Let’s Fly!

We’re excited to fly with you. But first, a few things you should know about flying at any of the common flying sites.

  • All pilots need insurance from HPAC (Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada) to fly at WCSC sites. Temporary 60-day insurance is available to non-resident pilots.
  • You need to be a West Coast Soaring Club Member to use our sites. We have membership levels for regular pilots, students, youth, and visitors.

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The Area

The West Coast Soaring club operates in the Lower Mainland, located on the southwest coast of B.C. composed 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, our 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 the large city life, to an incredible scenic wilderness which host many forms of outdoor recreational activities. This area is host to a slew of activities like boating, canoeing, mountaineering, rock climbing, world class ski resorts, white water rafting and hiking trails leading up to 7,000 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 10,000 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 Flying Sites

Hang Gliding PedroOur 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 splendour 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 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.

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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.