Décembre 2014 December 31: Now is the time to review the year and wish a good one starting tomorrow. This year, many extraordinary flights were recorded from mount 7. Scott paragliding right in Spring with an out and return Radium. Ross does Invermere and return in topless hang glider. Nicole declares a record out and return of 150 km paragliding. Michael, taking off from the new Whitetail Lake site near Fairmont, made an plus almost out and return, of 200 km, mont 7 being his northernmost turnpoint. Accidents-wise, four paragliders trees themselves and one lands on an island on the Columbia. The one crashed on the butte is evacuated by helico. For the one stuck on the island, rescue came by boat. One hang glider cuts his nose landing in long grass in distance. Another miss the take off, totalling the wing between cliff and trees. Unusual fact, my good old wing is stolen by thieves, one night at the end of the Willi, please report if seen.
November 2014 November 10: Only one flight, sunday of last week, that finished with a broken downtube. The first snow has fallen yesterday. Wing and car are now tucked until next flying season.
October 2014 Octobre 2: Snow on summits and on the road above 10 km. Took off from the 9k launch and did a small out and return. Freezing in flight and soon after sunset. October 30: Overall, the weather let me fly only five times this month but still, two were short out and returns.
September 2014 September 3: The nice weather tired right after my previous entry. Few flights, lots of parawaiting and cancelled tandems. Flights should resume soon. September 8: Last friday was decent but saturday rather excellent in a blue sky and a warm sun. The light wind allowed thermals to fill up, capped by inversion. Very plaisant local flights. Return of bad weather sunday already though. Septembre 30: Great local flights every weekend this month! The inversions forbade distance flights and scratching was the way.
August 2014 August 12: The Willi ended in a cloudy weather that suited the prize supper. The parallel Rockies comp went rather unnoticed. The week was fabulous with many flights out of the ordinary. Nicole does a record flight and others have flights that place them in top position of the BC cross-country league. So much that they take me out of my usual ranking. Still two accidents. One paraglider crashes above the butte and is evacuated by helicopter. He doesn't use his Spot. Injury to his back possible. A hang glider misses his landing in the 15 km field, baring long grass this year, and cut his nose. Him, does press rescue of his Spot. Before the end of the Willi, my hang glider is stolen while resting overnight on my car. What a shame! If someone knows where it is, please take photos and report to me and the police. It's a wing I had since 1987, doesn't have much resale value and will be recognized easily. I am attached to it. Thankfully, I had a replacement wing that allowed me to continue flying in the good weather that barely tires.
July 2014 July 2: Nice weather yesterday. Long flights, lots of visitors since also a holiday. A red paraglider treed on the NW side, near the takeoff, reminds us its dangers. It's probably the second of the year since a white one was treed near the 9k launch in may. Today and tomorrow, quiet with clouds but rather nice. July 6: Another weekend filled with flights and adventures. Even more visitors due to the coming competitions and the warm holiday season. Nice enough friday between worrisome altostratus. Saturday, coming and going clouds made the conditions marginal for most. Still a good exercise. Sunday, sunny at first but fast enough spoilage in the afternoon. Strong south, then north, the the clouds decide to cover all et bring showers and gusts. A paraglider encore slowed by a strong south land in the marsh, now completely flooded. The guy had to wait a rescue by emergency services, helico and boat, since he was cornered on a small island. He was flying without mobile phone and radio, which complicated the rescue. Luckily, there were witnesses that knew he was not hurt. But they could not know where he was at, four hours later. Leaving the phone in the vehicle cancels its usefulness. July 17: The nice weather leaves no respite. Flights every day. Many visitors including Eric Turcotte and family from Québec and paragliders from Belgium. This week, the hang gliding national is on and here are the results so far. A good race. The day before yesterday, Bev missed her launch from the north ground and broke her glider. She only has cuts and bruises. Again, I remind that an improvement of the north takeoff is due and would reduce the risks of accidents. Many large fires in the province reduce the visibility and soften the thermals. Hard to see far and thunderstorms may go unnoticed. Hot and beautiful today and the flights continue. July 21: The flights did not continue long because the weather became thunderstormy, remained like this since and will last a few more days. The national results above are hence final. John Théoret was rather proud to return with the championship cup. July 27: The weather is back full sun just on time for the Willi and the Rockies comp. Visitors from everywhere flying the best flights of their lives so far. Yesterday, for example, Martin from Chilliwack lands in Invermere, paragliding. Ross also but makes it back again, in seven hours this time. This exploit seems easy now, except for his fatigued appearance at the landing. Nicole is here and blogs (see in Contacts and links). Saturday was a bit rougher and one advanced paraglider stalled, helicoptered down and met a nice saving tree by the south launch. No injury, little damage. July 29: Fabulous flights by paragliders yesterday. Three attempt 100 km and return but do not finish. Nicole finishes a 150 km out and return for a record claim.
