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West Coast Soaring Club

The West Coast Soaring Club is the home to paragliding and hang gliding in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions of British Columbia, Canada. The coastal mountains of southwestern Canada boast some of the best flying on the continent, with soaring sites to suit all pilot skill levels and styles. The club's primary objective is to develop and maintain safe soaring practices in our area.

Area

The Lower Mainland, located on the southwest coast of B.C. is comprised of the Fraser Valley and the surrounding Coastal Mountains and is home to Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia.

Due to moist south westerlies, the coastal mountains are covered by a dense evergreen forest. This, along with the occasional rugged mountain peak jutting up above the tree line and continuing down to the beautiful coastal waters, makes this area some of the most attractive in North America. The area offers many tourist and recreational attractions ranging from everything that a large city has to offer, to an incredible scenic wilderness which host many forms of outdoor recreational activities. These range from yachting and boating, canoeing, mountaineering and rock climbing to world class skiing resorts, white water rafting and hiking trails leading up to 7000 ft alpine plateaus.

The moist air in winter usually means that access to the mountain launches is restricted due to snow, but come spring, when cloud base in the Fraser Valley rises to above 6000 feet, you will find pilots enjoying flights with breathtaking scenery in solid thermals along the entire length of the scenic Fraser Valley from Grouse Mountain to Bridal Falls. Farther North in the Coast Mountains is Pemberton where spring and summer conditions can bring climbs to over 10000 feet over endless snow fields and ice covered mountain peaks. By mid summer the air tends to have stabilized somewhat, which is the time to hone your scratching skills, with rewarding flights for those that have.

Sites

Our three most popular and consistently flyable sites are Mount Woodside, Lower Bridal Falls, and Pemberton. Woodside is flyable year-round, and is suitable for hang gliders and paragliders. Bridal Falls lower launch is suitable only for paraglider pilots. Pemberton has both a lower and an upper launch, both suitable for paragliders and the upper launch providing excellent launch conditions for hang gliders.

Woodside's WSW facing launch provides excellent morning and afternoon soaring conditions in the spring and summer while the steep WNW facing Bridal Falls ridge provides excellent afternoon flying and great cross country flights. Cross country flights in the springtime from Mount Woodside to Bridal Falls and back have become the norm. The Fraser Valley is quite wide which reduces the severity of valley winds creating a generally low stress flying environment. Please be aware of airspace restrictions in the Fraser Valley.

The south facing splendor around Pemberton provides some of the best and most reliable fall flying conditions in the region. Pemberton also provides epic XC conditions in the spring and early summer and has hosted the Canadian National Paragliding competition. The area around Pemberton can experience strong valley winds.

Then, of course, there's Grouse Mountain, probably one of the most gorgeous flying sites in North America. The site is only minutes from downtown Vancouver, and after a quick tram ride up to the top of the mountain, and a short hike to the launch site, the soaring pilot will be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the city of Vancouver, Stanley Park, Burrard Inlet, English Bay, and even the mountains of Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Flying at Grouse Mountain is restricted to members of the Grouse Mountain Flying Team with membership requiring an HPAC Advanced rating.

Please take your time, browse our website, and say hello in our public forum. We hope to fly with you soon.

Membership

Regular annual membership to the West Coast Soaring Club costs $50 per year which includes access to all club launches.  For visiting pilots, out of town semi-regular pilots, and flying students, other membership options are available.

Your membership dues go primarily towards keeping our existing launches and LZs accessible, and enables the club to develop new sites to fly.  Thank you for your support.


Click here for the West Coast Soaring Club Membership Page


Live Chat Box

Use this new live chat for up-to-the-minute weather reports from a launch or an LZ, ride and retrieve updates, and more. Here is a mobile link to use from your smartphone. Please email the webmaster with your suggestions, comments, or questions.






Interested in going for a Tandem flight?

Tandem Paraglider Flight

(Photo courtesy of Angus Tapper, Queenstown, New Zealand)

If you're just checking out paragliding or hang gliding, and would like to experience what it's all about, the best way is to take a tandem flight.  Almost anyone can do it, no experience or exceptional athletic ability required.  Click here for more details on what to expect from a tandem flight.  Paraglider? Hang Glider? Why not try both!

Click here for a listing of local tandem hang glider and paraglider schools and pilots who would be happy to take you up for a flight!


(Photo courtesy of Fly High Hang Gliding, New York)




 

Want to learn how to fly?

Our sponsor schools train all year round. Check out our local flying schools, and other sponsors on the Sponsors page. We have several local paragliding and hang gliding schools, as well as other options on Vancouver Island, in the Okanagan, and in Alberta.

See the links page for a listing of additional schools and clubs, or contact a club director for more information.




WCSC T-Shirts

Click here for all the different T-Shirts available for purchase from the WCSC. Very nice!




Looking for new gear?

  Have something to sell?

The West Coast Soaring Club has an active For Sale area, located on our forum page.  If you're looking for good new and used hang gliding and paragliding gear, accessories, clothing, electronics, and sometimes even vehicles, check it out.

Click here to view the For Sale forum.  Anyone can view ads, but you must be a registered forum user to post your own ads.  Ads are free to post.

Click here to register as a forum user.  You can then log in to the forum, and post your ads.



WCSC Forum - Pilot's Code of Conduct

  • Accidents and Incidents are not to be posted on the General Forum (or Chat Box). They may be posted on the Incident Reports forum only, and discussed in the Club Members or Registered Forum Users Only forums.
  • Pilots will not report or speculate on accidents/incidents that they did not personally witness.
  • Pilots will refrain from making negative or derogatory comments against other pilots on the WCSC public forums (or Chat Box).


Last updated:  12 Dec 2013