Better knowledge of mount 7 (Seven) free flight area improves the experience.
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March 2018 March 8: There was a discussion initiated by Martin Henry on the old HPAC Yahoo Group about suspending of operations of the HPAC because of mismanagement and waste. He backed down a but here is his latest comment that explains part of the situation with current management, the financial part touch Martin more than me (I am rather into stopping them from abusing power): « Sadly, I'm still not satisfied that HPAC acts responsibly with its finances and the interests of the members. Truth is, I doubt it is the fault of the directors. I think it is the fault of the membership for not telling the directors what we want. Without guidance our volunteer directors do what they think is best (and do so with little thanks or recognition). My concern is inherent to ALL associations and bureaucracies. Left without guidance they will spend everything you give them. They will justify this spending will a great deal bluster and "self importance". Just being told how important something "is" does not make it important. Things like sending a HPAC representative in person to a USHPA meeting, celebrating access to the federal parks or bringing together all of our Senior instructors for face to face meetings on our ratings and instruction may sound "very important" but given the size of our organization deserve to be dealt with in a much more financially prudent manor... After all its our money. I encourage members to read my posting about the "Thing": https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/hpac/conversations/messages/8158 The HPAC is a small organization that has a very small house to keep in order. Lets remember that when it tries to tell us how important it is. - Martin Henry ».
December 2017 December 25: Here are my holidays 2017 wishes with year review, now with saxophone (ouch!).
November 2017 November 12: The weather becomes too cloudy and gloomy this month. The 6, sunny day, a sled. Enough snow fallen and stayed for cross-country skiing mi-mountain. November 26: Wings and car tucked, let's see the highlights of the season. Season 2017 was exceptional for the nice weather more common, that unfortunately caused forest fires smoking the air end of august. Lots of distance flights as usual. Reports were made of fields changing ownership to less welcoming. Prefer harvested, fallow, in less good shape, or abandonned fields. A gust front the evening of july 23 fell thousands of trees in town and on the mountain, some, giants, blocking the bike trails for the remaining of the season because of the ban on machine use to reduce the chances of forest fires. Accidents side, several paragliders treed themselves or landed short in the dry marsh, without damage or injury. Two paragliders narrowly escaped problems when a gust front came july 7. A third one, cloudbase, could not avoid it and he tells his adventure (see past month news). Hang gliding, few incidents, two notably bad launches broke tubes, minor for one, major for the second, without broken bone.
October 2017 October 7: Nice first week for flying. Three good days with flights of over two hours two of the days. Scratching under inversion. — I met Sergey last saturday (30 sept) and he has sent me text, videos and track of his adventure of july 7 and 8 that I have added to the page of stories and adventures at mount 7. It's full of learnings for the friends. October 28: Very good conditions last thursday. Flight with birds where one bald eagle make a spectacular dive, captured on vidéo.
September 2017 September 11: The smoke comes and goes first part of the month, making the flying rather variable. The day before yesterday, rain cleaned everything. Yesterday, good thermals, today, strong south sinked us. See mt7air on fb for more daily details. September 25: The sky remains clear. The air is getting colder, the sun goes down early and shows up less often toward the end of the season. Conditions good enough for beginners and paragliding. Distances flights are rarer.
August 2017 August 3: Finally a clear sky but why so much wind? It stokes the fires and grounds the paragliders. Very turbulent near the mountains in distance and a challenge to land. A couple of incidents on the south launch the past few days, one paragliding and the other hang gliding. More details on fb. August 31: Monthly brief: very nice and hot, some windy days and many smokey days. Accidents: one paraglider treed on south launch (no damage), and a hang glider missed his launch south (broken downtube), then end of august, a hang glider vigorously miss a ramp launch with damages (crossbar, downtube, sail) and only some bruises.