June 2014 June 3: The gate at the 7 km will open this week, allowing access to the 9k launch. June 5: Both gates are open, the wind meter is in function. The season can really commence. June 14: Rainy week except wednesday when several distance flights were made. Very cold in altitude. June 23: Beautiful weekend, busy at the Lookout. Many mountain bikers, hang gliders, paragliders. Flight conditions were top notch. Beginners kept afloat easily while experts were adding much kilometres, especially sunday. Ross went Invermere and back. Visit of Radio-Canada documenting Karen's trek, gone for Alaska.
May 2014 Mai 2: The season has begun for the paragliders that want to go uphill by foot. The road is still quite snowed past the 3 km point. Mai 11:The road is snowed past the 7 km point. May 25: The gate is up at the 7 km.
January 2014 January 17: With the fabulous snowfalls of recent weeks, it is time to ski! The Trans-Canadian is even occasionally closed for avalanches reasons. Visit canadianalpine.ca for a good account of snow conditions in all the ski stations of the Rockies.
December 2013 December 22: It's the right time for the holidays wishes.
October 2013 October 13: The bad weather continues. Although flyable almost every day, it's sledding. Exceptions oct 3 and 4 when the sun allowed flights of over an hour and even an out and return of 15 km. Allan Caballero, a Philippino anchored in Toronto, went by wednesday and saturday along his trek across the country. Two cloudy days. A paragliding group from Calgary did a few sleds yesterday. I'm thinking of storing my glider soon. October 26: Voilà, my flying season is over. My cars and my wing are stored for the winter. Another summer of extraodinary flights for numerous visitor pilots has passed. Many personal records were improved significantly. The risks are not null though and we always have a few accidents. Known accidents in short this year: At least one paraglider treed mi-mountain; one of two paragliders caught in a gust front breaks a vertebrae (no loss of mobility); one paraglider miss his landing in distance and breaks (or sprains) a wrist; numerous paragliders miss the landing in strong winds, without damages; one hang glider (myself) miss a launch and breaks a down tube, missing a fantastic day; one beginner hang glider crash on the butte in strong south wind and greatly damages his wing during the fall between the trees, which reduces the shock, no apprent injury but a pause at the hospital for analyses.
September 2013 September 2: Bad weather during the last week of august and very few flights. This Labour day weekend was very sunny however. Very long flights under the summit for most given the inversion. Still rather easy to stay in flight. Today, a strong south-east wind came rapidly while a cloud band brought shade. Like a slow gust front, the wind brought thermals and gusts. A good portion of the group had just launched. One paraglider bailed out in the swamp and a single surface hang glider got himself caught on the flat of the butte to crash on it. He posted a video that shows his flight right before the crash. He came out with no broken bones and possibly only scratches. His Falcon will need repairs though. September 6: Eric and me have recovered Ivan's wing and harness, tuesday. Might as well do it right away with the uncertain forecast and so nice after. But no, the weather clouded over wednesday and we sledded in a too calm air. The rest of the week was rainy and it continues this weekend. September 16: Last week, the sun came back! Flights every day, long ones every other day. Very nice weekend as well with a whole group visiting including a Swiss-German couple. The strong south wind sunday, however, forced landings out of LZ for half the paragliders. Hang gliders stayed up well and Michael (accompanied by Sandra and Graham) even went above the next mountain. This week, return of the rain clouds. September 23: One good day friday to break the bad wethear routine continuing now. Only half an hour airtime for me. Short flights from the tandem paragliders. The weather is bad to fly but rather pleasant with rather short rainy periods and sunny at times.
