Back in 19… Actually, we have no clue when we officially formed the first soaring club. What we have been able to nail down is that it happened sometime in the mid-’70s. We choose 1975 because it has a good ring to it.
Now, back to the sordid story that was our insemination…
The West Coast Soaring Club (WCSC) traces its roots to a ragtag bunch of free-flight pioneers bound together by their passion for getting high (in the sky) in the mid-’70s. These formative early years saw a variety of clubs merge and diverge across the lower mainland. Although the finer details are hard to pin down, the WCSC genesis is generally traced as a split from the West Coast Hang Gliding Association calling itself the Fraser Valley Hang Gliding Club. That club eventually grew to include Vancouver and in the early ’80s changed its name to Vancouver and Fraser Valley Hang Gliding Club.
Sometime in 1986 Paragliding entered the scene (invented primarily as a decent tool for extreme mountaineers), a new group of free flyers began forming. Max De Jong was one of the first paragliding pilots in the area and created what some Hang Gliding pilots refer to as the Renegade BC Paragliding Club. Initially, the paragliding community was made up of people that lived the extreme mountain lifestyle, mostly climbers. They were the type to brag about how many bones they have broken and named launches after prescription pain medication.
However, the new wave of Paraglider pilots was growing fast and encroaching on the local Hang Gliding establishment. Eventually, the age-old ethos of ‘keep your friends close, and your enemies closer’ was adopted. In 1991, Martin Henry along with a few others started a process to merge the ego’s and created some letter driven representation of the activity that finally morphed into the West Coast Soaring Club aka WCSC.
Photo Credits: 1970’s Martin Reichenbach Hang Glider flying Grouse Mountain and 1980’s Kevin Ault Launching his Paraglider
Our mission is to create safe places for free flight pilots to launch and land. To encourage education, training and community support to nurture novice pilots into master pilots. To develop sustainable environmental improvements in the communities where we live, work and play. We believe passionately in travel, good food, great friends, long talks, broadened horizons and the spirit of adventure.
(We are also 100% positive the world would be a better place if everyone spent a bit of time flying like a bird)
We believe in keeping it simple. Our Values align with that philosophy.
Passion: We pour passion into our community and into our flying, because when we do we create more value for the people in our community. Passion breeds, happiness, enthusiasm, positive thinking and teamwork.
Service: We believe in servant leadership. We have succeeded as an organization because we have acted in service to each other and the communities we operate in. We offer help when needed and do the work others are unwilling to do.
The Team aka Board of Directors
Secretary & Treasurer
Membership (Fraser Valley)
Membership (Grouse Mt.)
Sites (Fraser Valley)
Sites (Grouse Mt.)