July 2017 July 6: Sun and thermals are super good this month so far with some windy days. No incident noted yet. One change, the Harrogate field is harvested by the new owner. Better avoid it until it is harvested, which is tarding. Always more daily details on fb. Btw, the shuttle Ecotrac still works this year. July 31: Excellent month of july. Enough flying days for tiredness to accumulate a little. Incidents: three paragliders were in the air during a gust front. One landed shortly, one escaped downwind and landed and one was too high and threw his reserve, self rescued and got out of the wood next day. Big gust front did strike also on the 23 falling thousands of trees on mount 7 and in town. The road, cleared the next day, and the bike trails still blocked. Willi: good start but too windy for paragliders.
June 2017 June 29: Bad weather during the first half of the month. One day of distance flight by Peter and Trevor reported though. The month ends better with sunny days and many coming during the last weekend. First distance flights for me. More details in mt7air of fb (module upper right).
May 2017 May 23: First flights of the season for me and a few others during this long weekend. Not super good but decent local flights. The road is still full of snow above 10 km, so I took off from the 9k launch. May 31: Second weekend good enough but the air became more and more inverted. The road is now open to the Lookout. — HPAC update, they have removed my expulsion but have not apologized for their idiotic decision and have not re-hired me. They have not created an ombudsman either. Quite the contrary, they try to have Omerta (law of silence) applied to the members of HPAC. The directors discuss in secret. The HPAC is currently under the influence of organised crime, like many “unions”. The president and many members (albertans notably) are probably already subjected to this “law”.
February 2017 February 2: The board of directors (BoD) of the HPAC was already "expulsive" before but in the spring of 2016, they decided they needed to expel immediately, for any reason they wanted, justified or not, with any conditions any of them would feel like requiring for reinstatement, and no appeal possible. This seems to be abusive, at odds with laws and commonsense. The question of the survey on Facebook is: What justifies an expulsion from the HPAC? Choose all that applies. Some of these answers did lead to disciplinary measures and expulsions. Fb limits the number of answers to ten, so I wrote down a fuller list in the first comment. You can say if you think some are worth an expulsion, a disciplinary measure, a bit of talk, or a pat on the back. So... What justifies an expulsion from the HPAC?
December 2016 December 24: Here are my holidays 2016 wishes with year review.
November 2016 November 11: The car parked for the winter, the weather becomming even worse with less sun and the snow blocking access to the lookout and soon the 9k as well, the flights will be more rare. It is the time for some yearly review. Flight conditions this year were rather bad in general and rare the very good days. Few long flights. Safety side, with the bad weather, fewer accidents in total because much fewer people came and less flights were made. However, one grave accident on the second day of the Willi took the life of a paraglider. It happened near mount 7 peak, two paragliders turned a thermal and one wing collapsed. No reserve thrown. Only another accident noted, a beginner paraglider treed himself on top of the butte without damage or injury. A collapse too close to the ground and too above the butte. Political side, the BoD of the HPAC proved their incredible lack of judgement by illegally expelling me and terminating my services. They were already taking abusive decisions but after Domagoj death, things turned dramatically worse. They shamelessly waste the members funds and pay themselves travels that they prove useless by the mediocrity of their decisions. With the current communications options, it is outrageous. The president is a con man with few scruples, hijacking the association, threatening and abusing the members that do not walk his way. The others in the BoD are of the same type or frankly lacking a spine. They kill the spirit of free flight. A complete change is to consider.
Octobre 2016 October 10: Rains, clouds. Sun on the 3 but vite hidden by cirrus. Jacob explains his accident: return above the butte, not high, for a thermal followed by collapse, the wing reopening only before the landing in the trees. Four trees to climb to recover it. Rains, clouds, the following days and quite a bit of snow on the mountains. October 15: Last tuesday and wednesday, the very good weather allowed thermal flights of 30 minutes and more. Launched from 9k since the road above is getting slippery. Bad weather the next week. October 31: Small flights on october 23 and 30 to keep the shape. Some thermals on the 30.
September 2016 September 7: The month commence in clouds and rains that lower temperatures and smell autumn. No flight noted. September 24: Only a week of nice weather 12 to 15 sept allowed scratching flights more or less long and rarely high. Maybe good today. One local paraglider branched himself on the butte on the 13 after a collapse, without injury and little damage. More on fb. September 28: Short flights the 24 and also today. I use the paraglider with these conditions so marginal.
