

  • Cancellation date more than 75 days before competition start date: 50% refund
  • Cancellation date between 75 and 45 days before competition start date: 30% refund
  • Cancellation date less than 45 days before competition start date: 0% refund

Inability to attend due to COVID related travel reasons is not a reason for a refund of an amount greater than the above percentages and stated times. Please ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover any last minute cancellations.

Cancellation of a Competition by the Organization
In the event the organizers deem it necessary to cancel, relocate, or reschedule the competition you will be entitled to a partial refund. This will be on the scale as follows:

  • Up to 45 days before the first official event day: 100% less a $50 admin charge
  • 45 to 0 days before the first official event day: An amount equivalent to the amount paid less the amount spent by the organisation in preparations up to that time.

After the start of the competition, any refunds will be at the sole discretion of the organizers.

The organizers will not be liable for any costs incurred by anyone attending, or intending to attend the event, or any consequential losses arising from the cancellation, relocation, or rescheduling of the event.

Schedule

Event days: August 30, 2024 – September 5, 2024 (August 30 is a practice day)

Friday August 30, 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

Saturday August 31 – Thursday September 5

  • Contest flying days

Thursday September 5

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

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. Use the discount “RRWO-10” at checkout (or order by phone) to get the discount.

Retrieve

The group chat in conjunction with live trackers and InReach tracking is used for coordinating pilot retrievals.

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

Communications

Radio frequency: 151.925 MHz (a USHPA member frequency)

Red Rocks Wide Open Telegram Official Announcements

Red Rocks Wide Open Telegram Group Chat

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.

  • Quality Inn (Richfield)- 10% discount- when you book by phone direct tell them you are a pilot.
  • Super 8 Motel (Richfield)- 10% discount- when you book by phone direct tell them you are a pilot.
  • Monroe Inn (Monroe)
  • Monroe Canyon RV Park (Monroe) — Ask for Jordan for a pilot discount (adjacent to the main LZ)
  • Sevier River RV Park (Joseph) — about 17 mins from LZ. All staff stay here. Awards and afterparty will be here. Lots of grass and trees. Ask for Danny or just let us know and we’ll reserve a spot.
  • Hotels in Richfield
  • AirBNB’s in the area

Prize Fund and Scoring Categories

Awards given to the top three in each category: Open, Serial, Sprint, Masters and Women. If you are flying in the Masters category you cannot fly a CCC wing (all pilots flying a CCC wing will be in the “OPEN” category only).

Attractions

National Parks nearby: Bryce, Escalante, Capital Reed, and Zion. They are all epic. There is great mountain biking, hiking is pretty surreal this time of year with the fall colors, hot springs in Monroe…

Staff

Organizer(s): Gavin McClurg and Logan Walters

Meet Director: Logan Walters

Medical and Safety: Justin Grisham

Weather: Reavis Sutphin-Gray and Lisa Verzella

Scoring: Bill Hughes

Method: Gap 2021, FTV 20%