Site Improvements and Cleanup/Repair

Shasta Sky Sailors at work.

Take a look at 2009, perhaps the most disturbing year of vandalism we've ever experienced. How ironic that we expose abuse at the site in 2008 and vandalism increases exponentially.

Click on a particular year for more information. Why only feature 2004 thru 2014? Well, 2004 is the year a dedicated group of doubter and detractors started their campaign to undermine our 4-decades of development at the site. Had we not documented these years, they'd be claiming even more of the site improvements that we were responsible for.

Click on the thumbnails (small picture) for a larger view.

  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004

2014 Work Party

Well, another work party is now history. Little did we know this would be our last work party as permit holders. Continued unauthorized modifications to the site, particularly the launch, prompted our early exit from the site. We felt the liability risk at the site had become unreasonable. Anyone who has legal and binding agreements at a flying site understands that it is very uncool for those who have no legal or binding agreements to arbitrarily make changes. Especially if those changes could result in someone getting hurt. Apparently there's a group at Hat Creek Rim that have no regard for the liability of some or safety of others.

Here, Brian prepares a new windsock assembly for the #2 LZ. Apparently, there's a group that believes they can alter our windsocks by shortening the height of them.
Off to replace the shortened windsock - looking a bit like the Grim Reaper I must say :).
Job well done, new windsock in place for the coming season
The #2 LZ toilet was cleaned and stocked for the coming season.
Here, Jeff Wade paints the rocks that split the private property from the Forest Service side.
Here the heavy wood pole that held the #1LZ windsock was replaced with something a bit less dangerous if you hit it.
Job complete

This gathering was also to honor a fallen HCR volunteer, Al Small. Al put in a lot of volunteer work at the Rim. It was his way of paying back the sport he loved - hang gliding. Al passed from cancer March 16th, 2013.

We carried Al's ashes aloft during one of our flights and placed a plaque in the area in his honor...
This is the way "locals" leave the site for others??? We cleaned up the mess - again.
Yes, it's a shitty job but those that care about the site don't mind.
Extra paper for your shitting enjoyment.
Ready for the season
A trip hazard was found on launch. We removed it.
Trip hazard gone. Unfortunately, a larger trip hazard was placed there to replace this one. We removed that when we found it later in the season. Some people just don't get it.
The plan is to have a nice long pole that can rotate at the base for easy replacement mounted up and to the right of launch. Here, Jeff and Mike carry the large pole up the hill.
Brian take to the ladder and applies the needed hardware.
Power at the site made the job a lot easier.
In place and easily replaceable.
In closing, it is unfortunate that the improvements seen here, and all that we've place at the site over the decades, were required by the Forest Service to be removed when we canceled our Special Use Permit (SUP) in July. Why cancel our SUP? We were tired of dealing with the unauthorized modifications and vandalism to the site. The trip hazards repeatedly placed on launch were the final straw. We have families, homes and property that we don't want to lose in a lawsuit due to the ignorance of those who have never been responsible at any flying site in their "real pilot" lives. Now we hear a "vibrant" group ("real pilots"?) is going to make Hat Creek Rim just the way the flying community wants it. What? Were 3LZs, two launches, two toilets, windsocks in every LZ, a well maintained site , and 43 acres of Forest Service land designated for our flying pleasure not vibrant enough? What could this new vibrant group have planned? More LZs, toilets, launches, acreage, windsocks? Or is a "vibrant" site an anything goes, free-for-all, like this?

2013 Work Party

Well, another work party is now history. The big news is it was unseasonably hot during the day. Thank goodness the nights were cool which made for perfect sleeping conditions during our 4 days of camping in the #2 LZ.
Toilets were cleaned, repaired and toilet paper added. The windsock in the #3 LZ had been pulled from its foundation so it was repaired and a new sock added. The wind streamer below the south launch was damaged so it was repaired too. The #3 LZ, critical to those who fly south along the ridge, was found in great shape and no weeding was needed.
Added to the FS message board at launch was a dispenser for keeping site guides available to visiting pilots. Other attempts to dispense site guides at launch have failed - we'll see how this attempt works out. All in all, this year was another positive, fun and productive weekend.