August 2016 August 2: Tranquil day after the Willi finishing sunday. I neglected my competition by lack of interest and as long as the Willi keep these dates ;-) Some very good flights nevertheless yesterday, mentioned on fb. The usual emergency landing field near Kapristo, referred as the 15 km field (photo) is to be avoided. The renter does not like aerial visits and causes quite vilainous problems. She should move out and leave the place to a friendly tenant since the field is immense, unused and very well located for us. (Update: a rumour says that she would tolerate landings far from the house and exiting by the creek.) August 18: This week is the first one (almost) full of sun this summer. Farmers are hurrying to harvest hay. The wind and inversions prevent flights other than local though. Evenings of ridge lift north side. Some visitors came taste flight, more details on fb. Big discussions on fb regarding the expulsion and another on free speech.
July 2016 July 3: A bit windy yesterday, from the south, but turned out very nice in the evening. Busby turned out to be fond of death threats like a regular mobster, something I did not expect from the president (especially since the BoD wanted me so much to contact the police...). Thunderstorms today and the next few days. Soprano organise the hang gliding national that started today. July 18: The cloudy and thunderstormy weather remained and only the ones on the lookout for openings made flights more or less short. The HPAC BoD refuse to reconsider their illegal expulsion, which could explain the increasing number of non-members flying at mount 7. Of course, the president ignore my request for explanation about his threat. Hence, I will consider it an ordinary intimidation. 25 juillet: Good flying day yesterday sunday in a moderate wind and strong thermals and sink occasionally. Unfortunately, maybe a bit too turbulent for paragliders since a deadly accident happened near the summit. The rescue went fast by helicopter with launch prohibition for a couple of hours. The Willi officials released some information today (image). This accident is reminiscent of the Charles Warren one in 2005. Expulsion by the BoD: Watwood appears to have been influenced by his daughter and Normandeau thinks the BoD has the right to do that. They are insane!
June 2016 June 7: Good enough conditions on the first weekend of june. One distance flight. Relatively hard though. Some visitors. Extraordinary news: the Board of Directors (BoD) of the HPAC has recently voted themselves unlimited powers over the members and have no scrupules to abuse them. I am suspended/expelled since two weeks without valid reason and worse, without them verifying the facts. Obviously, the actions of the BoD are not legal, we don't live in a totalitarian regime. If you have or have had similar problems with the HPAC or its BoD, please contact me. I will not say more here at this time but the file is available upon request. Outrageous! June 30: We had three nice flying days. Some good distances by a few visitors. A sympa guy offers a shuttle to the launch since a week (as a club). His rates are better than the local taxi. See Columbia Ecotrac Adventures on fb or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thunderstorms forecasted for today and tomorrow.
May 2016 May 10: Some good flights were had saturday but sunday was cloudy and windy. The snow melts quickly and the road should soon be passable to the Lookout. May 21: Flights in strong south wind last weekend, enough to get sick. Sunday is on fb video. This weekend is bad weather.
April 2016 April 4: Yesterday, I show up at the gravel pit for some practice but the wind is not south, it is WNW light. Perfect to try the octane at the 5k launch. I go up with my bike and by foot, then with a ride that makes it to the 4 km point where the snow is much too deep. We do the rest by foot and with some help, I launch without much delay. Very good flight taken on video. The road is far from opening but the 9k launch is cleared if you are not afraid to climb on the snow. The 5k launch is not recommended to visitors, too risky. April 18: Yesterday, my third paragliding flight of the year from the 5k launch. The snow melts quickly and the road will soon be cleared up to the 7 km point. This leaves two km to walk to the 9k launch. Gerry reports paramotor flights. Someone added wind flags at the 5k, which leads me to believe some other flights were made.
March 2016 March 21: Gerry flies paramotor and lands without the motor last week. I practice and try my new Octane by Ozone at the gravel pit last weekend and even have a video taken with my new camera posted on the new mt7air page on facebook. The avantage of a fb page is the capability to post on this site, as you can see above right. The competition infos this year are on the calendar, events section, and will be updated as needed. Note that I will do again the Rockies free flight Open with a simplification of the scoring calculation. The only multiplier is now the pilot experience. The landing bonus at the LZ remains. March 28: I practiced again mostly on the ground (three flights of less than a minute) with my Octane at the gravel pit on the weekend. I derust and familiarise with this model.