August 2013 August 1: Today, a huge thunderstorm grew rapidly just north of mount 7 after noon. Some launched before it generalized but few distances. Last week and the last three days (july!), we had very good conditions. The top day was yesterday, when the light wind favored the formation of fantastic thermals. One cloud street between Kapristo and Harrogate allowed for straight line flight. Ross Hunter performed the best flight of the day, one out and return Invermere, a total distance of about 200 km. All this was very good for the two events currently on all this week: the Willi and the new Rockies Free Flight Open. The number of pilots at mount 7 exceed eighty, all counted. The sky is large. The next days will need to be evaluated carefully since the probabilities of showers and thunderstorms is significant. We remember the gust fronts. August 5: The Willi and the Rockies Free Flight Open are already past. All went well, nothing terrible to report. There is a problem with the result calculations from this Willi team, no ponderation accoding to wing type or experience. This gives a shameful advantage to experts with performant wings. The mandatory Spot causes also problems. The Rockies Free Flight Open strive to correct these problems. Details and results. August 10: Good week has passed. Very variable weather like the mountains can bring. Sunny in the morning and then it's a dice throw to know if the thuderstorms will develop or even dissipate. Dale, Kevin, Jodi, John and many more were here to take advantage of it. Some made good distances and also one or two days of hiking. Yesterday, many more came while others went to the Lakeside event in Invermere. Thunderstorms with virga developpent early in the afternoon reducing the motivation when the thunder resonated. We could make a short flight when the closest cloud dissipated quickly replaced by another above Glacier park. Four paragliders in distance earlier made it through tough weather and gusts but still made 40 km. Four others, set for a late sled, were caught in strong south wind and each one bailed out in a different spot. That's nothing since just 15 minutes later, a real gust front came that could have made their flight more dramatic. Today, full sun again with risk of thunderstorms. August 12: Weather rather bad during the week end with thunderstorms in sight. Flights of one hour or less. August 15: Very good flights the past two days, one being 127,7 km, my best this year in distance score. Forecast today and for the four next days, cloudy with occasional rain. Today the sky opened although it was rather scratchy (38 min). Last week, two paragliders did the distance Revelstoke - Golden, a rather difficult flight. Chris finished this flight on the Kicking Horse Resort parking lot, but the canopy stuck on a tree. Kevin, holidaying in Nicholson, went with a ladder. The other one, the name I can't recall again, made it to Nicholson without issue. Raul, visiting, also tried the distance but had to land at Rogers Pass of Glaciers Park. August 23: My car broke down friday last week, missing a great sunny day. The weekend, monday and tuesday were not so good and did not notice much flying. I finished repairing the car wednesday (it was the timing belt), just in time for a flight (two hours). Yesterday was pretty good scratching at first, then the wind died completely and the thermals improved. I did a short 20 km out and return. Many did fly and one paraglider was said to have landed in Spilli. Today and tomorrow are cloudy and rainy.
July 2013 July 2: The long Canada day weekend brought finally some good weather but not without damage. Saturday, the uncertain weather kept most on the ground except two paragliders that got caught in a sudden gust front of the Rockies. One is unharmed but the other, Brett Yeates, fell hard and hurt his back. I don't know the gravity of the injury at this time but it seemed not permanently disabling. Sunday was just great but monday most Calgarians hang gliders were wankers under the gazebo. I went for a late flight that lasted over two hours with a fun scratching period in the middle. Today was real hot with thunderstorm watches, so I abstained. July 5: Flight wednesday with several others. It was windy, so no return possible. Summer has really arrived and lots of visitors camp or even rent in the area to enjoy the flying season and other pleasures. Today, we are invaded by Calgarians not counting the fledglings of Muller Windsports. A bit too windy for paragliders, we see only hang gliders in the air this afternoon. July 10: The weather continues its uncertainty. Last sunday was good but with a wind strong enough to tamper the paragliders (without counting one treed mid-mountain) and forbid out and returns. Tuesday, a decent window opened in the afternoon. Today, sleda in the morning for Kevin and John followed by wind-surfing while the showers started to multiply. July 16: Already two tasks of the Hang gliding National currently on this week. Today, fantastic weather with sunshine and clouds to salivate. One incident at takeoff while the wind changed direction. Results are posted by Nicole on the Yahoo discussion list and Ross had the time to post on the site of the national. Derek Willmott has equipment for sale that he could bring at the Willi (coming soon). July 22: The National finished beautifully with two at goal of a long out-and-return, Tyler Boradaile and Doug Keller. The champions are Tyler and John Théoret (king post). Sunday, a small group of the National met for a pleasure distance task. I did 3/4 of Spilli and return while John Théoret made it to Windermere and I arrived too late to know the other's flights. Today: thunderstorms.