Here's the condition we found the toilet at the main launch. In short order it was repaired and cleaned.
A varmint chews through the floor and makes a mess of the toilet.
Repairs to the floor are underway.
Using a water sprayer and a soapy brush enabled us to clean the toilets without getting too up close and personal. Here, Brian is finishing up after doing repairs and painting the floor.
The repaired and finished product. Note the available ass-gaskets on the wall.
Note the repaired floor. Nice job!!
The toilet in the #2 LZ was also cleaned.
After the cleaning and ready for the many summer users.
The new windsock in the critical #3 LZ
The windsock in the #3 was intentionally torn down. This is why we ask pilots to check all LZs before flying.
The #3 LZ looking very good.
Brian heads down to put up the wind streamer at the south launch.
Job well done
Here's the FS message board with the USHPA safety sign and site guides.
USHPA supplied safety sign. Stay focused.
Site guides on the main launch.
Camping in any of the LZs is great but you must bring your own water - we brought plenty for putting out our fires
#2 LZ camp
The 4 amigos. This year we honored our buddy, Al Small, who died of cancer on 3/16/13
2 of the 4 days we were there were soarable. That's not bad for April!!








Work Party 2012

Spring views are outstanding
Mt. Lassen behind Sugarloaf Peak
Camping in the #2 LZ during the work party.
#2 LZ - another weekend of volunteer work is over.
The old windsock pole had seen better days.
Steve Kozloff and Brian Bokkin repair the pole.
Nice job, Steve & Brian
Dennis Boic/CalFire donated a new message board for the main launch.
Brian puts fresh paint on the boundary rocks in the #2 LZ
Checking out the smooth launch!! The CSG did a good job of making a great launch look a lot nicer.
Looks can be deceiving, below that smooth launch is 1000' of irregular terrain. Strong launch skills are still needed at the site.
Part of the Risk Mitigation Plan is to keep spectators away from launching gliders.
Mike Hunter replaces the windsock on the South Launch
Every year we go into the #3 LZ to clear brush. It's not fun work but the clean condition of the LZ shows it's worth the effort :)
It's amazing what a dedicated group of volunteers can get done!!

2011 Work Party

Well, the 2011 work party at Hat Creek Rim is now history. The main focus this year was to remove brush in the #3 or Buttonhook LZ and meet our new FS Recreational Officer. Some other minor work was done but clearing brush in the LZ was pretty grueling and enough for us. The unique camaraderie shared with those who find site maintenance rewarding is very satisfying. Camp was full of fun and laughter. Although the north wind (which we knew was forecast) kept us from flying, we still had a great time.

In all, the entire work that was done this year cost the Hat Creek Fund absolutely nothing. As in years past, our time, effort, out of pocket expenses, supplies, broken tools, toilet paper, fuel, windsocks material, etc. were all donated to the site by the volunteers (mostly Shasta Sky Sailors). We are proud of our work at the site and believe that all users (and the site) benefit from our efforts...

Brian at work!
Another windsock done.
Sprucing up.
More white paint
Supplies to the shitter
FS meet and greet
#3 LZ maintenance
Team work
Hard work
Nice job
This is not easy work
Bushes bite back.
New windsock needed
Windsock going up
The volunteers
Nice fire and friends
This is the way to leave your camp - clean.
Just part of the cost of being a volunteer.



2010 Site Maintenance
We had cleaned up the bulk of the vandalized trees in 2009. Hat Creek Construction brought in heavy equipment and finalized the clearing (stumps, etc.).
After the final clearing we added tons of groundcover and then went flying!!
At the request of a Chico-based club we raised the level of the launch and filled in the low spot.
The results of the added gravel!! Hat Creek Rim has always had a great launch and we want to keep it that way.
Our camp
The Crew!! From the left; Brian Bokkin, Steve Kozloff, Phil Sergent, Al Small, Jeff Wade and Mike Hunter.

Down but not out!! Despite this severe damage to the toilet in the #2 LZ and trees at launch we were able to salvage the toilet and clean up the vandalized trees. Later in this year, during the summer, someone burned down the hedgerow that we had restored. Again, "partiers" were blamed. It seems the "partiers" have a vengeful grudge against the site and/or us. We of course don't buy the "partiers" story but until we catch the pilots who feel it's there right to fuck with the site we clean up their mess.

Here's a video of our work

2009 Site Improvements and Vandalism Repair
Vandalism continues at the site by "partiers".
Creative reconstruction!
Next, repair the door
Brian puts the finishing touches
More vandalism
Hard work
Lots of time and effort
Rebuilding the old hedgerow
The bulk of the work is done. Tree cutting was blamed on the "PG pilots".
After the work, some had the energy to go flying
More vandalism to the FS rock barrier... We did the repairs...again.
Finished for now. Finish work continues in 2010


Above is the work crew!! Lots of volunteer work done to keep the site well maintained and repair the vandalism from "partiers". This is real asskickng hard work done by real volunteers, some of who have been volunteering at the site for many decades. BTW, this maintenance/repair work was a labor of love by members of the Shasta Sky Sailors.
Camp in the #2 LZ. Spring is a beautiful time to enjoy Hat Creek Rim
Meat on the barbie and we were hungry!!!

