Victoria > East Inland
Mt Buffalo - The Gorge HG Ramp
|4527' / 1,380m amsl, 975m / 3,200ft agl
|The Gorge HG Launch - HG Advanced, HG Int under HG Adv supervision. Unsuitable for Paragliders.
Parks Victoria. The Gorge is licensed to VHPA/SAFA for use as a HG launch site.
Mt Buffalo is a large granite mountain. The Gorge ramp launch is suitable for hang gliders comprising a constructed wooden ramp. Under no circumstances is it to be used by paragliders. There is no room for mistakes, it is very sheer.
On foot from the Gorge Day visitor area. Take the path leaving the lower car park to the right of the Mount Buffalo lookout for about 50m then follow the signs.
Ramp safety harness
For organised hang gliding events at the Mt Buffalo ramp, Parks Vic require launch assistants to wear a safety harness. The NE Vic HG Club has provided such a harness. It consists of a certified fall restraint harness and 17m of static fall rope with two carabiners to limit the range of movement of the wire assist person working near the edge in front of hang gliders preparing to launch. The harness will be stored with other competition equipment at the NE Vic Club storeroom at the Mystic landing paddock and may be signed out by any pilot as required by contacting one of the club committee members. If using this harness be sure that the range of travel of the assist person does not allow them over the edge of the cliff and that they keep the rope clear of their own feet and of the feet of the pilot when moving away.
Porepunkah airstrip in the Buckland Valley to the east or in the 'The Burrs' Blue Zone, alongside the park entrance directly in front of launch. A powerline cuts the corner of the 'Burrs' paddock to power the toll station. If you land anywhere else in the valleys, keep out of cropping or stocked fields and, as always, watch for powerlines, fences, etc. Remember that this is mountain thermal country, and winds are unpredictable in landing areas.
Before going XC, please check the site guide for allowed and forbidden landing paddocks in the area and endeavour always to land in a Blue Zone. Specifically, top landings in the Mt Buffalo park are forbidden.
You can fly Buffalo in any wind direction as long as it is fairly light. In summer the wind is generally N-NW in the Ovens Valley and there is usually a light wind blowing up the gorge when the sun is out and the wind is light. This makes it 'on' at launch on a good percentage of days, but don't be surprised if you find yourself drifting away from the mountain while thermalling, or landing in a SW wind! On strong days the thermals blast through at 18- 25knots or more, this indicates lift of 1000+/min and comparable sink. The worst winds are probably South Easterlies which roll around from the right and can produce some radical turbulence out from launch.
The XC potential is very good. (eg. the 1988 World championships held here). To the north the ridge peters out at Myrtleford, 18kms away. South, the valley disappears after 16 kms into rugged country with no landing areas. West, you could fly over the plateau into the next valley, but it can be difficult to get there. One direction is east, over Bright and the Tawonga Gap and onto Mt Beauty and Mt Bogong, but this requires a lot of height. Other directions include flying straight down the Kiewa Valley towards Albury, or down the Ovens valley past Myrtleford and then out into the flatlands towards Benalla.
Hazards / Comments
Minimum pilot rating is advanced for this site, however intermediate rated pilots supervised by an advanced pilot may launch. Action will be initiated against pilots launching illegally.