June 2013 June 4: The season is starting very slowly with the bad weather sticking. The road is open since a while but was not noticed with the unfavourable weather. June 18: Finally, at least one good day, last sunday. Lots of visitors, nice sun, but windy. So the paragliders had difficulties to climb and even stay up. Steven Semish did a good distance, reaching Radium. But during his flight, a collapse and reopening made a big hole in his new performing canopy. Three hang gliders at least (including me) completed out and returns of at least 50 km. Bad weather forecasted for the week.
May 2013 May 3: Steven Semisch, un Calgarian, was here wednesday and proudly bagged a 66,8 km from the 5k launch. His flight is registered in the xcontest, so his track is there. The 5k launch is low and risky but he climbed rapidly after the first minutes. He froze his fingers and they're still numb! May 4: Paragliders are itching in the wings. I find Conrad, Nathan and Karen parawaiting at the 5k launch all afternoon. I suggest the one hour walk to the 9k launch instead. I went see the road. The gate is closed at 7 km and snow covers it just 300 m highger.
March 2013 March 14: Three locals made a flight in the past week, a couple being tandem. After taking off from the 9k, they almost climb to summit height. March 25: Peter MacLaren flew three hours yesterday. He went east above Hunter and near Field. Sink on the way back forced him to land along the Transcanadian, in the Kicking Horse canyon. Photos of Chancellor peak and view of Emerald Lake Lodge and Field.
February 2013 February 2: It's the time to tally the votes of the Willi 2012 photo contest. Congratulation to the winner, Dan Wells certainly made efforts to snap remarkable photos. For 2013, a group from Alberta is imposing themselves grabbing the Willi so it is rather doubtful at this time. I would be willing to hold a similar photo contest for the whole flying season if there is some interest. It's fun.
December 2012 December 22: That is it, we made it through another dooms date. Since there will be a next year, now is a good time to wish it better than this year, at least on average. Visit my holiday page and short review.
November 2012 November 4: Following some minor accidents, it seems more and more obvious that the north ground needs improvements. See the north ground project page. November 24: Now comes the time to assess the yearly accidents. Two paragliders treed themselves shortly after launch. These two wings were total losses. One paraglider treed himself mountain side was retrieved by helicopter. This wing stayed on the tree over a week, I even took a photo of it. It has also probably caused a call for help one evening that I was flying alone. The police still did send a chopper just in case. One tandem missed the takeoff causing a sprained shoulder of the passenger. Hang gliding, two missed launches broke leading edges, pieces of trapezes and a wrist. I have myself broke two down tubes on landing on a windy gusty day. That same day another hang glider landed hard breaking one downtube only.
October 2012 October 5: The weather returns to plain sun but very cold. I go up without expecting much but I am pleasantly surprised when, after the usual scratching, I catch some good, low at the 5 km. Full of good thermals to follow at unusual places. Over a hour thirty airtime. The road was improved a little near the 11 km. More work anticipated next year. October 13: A few decent flights since the 5 and then the weather turns wet. This week, we expect the first snow falls. It was probably my last flights of the year. Winterizing season. October 19: Wednesday, I enjoyed the best automn flight and also my last of the year. Beautiful white mountains under an active sky and snow virga. And a distance to top it off. No photo, frozen camera. Note the LZ is hosting horses from october to june. So, watch for the electric line if you fly during this period.