Well deserved R&R and good times around the fire.

Not shown, our trip the next day into the #3 LZ to clear brush - annual maintenance to keep the LZ safe for landing.

2008 site cleanup and repair

These pictures represent cleanup and repair in January, May, July and September. The pile of garbage seen with the blue tarp is only the tip of the iceberg for all of the damage and vandalism done to the #1 LZ in January of 2008. Check out the full damage of this Cloud Street Gang event here.

January 2008
lz one
This mess was found in the #1 LZ in January.
We find the new FS barrier vandalized!!
FS rock barrier repaired
We removed wood and a fire ring from the #2 LZ.
Memorial Day weekend 2008
LZ Maintenance!
4 years after the 2nd major clearing this LZ is still looking good.
'Old Yeller' has seen better days
New windsock for #3 LZ
In January we repaired the FS rock barrier and somebody fucked with it again
Back as it should be.    
Fourth of July Weekend
Vandalized once again... "Partiers"... right!!
The rock was dragged so far away (picture left) that we couldn't move it. So, we piled rocks.    
Labor Day Weekend 2008
LDW we find the toilet in the #2 LZ vandalized
The repairs to the FS barrier done in July were gone in September. .

It's a shame that there are a handful of individuals who have NEVER developed, maintained or dealt with the politics of a flying site like Hat Creek Rim who take it upon themselves to minimize and/or mock the work of volunteers here. For many decades, and long before these individuals were even around, work at the site has been done by volunteers. Every user at the site, including the detractors, benefit from the work and contributions of these volunteers. It's for those who appreciate and value our work and the site that we remain dedicated to the Rim!

For the "partiers" responsible for this vandalism, you must be so proud.



2007 Work Party

For now the larger pictures have not been added. In moving things to this new website the larger versions of the same pictures went missing :(. I will find them.

The new (used) porta-potty is placed at the main launch. It was donated by Steve Kozloff. Thanks, Steve!!
It was a delicate move to take the old toilet to the #2 LZ. It was not empty!!
Here the most popular LZ now has a toilet. This was placed here in an effort to avoid problems with sanitation.
Gone!! The windsock is stolen from the #3 LZ.
The new windsock is up.


2006 Work Party

For now the larger pictures have not been added. In moving things to this new website the larger versions of the same pictures went missing :(. I will find them.

Steve brought his weed eating machine. Nice job, Steve
Here you can see what we were up against. A few hours later things looked much better
Lots of weed removal
Job complete
The HCVFD invited the press along for our rope donation.
At the request of the Hat Creek Volunteer FD we donated rescue rope.
The small FS message board that we mounted in concrete in 2005 was vandalized. We moved the MB behind the rock barrier for safe keeping.
Look at those clouds


2005 Work Party.

For now the larger pictures have not been added. In moving things to this new website the larger versions of the same pictures went missing :(. I will find them.


The toilet at the main launch was in need of repair and new paint
Job complete
Here the small FS message board was held up by rocks - not clear in our opinion.
We mounted the MB in concrete.
Growth on the left of the south launch hindered launches. The bushes were removed and trimmed.
Job complete on the south launch
Here we are keeping the #3 LZ clear. We do this annually to keep the LZ in good shape.
Job complete
The wind streamers in the #3 LZ are replaced with a windsock.
New windsock in the #3 LZ


2004 saw some major maintenance at the main launch and in the #3 LZ. This was a lot of work but a labor of love. For years pilots who flew Hat Creek Rim had to deal with the fine volcanic dust that would cling to your wing during and after setting up. Tons of ground cover were hauled in to cover this pesky problem. At the same time, the LZ we created in 1993 was deteriorating. Here's what one pilot had to say about the conditions of the LZ in 2003. "From the air it looks like a great LZ but having driven through it earlier in the year I’ve found that it is really a rotten place to have to land. Big shrubs have overtaken the ground and the area is littered with chunks of wood and brush." Clearly the pictures below show an LZ in need of serious maintenance. The before and after pictures show the work our club did (Hat Creek Construction used their equipment) to resolve this pilot's concerns. Every year since 2004 we've gone in and manually kept the overgrowth out of the #3LZ.

Again, user donations made this work possible.


2004 Site Maintenance
Main Launch Before.
Main Launch After
#3 LZ Before looking north
#3 Before looking south
#3 LZ After looking north
#3 LZ After looking south









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