January 2016 January 3: Happy new year! Visit my wishes for the new year 2016. I bought a little second hand Ozone that I just tried for the first time. Hard to inflate in no wind, but I finally had a ten seconds flight at the gravel pit. January 14: Really good snow this winter. Ski is at its peak. canadianalpine.ca reviews the snow conditions in all the ski stations of the Rockies.
December 2015 December 2: Big snow storm november 17 has transformed the area into winter postcard overnight, and is still holding in the cold. Gerry did report a few flights in paramotor, the sky often being sunny. Quick review of the year: few accidents to my knowledge. One hang glider and one paraglider touched down in half-wet marshes, no damage. One paraglider in the trees while scratching too close from the south launch. Another paraglider crashed in rough terrain mountain side during the Willi and was heli-rescued by Search and Rescue. One arm injured possibly. Flight side, the weather was not as good as possible but was extraordinarily good at times. Spring time, at least two great days with very excellent flights by Hugo and Scott. During the Willi, bad weather cleared finally for one or two super thermal days, windy so that very long distances south were logged in, including one paraglider to the US border. December 26: Here are my wishes for the 2015 holidays and the new year 2016.
October 2015 October 8: The first days of the month were very good with even a short 42 km out and return for me last saturday. Many visitors were there to enjoy it during the week end, including a beginner paragliding group from Muller Windsports at their first high flights. The weather returned to rain this week. Days are getting shorter fast. October :12 Rain today but excellent yesterday. Strong north-ouest wind grounded Nick, visiting paraglider, but was tolerable in hang glider. Low clouds around 2700 m and thermals violent at times allowed me a nice Parson and back complete. Sun forecasted during the week. October 18: Nice sun all week and flights every day by Nick and me. Garth and James had some also toward the end of the week. But the inversion was solid and the thermals, weak. Only 15 to 30 minutes flights. I have stored my wing for the winter today.
September 2015 September 21: Rainy september this year, with only three good sunny days so far, on 11 to 13, with pleasant scratching. Forestry did the best grating of the road since it was constructed. High humidity gives good results! The sun is back today for a few days. September 24: Three sunny days, two good flights. Scratching the first two, but yesterday the air was less inverted in a moderate south wind. Very satisfying for the season. September 30: Very nice sunny end of month. Inversions almost every day although with delightful exceptions. Good enough monday and today.
August 2015 August 2: Super good day in spite of the thin cirrus. Willi participants did less well because of the supper and the time limit imposed. I finally made a complete and pleasant out and return rather easily thanks to the lighter wind. August 3: Triple darn, the weather returns to rain this whole week. August 13: Flying days get sparse. The wind tend to blow strong, restricting the flights. Short distances and local flights. Forecasted thunderstorms with gust fronts make me hesitate, today and the next few days. August 23: Some flights this week with at least one day visiting high clouds. Yesterday saturday, passable thermals in an inversion with ceiling around 2400 m altitude. Many visitors for the occasion, all absent today, with the dense smoke coming from the south of the province and Oregon. An extended sled for me with low scratching and small bullets type thermals. Very nice forecast this week but in air probably stable. August 29: Even denser smoke, enough to hide the mountains and barely see the sun, practically put a stop to thermal flight all week. Finally, the sky is almost cleaned today with the rainy weather and surely will be very clear after the week of showers, commencing.