Septembre 2012 September 6: Last weekend, lots of visitors since monday was a holiday but the weather was dripping. It cleared monday at the beginning of the afternoon, at the right time and long enough for Sotir to enjoy it with a good climb of over 200 m above takeoff. Today, full sun but autumn conditions prevailed. Still not bad and a visiting paraglider worked well along the west cliffs for over an hour. I lasted less than an hour near the butte. Next few days are promising. September 7: Great day of flying! Lots of thermals and the inversion layer was above launch altitude. Many enjoyed. A newcomer, Jeff, treed himself right after takeoff from the north ground. According to his recollection, he may have caused a stall/collapse when getting in his seat. Wear of the paraglider may have played a role. The wing is totalled after cutting a tree but he is fine, no injury at all. Trees do a lot to preserve paraglider pilots. September 8: Similar day but with about twenty participants. Sunday, bad weather coming. September 18: Great sun since the 13. Very good flights for the season almost every day. A bit disappointing saturday though while most visitors were here. The wind was too strong or not enough. Too strong for the thermals but not enough for dynamic lift. The weather so nice brings a married couple up the launch area for a photographic session. A nice visit paragliding from India is flying the mount 7 this week. September 22: The week went quickly with all this sun and the plaisant visits of Devanchi and Gaétan. Gerry also went up to initiate buddies to paragliding. We had good flights, but short most times. Today, the cirrus was not inviting to fly and we did local walks to see animals with Devanchi's daughter.
August 2012 Aug 8: There are posted the Willi 2012 results. It was a very nice week and I thank all the participants for a plaisant week of flights and various adventures. Don't forget to send your photos (7 max) at email@example.com for the Willi 2012 photo contest that will take place during the winter. August 16: The hang gliding national is in high gear. Two very good days, one marginal, one minimal and one rainy to date. Tyler Borradaile leads comfortably the scores. Forecast very sunny. See also rozzreport. August 20: The hang gliding national ended saturday with a race to Harrogate and an excellent dinner of awards. Tyler Borradaile is the new champion followed closely by Jeff Rempel. I win the prize in the king post class. I have posted results and photos on the National 2012 page. August 26: One week and weekend of rather good flights. Friday, storms developped near the mountain and Nicholson and strongly incited us to land. Maybe a bit windy for some paragliders saturday but numerous found their flights very good. Lots of visitors, including Dustin Martin for the USA that recently beat the hang gliding distance world record with a 765 km flight. He did some wing overs before landing. Today, the wind was south while light and variable at launch, with thermals. This caused some dust devils, wanting to take our wings and made launching hesitant. We didn't get bored.
July 2012 July 3: The Willi 2012 starts this month and I remind you to register online this week to insure your t-shirt colour/size. July 9: Finally a sunny weekend! And already friday a paraglider at his first high flight ends up in a tree. He fell on the same slope of the one last year, only a bit higher. He was retrieved by helicopter in the evening. More than 20 pilots made super flights all weekend. Forecast relatively good this week. July 13: Some reported a missed takeoff last sunday. Broken leading edge and downtube but not hurt. This week was very warm and flight every day, thermals less good today. A witness called the police wednesday for a crashed hang glider but a heli-search found nothing. Possibly, she saw me turning and going down before I left the mountain for landing. Thunderstorms forecasted for this weekend. July 21: Good flight last thursday when I notice a paraglider treed on mount 7. Several visitors arrive with the nice weather, including a Korean in english immersion. July 23: Lots of good flights sunday but altostratus made cross-country difficult. Rain today and tomorrow. July 31: The Willi started well. Saturday, Vincene offered her traditional BBQ and the weather was flyable enough. Sunday, great sun and cumulus but an inversion made the thermals difficult. Still many good distance flights. Monday and tuesday have variable weather, flights possible between rainy and windy periods. One accident reported at the north launch yesterday, with leading edge and downtube attachment broken, wrist also.
June 2012 June 9: The rainy weather is well entranched since over a week. Warnings of intense rain, rivers threatening to overflow, muddy rubble that blocks the national road,... we appreciate the natural forces. June 12: The road is open. The barrier was put down to ride over it and we report some vandalism. The weather improves very little yet. June 26: The National Hang Gliding Championship will be held here. After Mark bowed out, Ross offered to take care of it. More details on the page of the national. Nothing else to report with this bad weather that sticks except one flyable day, last thursday, brought a group of germanic paragliders under the care of Max. Simple sleds to the LZ.
