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What about Bingen? Anybody used this site?

 
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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
69 Posts
White Salmon
 

CGKA Member


PostTue Jun 06, 17 4:55 pm    What about Bingen? Anybody used this site? Reply with quote

Once in a blue moon, I've seen kites out at Bingen.

It used to be a fairly well used windsurfing spot. (There's even a windsurfing memorial, the "Speed Rock"). Huge, irrigated, grass lawn. Shade and trees that shelter the grassy areas. Tons of free parking. A huge expanse of river out front. Often times, it's windy there when it's not blowing in Hood River. All legal and accessible.

And a free boat ramp and some dock space. Easy to put a jet ski in the water.

Okay, there's the rock island at the downwind side of the flat water, it gets a bumper crop of millfoil weed later in the summer, and there's trees along the top of the bank, and shrubs all along the bank...and the next nice escape is Mosier over in OR. Oh, and nets during fishing season.

A downwinder to Mosier or even Lyle would be a great run.

So, as launches go, is it really that much more difficult than Stevenson, wunderbar, or Rowena?

And if we gave it a thorough assessment, and identified hazards that might be removed, or improvements that might be implemented, could we present a plan to the port of
Klickitat? CGKA? Any intel?

It will never be as beginner friendly as the sand bar, but it could handle a good size crowd. If we get it figured out, it could be a viable spot. Even with high water.

Maybe we could bring back the "Speed Check". All it entailed was sailing fast at a radar gun. But it was a fun event. Maybe we could put some new numbers up on the "speed rock". With foils Cool

And the Mexican place in Bingen has new owners. The food is good. El Raconcita is still there doing awesome burritos, and there's a new place opening up. Chips is a classic gorge dive bar.

Anybody have any experience with launching at Bingen?

With almost everything else underwater, and the event site rented out for the weekend, maybe it's time we figured out how to make Bingen work.

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moondog

Since 15 Aug 2007
354 Posts
white salmon
Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostTue Jun 06, 17 5:48 pm     Reply with quote

I used this launch 30 years ago for windsurfing and 10years ago for kiting. Some pylons you need to dodge, gusty wind, no waves just chop...... but beggars can't be choosers. This weekend will be a goat rope, hang on!
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Scriffler

Since 03 Jul 2005
496 Posts
LYLE
Obsessed



PostTue Jun 06, 17 6:51 pm     Reply with quote

I used to kite there all the time.Drift launch by myself and land in the leeward wind shadow towards the boat ramp. It is alright but unless the wind is the perfect direction the wind is usually really holey and gusty. Also the chop can be really bad and the swell is usually nonexistent. No one kites there for a reason, it's not that good.

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A.K.

Since 01 Jul 2006
152 Posts

Stoked



PostTue Jun 06, 17 9:46 pm     Reply with quote

Ditto on above comments. I used to windsurf and kite there years ago. You are correct, like any place on the Columbia, there are moments when it may be the only place blowing. And frankly the only reason I would know this is because I stay in Bingen when I am visiting. But essentially we all moved on from that location for the above mentioned reasons.

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
480 Posts

Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostWed Jun 07, 17 2:30 am     Reply with quote

I don't launch and land there just launch. Launch from the grass, walk down the dirt ramp, drag through water growth and then take all the time in the world going down wind.

Mosier is quick but you don't have to be in a hurry. Lyle around the corner and around some islands but you should know the wind is there and what it's doing on that bend - Rowena is just a little further but again know the wind is there.

It's my get away from the crowd run and I've only seen a few locals from Mosier there along with the occasional paraglider pilot checking wing and lines.


It's fun and different - not as easy as some of the other launches.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1063 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostWed Jun 07, 17 6:44 am     Reply with quote

ErraticAKn wrote:
Lyle around the corner and around some islands but you should know the wind is there and what it's doing on that bend


Isn't Mamaloose Island the Indian "Island of the Dead"? You (white guy) step foot on that ground and your soul is cursed for eternity.

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Kip Wylie

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
787 Posts
Hood River
Opinionated

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PostWed Jun 07, 17 8:08 am     Reply with quote

Singlemalt,
Maybe send a PM to Mark - he pioneered and promoted Bingen for kiting back in 2010 when he was involved with the CGKA.

http://nwkite.com/forums/t-19131.html&highlight=bingen

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
480 Posts

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PostWed Jun 07, 17 9:05 am     Reply with quote

wylieflyote wrote:
Isn't Mamaloose Island the Indian "Island of the Dead"? You (white guy) step foot on that ground and your soul is cursed for eternity.


I'm Tlingit from Sitka - I think I'll be okay.

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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
69 Posts
White Salmon
 

CGKA Member


PostWed Jun 07, 17 9:43 am     Reply with quote

I went down there last night to do a little recon. I brought my two labs and a chuckit so I'd blend in. Six dogs, six people. It's a nice dog park. We've been taking the dogs down there to swim for years. The usual doggy play and small talk with other dog owners ensued.

I read the old thread. Memory lane runs through a pretty rough neighborhood. No good deeds went unpunished.

The high water levels will recede, and the event site being rented out is a one off. But it's almost the middle of June, and there's a lot of kiters wondering where they can get to the water without getting creamed launching and landing. I'm lucky to be working in Portland this weekend, I'll miss all the fun.

Bingen doesn't look like a very good alternative at this point. The brush on the banks has gotten huge and the paths to the water are tight. The tiny sand beach at the downwind end is submerged, with a strong current running between the point and the big rock island. I didn't see anyplace where a top launch would work. Maybe a drift launch and wet landing, but I'd still probably go to hood river. If only to have some people around to help.

I'm not nearly confident enough to self launch on the grass and maneuver down the paths. The wind on the lawn is generally very choppy.

Clearing a large swathe down the bank would probably fill a 20 yd container with brush. It would be a sizable job.

It's a decent place to fly a trainer, but you do take up a huge amount of space, and there may be dogs, and families. It's a better place to take the dogs, have a beer and enjoy the scenery. Great blackberries during the season at the west end.

I remember the sailing was just so so for windsurfing. I can see why there isn't that much interest. Most people went there to avoid the crowds at the more popular spots.

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Bettyboarder

Since 18 Mar 2005
1827 Posts
PDX/ White Salmon
Mrs. Site Lackey



PostWed Jun 07, 17 6:58 pm     Reply with quote

It's ok kiting if it's super nuked at the event site. We used to launch and land kind of like Stevenson style one person on the bank holding the kite and the other in the water. It's sort of sketchy. I like it more for walking the dog then kiting
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Pepi

Since 16 Jun 2006
1616 Posts
Hood River's local kite
Shop Owner

CGKA Member


PostThu Jun 08, 17 11:53 am     Reply with quote

Make sure to wear booties (entire land mass there is made up of broken shale from when the Corp was digging out Bonneville Dam) and always have a kite knife with you, as there are regularly fishing drift nets set upwind and downwind of the launch area (look for buoys of styrofoam blocks, they are indicators for fishing nets/lines).

The CGKA worked with the Port of Bingen for a little while on improvement plans for making this a more viable Kite Launch, but at the end of the day, it seemed that the risks might possibly outweigh the rewards.

If we could get a could get a couple truckloads of sand to fill in the cove more and an agreement with the intertribal fishing council to not have any drift nets in front of the launch, it could become something quite useable.

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