British Columbia, Canada
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51.2756, -116.886 : 1910.0 m
51.2437, -116.919 : 788.0 m
Mountain Standard Time (-0600)
Elevation: Launch: Various, from 1000m to 2000m. Direction of Launch: Mostly West, with some slight variations to the NW or SW Site Suitable For: Novice to Advanced Location: Just south of the town of Golden Type of Site: Mountain Type of Flying: Thermal Cross Country Potential: Excellent, flights can be made North/South along the Columbia River valley. Areas NOT to land... We can't land either in the first long field on the west side of the highway immediately north of Edgewater anymore (50.716749° N, 116.141912° W). 81.1 km from Main launch. The field is now rented by a hostile farmer. We cannot land at the 2 fields not far South of Edgewater, both sides of the highway. 86.25 km from Main launch. These owners are easily irate at the sight of people walking in their fields. Never land there. They span about 0.6 km2 and are approximately located at (50.67607° N, 116.10351° W) For Google Earth users: All waypoints related to Golden (launches, LZ's, places not to land): http://www.flygolden.ca/go... Three Class E Controlled Airspace Airways through Spillimacheen, Radium and Canal Flats have bases at 2200’ AGL to 12,500’ ASL. Class B from 12,500’ to 18,000’ ASL. Excellent XC site (202 mile HG flight, 146 km PG flights) on an 8000'+ Range. Paved road retrieval. Nice valley with many other attractions. Strong thermal site that should only be flown by experienced pilots in mid-day. Trees are tall in the west! Think ahead and carry a rope long enough - at least 30 m (100') - to come down a tree yourself. A rescue crew may take a while to arrive even if they are alerted. One solution: http://stucaruk.mystarband... Emergencies: Phone 911 and ask for the Golden RCMP (also at 250-344-2221) - it is manned 24 hours a day - they will coordinate all search & rescue (SAR) operations. Ambulance service: 250-344-6226. Helicopter rescues are operated by Alpine Helicopters. By phone: 250-344-7444. Websites: BCHPA: http://www.bchpa.org/sites... Serge Lamarche: http://sergewebservice.ca/... Fly Golden: http://www.flygolden.ca
Main Launch is the lookout directly SE above Golden and is a combination of ramp and slope launches. Set-up area for 60+ gliders. Upper PG launch (40 minute hike) at 7400' MSL is a smooth steep slope. 40 acre field a 4:1 glide ratio from the lookout located next to the town of Nicholson - 8 km S of Golden (Hwy 95). Can be unreachable in PG in a south wind. Alternatives available. Five things to watch for during the approach and on landing: 1) Electric cables run along the road and on the west side of the LZ to the house. 2) The fence extends north of the house. 3) Sinking air near the river. Particularly early in season, when the glacial water is flooding the marshes. 4) The trees are high and produce turbulence as far as half the field length when windy. 5) On a thermally afternoon, the wind becomes very variable in strength and direction in the LZ. Watch the wind-socks closely. Avoid a downwind landing. At a 4:1 glide from the Lookout, the landing zone (LZ) is easily accessible most of the time. As a rule of thumb, when you are at the height of the west butte, you should head toward the landing. However, flying is not always so easy. Paragliders fly much slower than hang gliders, consequently come short of the LZ most often. It happens every year. The lack of penetration in an increasing head wind is the principal reason, bad judgment comes second. However, in moderate (or stronger) south wind, paragliders simply must land elsewhere. Also, after taking off from the lower launch or when scratching low at the kilometer 5 cliffs, the landing of choice becomes the gravel pit. Vehicle / Transportation Requirements: 2WD OK, 4WD better. At Site: Helicopter See http://sergewebservice.ca/... Must be insured member of HPAC. Temporary membership available for non-canadian residents (can be done online). Must sign waiver to use the landing zone (waiver available online). Must be insured member of HPAC. Temporary membership available for non-canadian residents (can be done online). Must sign waiver to use the landing zone (waiver available online).
Be sure to check the forecast. Nearby fronts and thunderstorms may send 'gust fronts'. Do not fly close nor downwind of peaks.