May 2012 May 5: Flying has started on mount 7 last saturday, when seven paragliders coincidentally met. The local tandem group, and François, David, Stu and Raul took off from the 5k launch, a rather small, low and not at glide distance from the closest landing. No problem reported though that day, contrasting with the drama near Vancouver. On the contrary, Stu and Raul landed past Spillimacheen. Their retrieve took over three hours though, very thankful for the small valley shuttle bus. On another occasion, François could not make it to any landing though and treed himself, totalling his well worned wing. Forestry has installed barriers for the winter and the one at 7 km is supposed to be open june 2 at the latest, allowing motorised access to the 9k launch. May 14: I went see the state of the mountain road, yesterday. Still full of snow between 7 and 9 km. I expect the new barrier at the 7 km to remain closed another two weeks. Coming back, I meet Raphaël, a swiss here for the summer, at the 5 km. I accompanied him but the condistions were too marginal for this launch. I've guided him to the 9k launch by the walking trail and he did a nice little flight from there. I also received new shirts last week that you can see in the sections Flying mount 7. May 26: Forestry have finally opened the barrier at km 7 but not the km 10 barrier. Very windy today, paragliders cancelled their flights especially since after I was told Hugo was forced to land in a small clearing on the mountain. It was too strong for hang gliding as well. Spring demands more prudence.
April 2012 April 6: The sun comes back after two days of snow storm. The season could be late in may. April 28: Finally some sun! I placed t-shirt orders with new drawings this week. They are more varied and should arrive in two weeks.
March 2012 March 6: Things are beginning to take shape for the Willi 2012. New this year: Trina, new GEAR manager, will offer dinner at 18:00 (6 pm) on thursdays and sundays if the pavillion is available from may 20 to septembre 2. The cost of dinner is $16,00 per adult and $8,00 per child. On these days, a film will be shown from 20:00 (8 pm) at no fee. March 27: Guy Leblanc was part of a team last night that had to rescue the crews from two ships on the Atlantic coast (1 death, 3 missing). Good job and nice media reports!
February 2012 February 2: The Willi 2011 photo contest has ended. Take the time to see the winning photos and video.
December 2011 December 3: The Willi 2011 continues with its photo contest. Vote for your peferred photos! December 10: It's time to do a little summary of the year. THe weather was not as favourable as usual, with less flights and less participants. Less distances and less accidents. In hang gliding, two missed their takeoff. The first was in flight just above ground and feared. He decided to abort and crashed solidly. A few broken tubes and a head banging that gave him a black eye and cut eyebrow. His helmet suffered. The second, a beginner, did not run enough in still air. He's only bent a downtube. Paragliding, several were had again by a strenghtening wind. At leats two ended in trees, two in the marsh and many at alternate landings. Repairable tears, drying, nothing worse. All casualties got good help from fellow pilots, passer bys, and rescue services. A helpful attitude is encouraged and encouraging. December 20: Time to wish merry Christmas!
November 2011 November 13: Tim Reicker also used his camera when he came for the Willi and a buddy stitched a video from it.
October 2011 October 3: Trina, a local, is our new GEAR manager. So much rain to end the season. October 10: Weekend of work and some flights. I got over an hour airtime and two or three hours bushes cutting time saturday. François and David chose an early flight while the conditions appeared favorable. By the time my wing was ready, clouds came, so I go back at cutting. The sun back, I am delighted by the surprising thermals considering the south-east wind at takeoff. After the flight, return to the takeoff for more cutting. Sunday, François and I returned for more cutting and a slight chance of flight. François ends the day with a sled to the gravel pit while I do the driving. Lots of bushes still to cut but this should help the launches next year. October 29: Jodi-Lee has posted her composite video of her summer flights (vimeo) containing footage taken from mount 7 at positions about 1:00 and 4:00, also on youtube.
September 2011 September 8: We're in a sunny stretch! Flying occur every day since saturday. Many visitors, long flights, glassoff even. One australian is camping nearby, people from Calgary, Canmore, the Okanagan, came fly. Couple of paragliding incidents last weekend while the wind blew strongly from the south. One treed and one escaped in the now dried slough. More sun to come! September 11: Excellent weekend. Fabulous flights saturday, with large gaggles forming in front of the ouest cliffs. Very beautiful and artistic. Sunday, a little too stable, most having a short flight. I was able to scratch very low and maintain, then climb back above the Lookout. September 20: The Glassoff last weekend was only a small BBQ. Many came in spite of the bad weather and we met the new manager: Trina. No flight saturday except maybe Stewart Midwinter's ex-wing that I was repairing and that made a back flip in a gust of wind. Sunday was rainy. September 26: Two hot and sunny days friday and saturday. Unfortunately, the south wind was prevailing. Saturday, met Ricardo Rouco, an acquaintance of old that went in Calgary to see Stewart at the hospital. Oleg paraglided right after me for half an hour in marginal conditions. I lasted 18 minutes only. September 30: A good scratching day thursday under a radiant sun. Janush came for a couple of flights and even paid a taxi for retrievals! He declared these his last flights of the year, given the forecast. Me and David A. flew a short flight each, scratching the low cliffs. Gerry, that makes himself rare, offered a tandem to his girlfriend while Troy accompanied in solo just before sunset.
