Volunteer FAQs


Comprehensive Guide to Southern Oregon

Guide of things  to do in the Greater Applegate Valley

Where To Stay
Free camping is available at Applegate Lake’s Hart-Tish campground 20-minute drive from Wells Land HQ. Click the link for details.  Email Glenn at applegatelake@gmail.com to reserve.  Glenn is holding a limited number of FREE spots for volunteers.  Call 480 628-4570 for details.

A list of other options for camping and accommodation options is here:

Provided for Volunteers

Coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks are provided for volunteers at HQ during the day. Sack lunches are provided for volunteers on days that they work.

Local Restaurants and Grocery Stores
Wells Land HQ
Garon will be offering his famous soups and chili at the bar.

Code 3 Coffee & Snacks
Sunshine Plaza Parking Lot, 7386 Hwy 238, Ruch, OR.
Phone: (541) 899-7867
Open everyday from 06:00 hours to 18:00 hours

Drive-up that offers espresso, milkshakes, ice cream, soda, tea, snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Gluten Free and Dairy Free options available. Foods include baked goods, breakfast burrito, pulled pork nachos, chili cheese dog, and biscuits & gravy.

Ruch Country Store
Sunshine Plaza, 7350 Hwy 238, Ruch, OR
Phone: (541) 899-8559
Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday: 07:00 hours to 19:00 hours and Saturday & Sunday: 08:00 hours to 19:00 hours. 

General groceries, including produce, plus specialty items that you would usually find only in a larger town. They also sell ice, beer, wine and have a growler station with kombucha, cider and craft beers on tap. A popular item is Oregon-made Taylor’s Sausage.

Sweets N Eats
181 Upper Applegate Rd, Ruch, OR
Phone: (541) 702-2662

Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 07:00 hours to 19:00 hours and Sunday 07:00 hours to 15:00 hours. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Offerings include a variety of baked goods, hamburgers, shaved prime rib sandwich, roast beef sandwich. Also, a variety of local beers, wines, and ciders on tap and bottled. A small hardware store is next door.


Ray’s Food Place
401 N 5th St Jacksonville, OR
Phone: (541) 899-1262

Open everyday 06:00 hours to 22:00 hours.

Regional grocery chain. Offers sandwiches and take-out foods. An Ace Hardware store is next door.


Headquarters (HQ)

Garon Wells, Wells Land Vineyard, 118 Hamilton, Jacksonville, Oregon
(541) 890-7829 SMS (text) is preferred

Wells Land is an LZ the the event HQ. It is where volunteer’s report each morning, the location of the retrieve coordination center, and the place from where the buses to top launch depart each morning.

Parking is in the field on the left that is a short distance after you enter the driveway. After parking, walk to the large building that is east of the parking field and south the brown house where you can sign in for the day.


Parking at Launch

The parking area at the launch must have space for school buses to turn around and for immediate access by emergency vehicles. Therefore, until the race is underway each day, only drivers who require a vehicle at launch to perform their duties running the event will be issued a parking permit.

Volunteers who want to fly before the race starts are encouraged to ride to launch on the buses provided for the event participants.

If you drive your personal vehicle to launch before the pilots have launched, then you will be asked to park in the parking area below launch and hike up the rest of the way up. Please carpool as much as possible.

Retrieve Drivers Needed

We need several drivers each day to retrieve pilots who land between launch and goal. We can train you, loan you a VHF radio, and provide a van for you to drive, or you can drive your own vehicle. If you drive your own vehicle, then we will pay for your fuel.

Small vehicles are used to retrieve one or two pilots and take them to a transfer point for the shuttle vans. The shuttle vans are used to return groups of pilots to HQ.

Cellular Service

The event is held in the Applegate Valley where the surrounding mountains make cellular service frequently unavailable regardless of the service provider you use. AT&T provides the most reliable service for the area. Verizon is next best option.

WIFI Service

WiFi service is available at HQ.

Telegram APP

The Telegram app is used for communication between HQ, pilots, and volunteers. This free app runs on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and Linux operating systems. There are groups for General Information and Retrieve Drivers. See https://telegram.org/

Flying by Volunteers

Volunteers can fly before and after the competition. Volunteers are provided with rides to launch and retrieve after landing, but we require that you be a qualified pilot, learn a few things before flying, and follow a some rules while flying.

Qualifications for Flying

Be a current member of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA).
Be a current member of the Rogue Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (RVHPA). Join here: https://rvhpa.org/membership/
Have a USHPA Pilot Rating of P3 to fly from top launch without a mentor.

Know Before Flying:
Read the Site Guide: https://rvhpa.org/site-guide/woodrat/.
Read the Visiting Pilots Guide: https://rvhpa.org/visiting-pilots/
Know and avoid several “No Landing Zones”. Their locations are shown here.
You might find it helpful to have your flight instrument show the No LZ areas. You can download the files here: https://rvhpa.org/downloads/

When to Fly
You can launch before the launch opens for the event or at least 15 minutes after the last start gate opens.

Rules for Flying
Carry a working cell phone.
Fly with a VHF radio operating on the meet frequency during your flight.
Fly with a SPOT or InReach operating during your flight unless you are only doing a sled ride to the bailout LZ.
Register your SPOT or InReach at https://xcfind.paraglide.us/ before launching.
        Sign out on launch so that we have a record of who is flying.
        Never compete with event pilots for thermals on the course.

Requirements for Retrieve
If you fly cross country and you want retrieve, then you must follow the rules below.

  1. Fly in the same direction as the task for the day.
  2. Fly near the course.
  3. Do not fly beyond the goal.
  4. Land before the “Land By” time for the event pilots.
  5. After landing, switch your VHF radio to the retrieve frequency and send LOK to HQ.
  6. Show your event credentials to the retrieve driver.
  7. After you’ve been retrieved, send PUP to HQ.

When You Will Not Be Retrieved

  1. You flew in a direction far from the day’s course. Example: If the goal for the day is Donato’s and you fly to Grants Pass, then you will not be retrieved.
  2. You did not sign out before launching.
  3. You flew beyond goal. Example: If the goal for the day is Donato’s and you fly to Emigrant Lake, then you will not be retrieved.
  4. You landed after the “Land By Time” for the day and there are no drivers in the area where you landed.


A Free Flyer is any pilot who is not registered as a competitor, or as a volunteer.  Free flying is allowed, but pilots cannot be on course during the race or launch during the launch window for the event.

Free Flyers are responsible for their own retrieve.

Free Flyers may not park at top launch during the Race and they must abide by all the rules in RVHPA site guide.