Lot's of good info in this thread.
Most definitely go to Red's site and read it all, multiple times.
Also, go to the USHPA site and 'try' to find articles on launching and landing. They had a good article on launching that was very useful to me... I can't find it in their search engine. Ah, good thing I bookmarked it.... it's pix are all missing, but that is no matter. :
https://www.ushpa.org/page/safe-hang-gl ... ches-redux
On any cliff or sloped mountain (hill) launch, the extended-time grapevine grip works very well at keeping the glider from 'popping' it's nose. Willy will be able to help you there.
If you live near LMFP, weekends would be ok, but probably a bit busy for close, individual attention by the instructors. I went for two one-week stays, and was very happy that I could put in more than three hours a day on the training hills. If you are able, try to set aside a week at a time. You can learn FAR more efficiently that way if you don't over-do your muscles.
Climbing the hills with the glider on your back, especially the tall hill (86' tall), will likely tax your legs. LMFP does have four-wheelers with glider trailers that the students use to portage their gliders up the hills, but when I went, it was $3 per ride. I was doing between 9 - 13 rides per day, depending on conditions. It can get expensive.
I recently heard that the fee has been changed to $2 per ride, so it isn't as bad a cost. I found that by carrying up the glider the first couple times, my legs would be well warmed-up and more flexible, especially when they were sore from the previous days' training. The thing to remember is to conserve your energy for the launch and landings, and mostly for your concentration.
The hill-training sessions are usually in the mornings (7:30 / 8:00am through 11:30am or earlier), so if you still have some poop left over, (after your studies and/or tests) take at least a tandem ride in the early evening, if conditions warrant. The tandems are some of the 'bestest' instruction you will get. These tandem pilots really know their stuff because they are flying at least four hours a day, every flyable day. So do yourself a big favor and get as many tandems as you can. These will also help you become very acquainted with flying the airspace above the LZ as well as landing. When you do your mountain solo, you will feel quite at home if you have some recent tandems under your belt.
When I was there in the autumn of 2016, there was a standing rule that was enforced. A student could not put a camera on his/her glider. Especially if Matt was present at the hills (usually only on the weekends). This was not only on the hills, but on the mountain launch as well. However..... you can have other students film you, and while you can glean quite a bit from some of the good vids, it's not the same as having a camera well-placed on the glider.
When I was on the training hill for clearing for my solo mountain flight (beginning of 2nd week), my instructor allowed me to mount my camera to the glider. Days before, I had made my own special camera-mount by getting the aft keel tube diameter from the Wills Wing Falcon manual. Nice that it worked perfectly the first time! It would have helped immensely if I could have filmed every flight up to that point, however. Perhaps if you have a very small, intimate group on the training hill and a relaxed instructor, he/she may be coerced into turning their head while you mount a camera. It pays to ask.
Oh yeah, and give 'em a tip after the lesson. That seems to ALWAYS help for the following lessons. ;)
Get friendly with Mike Barby (glider maintenance and basic instructor). He works and hangs-out at the shop on launch, and helps H1 / H2's on their mountain launches. He can be quite stern. He's a very serious guy. And for very good reason. Make him get to know you well BEFORE your solo. Go into his shop and ask questions. He loves when new, hungry, serious students pick his brain. Seriously. Pick it clean! As always, take a notebook and take notes!!
Tell him Doug sent'chya (No, don't). If you're well-liked and trusted, you may be able to mount your camera to your glider. Somehow I was allowed to put a camera on all my mountain flights, including my first solo. I learned A LOT
from those vids!
Just as you do with Mike, be outgoing, become known, friendly, and trusted by all your instructors.
Also, having the VIP package
gets you A LOT of perks and added bonus attention that are not mentioned in their literature. And all the instructors will ask what package you have purchased. So if you can, always, always go with the VIP package. It's a bit more expensive than the other offerings, but the bennies far exceed the worth of the extra outlay compared to the other packages. I believe the instructors feel that if you have invested in the VIP, then you are far more committed to your learning. And rightly so.
They do have substantial sales at certain times of the year, so you have the opportunity to save some splash.
In mid to late autumn, their cabins also have substantially reduced rates, especially if you stay for more than five nights. I've heard they were going to remodel the interiors as well. You can't beat living on the LZ and living the action for a week or two!
Many notables (pilots) pass through LMFP (Mike Barber, etc.) on their way to Florida. Always many good pilots to eves drop on. When you have any chance, mozy over to a group of pilots on the LZ or launch. Most experienced pilots LOVE to help out eaglets. You will likely learn more than you bargained for in these intimate groups (about flying.... duh!).
Take your books to the mountain launch and while studying, eavesdrop. Listen closely. Join in. Find some experienced pilots to go to lunch or dinner with.
Immerse yourself in HG!
Above all... Have Fun!
More good stuff:
https://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... e5fedff196
viewtopic.php?t=23659&postdays=0&postor ... c1b5906486
https://www.ushpa.org/page/safe-hang-gl ... ches-redux
Also, a most excellent mentor (I've a couple of those!) of mine: Richard Cobb, his web site is mostly FLPHG, but he does provide some good things to read about non-powered HG:http://wind-drifter.com/
Almost forgot..... there is ALWAYS something happening each night in the LZ by/in the clubhouse. Bon-fires, parties, parties, etc.
One more important tip: Find a HG club near you before you go to class. Let yourself be known, and contact all the likely mentors in your area. Tell them about yourself and your plans. Ask for their suggestions.
Some may have negative things to say about LMFP. Don't worry about that. It's all about the tenacity and eagerness of the student. If you can't get a good answer to a question of yours, the great thing about LMFP is that there are many, many instructors to chose from and receive a good answer that you can understand. Not every instructor can communicate efficiently to every
student, so you the student have to be aggressive in finding the truth, in the manner in which you can understand. I love LMFP, and if it were up to me, I'd only change very, very few and minor details about the school.