July 2015 July 10: Many good flights from the beginning of the month. Some days had strong winds, enough for the paragliders to skip flight and saturday, enough for most hang gliders to avoid flying as well. A mecanical trouble stalled the tandem vehicle at the 8k, yesterday. Always good flights done with no reported damage this month yet. I did fly six of the ten first days and some have flown the days I skipped. Hence, good summer average. The weather is turning stormy and the next few days are uncertain though. July 28: The weather stayed crummy except three days for me, more than seven days ago. The wind was strong and many did not fly or not much these days. A hang glider landed in the safety marsh on a day I avoided. No damage. The Willi started in the rain. Many visitors used the bad weather to try sites to the south where the sun was still shining. The weather is improving a bit and the sun is forecasted to come back thursday... July 31: And did he came back! The sun comes back with a revenge. Thermals were good thursday, but this friday was super-good. Long distances travelled by Willi participants. So much that Cody Mittanck, paraglider, made it to the USA border, a 298 km distance. Some paragliders go less far. A site record for paragliders that will remain unofficial for technical reasons GADSAR (search and rescue) recovered one this day in steep terrain with a damaged arm. Full sun the next few days.
June 2015 June 3: A nice summer rain cleans and waters, this whole week. June 9: Nice weather since friday. Doug Hartley came for a flight, saturday and we could appreciate the surgeons work that resew his nose. We recall that his failed a landing with high grass last summer at the 15 km field, his unsheathed cable neatly cutting his nose. It held only by the lips. He then pushed the SOS button of his Spot. His cables are sheathed and he wears a full-face helmet with visor, now. Phil and Angie had a blast by breaking their personal records these days. Good distances yesterday, two in Invermere and Phil in Brisco. Darren, Jaimie, Greg and Garth came by as well as some other paragliders. Iain, from Scotland, is staying for the summer. Quite windy in afternoon, paragliders had to abstain most of the time. June 27: The month ends beautifully. Sunny and hot. Some very good distance flights this month by Hugo that leads the provincial distance league. Visitors have great flying time. No significant misadventure reported.
May 2015 May 8: Road still frozen at the 8,5 km. A truck tumbled the barrier at 7 km but could not continue past the turn at 8 km. A few locals have started to paraglide in the previous weeks, having walked to the Lookout launch. May 20: The road is clear up to the 9k launch but higher than 10 km, the road is snowed in for another 2 weeks. Will update when it opens. May 22: Epic day yesterday. Scott and Hugo tried large triangles with a leg above Yoho park. Scott completed his 117 km FAI triangle but in final, had to ditch in the Reflection marsh. First para in marsh this year. Hugo did not do his more ambitious triangle with menacing sky easterly, opting for a return Swansea instead, and alighting about 10 km short in the Kicking Horse canyon. I launched late for my first flight of the year and more modestly went for Whitetooth and back. My GPS went out of battery early, and forgetting my camera, I again do not have proof of the flight. More good flights to come. May 23: Hang day yesterday, Jaimie and me. I do better and this time the GPS recorded plus some photos. Emergency landing near Moberly Peak though. May 26: Last saturday, fabulous flights again by Scott, Hugo and me. See tracks on Leonardo for them or xcontest for me. Sunday was ordinary under cloudy sky but visitors did their first mount 7 flights. This week, the rain is refreshing and nourishing the plants. May 31: The road is open to the Lookout. A good little local flight today. Good lift in spite of numerous clouds. No big distance. Rain coming this week.
April 2015 April 28: Less snow this year, and the road begins to clear already. Only up to the 7 km so far. The 9k launch is open and the trail to it as well. For paragliders willing to walk.
January 2015 January 6: Happy new year! Snow warning! Be prudent on the roads. Visit canadianalpine.ca for a good account of snow conditions in all the ski stations of the Rockies. January 17: This week, I received the XC Mag Travel Guide 2014/15 (vol. 3) that includes a section on Golden. Well written and does a quick tour. Good except one detail to correct: my personal record in distance, 238 km (Golden - Jaffray), is not an official nor unofficial record. Although a respectable distance, two distance records from mount 7 at least are even better! Visit the records page to know more.
[...] the aeroplane without propeller, is the object of the current study. What is demonstrated in the present book allow to assert:
[...] there is a possibility that men will eventually learn to fly without motors, after the manner of the soaring birds, which sail for hours on motionless wings. In such case the flyer would be so small and simple that the original cost would be very moderate, and the fuel expense done away with entirely. Then flying will become an every-day sport for thousands [...]