Paragliding & Hang Gliding in Golden BC Canada

2024 Season Gets Started…

Lookout Launch Mt7The access road to the Lookout Launch on Mount 7 was vehicle accessible by May 29th this year. This is pretty close to the usual time for the road to be open.  For the past 10 years or so we’ve always planned for the first week of June as the time for things to be clear of snow and excessive wet/muddy sections on the road up.

Last year (2023) was an exception with the launch accessible in the first week of May followed by some warm and dry weather right through June. Good flying ensued through June ’23 with some excellent evenings including a couple of classic Glassoffs.

This year (2024) the weather through May was largely cloudy and unstable with precipitation – either rain or snow at higher elevations. Snowed in sections of the upper road beyond 8K were slow to melt out. Through May there were only a handful of days that were flyable by those who were keen enough to hike from 8km. Even then it was mostly sledders.

The first few days of June were quite unstable and cloudy/threatening in the afternoons. Wind tended to be the main problem in the first week after opening. Even so, some nice evening flights were achieved. The sky in the photo above is a pretty good representation of evening conditions in the first week of June.

The main LZ at Riverfront Campground in Nicholson (formerly GEAR) is open and welcoming flyers. Note that before landing there you must sign a waiver and pay the landing fee. Look for details at the following link or drop in at the office to get the waiver and fee handled.
https://goldencampground.ca/take-flight/

Don’t forget…when planning a trip to Golden or trying to decide whether to drive up to launch you can get real time wind conditions, forecasts, web cams and more all in one place on this site. Go to https://flygolden.ca/weather/

One additional plug for local novice paragliding pilot, Heidi Southcott. Heidi runs a canoe, kayak and SUP rental business called Golden Paddle on the banks of the Columbia River in the small community of Nicholson. She is located on the east side of the bridge/road that leads to the main LZ at Riverfront Campground. On those days that you can’t fly, why not head over and rent a canoe or SUP from Heidi and get out on the water. For details and contact info, check out https://goldenpaddle.ca

Additional Note: June 22 will see the return of the Psychosis Mountain Bike Race with it’s start location at the Lookout and heavy traffic on the access road. Probably not the best weekend to pick for paragliding or hang gliding as the road will be busy and the launch likely obstructed/congested. There may also be a drone flying around launch taking video of the event. Things will be hectic.

Safe flying in 2024 everyone. Pray for a less of a wildfire season than we had last year! (We might get lucky  with a later start this year since its been so wet and cool so far.)