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.
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.
Our three most popular and consistently flyable sites
, 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
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
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
Then, of course, there's Grouse
, 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.
Regular annual membership to the West Coast Soaring
Club costs $50 per year which includes access to all
For visiting pilots, out of town semi-regular pilots,
and flying students, other membership options are
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
Click here for the
West Coast Soaring Club Membership Page
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.
in going for a Tandem flight?
courtesy of Angus
Tapper, Queenstown, New Zealand)
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!
here for a listing of local tandem hang glider and paraglider
schools and pilots who would be happy to take you up for
(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.
for new gear?
Have something to sell?
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.
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.
here to register as a forum user.
You can then log in to the forum, and post your
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).
12 Dec 2013