August 2011 August 5: The Willi 2011 went relatively well, the results and a short report are now online. s'est relativement bien passé, les résultats et un petit compte-rendu est maintenant en ligne. Le prévisions étaient géniale pour cette semaine mais seulement lundi et jeudi étaient super en fin de compte. Quand même volable tous les jours. Le temps reste pire que les prévisions cet été, probablement le pire depuis plus de 15 ans. August 9: A few good summer days with super flights. Good distances and altitude to spare. One incident. Yesterday, Michael (german in travel) crashed in trees after his wing collapsed followed with a cravate near the upper launch. His paraglider reopened just on time to avoid the ground, but not the trees. The shock has destroyed the wing but he comes out with benign scratches only. Phew! See his farewell to the wing (video). He was still shaken today. He went for a tandem with Scott to make the most of this nice day. August 18: Weather very variable last weekend. Lots of visitors. Saturday, the earliests to take off had a good chance to climb but most didn't last. One hang glider hurt his leg hitting a fence to avoid the power line above during a risky landing. He escapes with bruises and scratches. Mid-day, the strong wind reduced the chances and we sank without delay, me included. Later, the wind abated et the conditions turned slowly into glassoff. Sunday, clouds and wind curbed our enthusiasm and few paid themselves a sled. This week, the weather kept turning to vinegar in spite of the great forecasts. What to say about the excellent forecast for the next six days?
July 2011 July 1: Happy Canada day! Golden is still under a thick layer of clouds. Summer is forecasted to come this week! We hope... July 8: The francophone band have stained the ramp and the picnic table. At least four good days this week. One beginner paraglider sprains an ankle trying to land on top. Summer come and goes. Three weeks of competitions start tomorrow. Guy Leblanc have asked for a Notam from Golden to Canal Flats up to 12500 ft altitude from july 10 to 31. Excellent initiative! July 15: The hang gliding national take another rest day under a grey dripping sky. Only two valid tasks so far and Jeff Rempel is in first place. One incident on take off have cost a downtube and stitches to Gilles Normandeau. A landing in the forbidden field, because not yet harvested near Parson while a harvested one was nearby, caused worries to Ross Hunter and John Janssen. I discussed with the owner and Ross to improve the situation. Ross went meet the owner and all went back to normal. Do not land in this field except if you can't avoid it. See section Cross country flights for its GPS coordinates. The charming Camille and the passionate Catherine (both very cute) were able to taste a bit of the grandeur of mount 7 during their journey of the Quest of the invisible. July 17: The national eneded well with a good task hard enough. The south wind, the inversion, the ceiling rather low made lift rare and progression slow (results). The paragliders arrive for the paragliding national. July 22: The PG national ends under the rain. Only one task had been possible, results. See Nicole's blog. The Willi commence tomorrow with good forecast. Registrations here start tonight and continue afterwards mostly mornings. July 24: See HG nat photos of Terry Ryan and of Karen Keller
July 25: After two sunny but rather hard to climb days, weather turns bad again. A strong wind sneaks in in the middle of the afternoon after 5 or 6 paragliders took off. At least four did not make it to the LZ (actually, two in sloughs, one in trees, two in habart). Two went for the sloughs still in high water. One got rescued by helicopter. The other, on an island, was picked up by a couple canoeing the river at the time, then by SAR arriving by motor boat. A misadventure that ends very well once again. July 27: With the bad weather yesterday, a group went up to recuperate a paraglider left in the trees mid mountain (first day crash I forgot to mention). Well, the tree was pretty big and they did not succeed. We ended the day with a BBQ under the shelter. Today may clear up later.
June 2011 June 6: The muddy road is rideable to the Lookout and several flights were made. Karen, Dannie, Tim, Garth and François came this weekend. All very happy. Mathieu tried his new wing. Scott enticed Conrad to do distance. I tried my new mini-video camera but mostly got close views of tubes. Ominous concrete blocks at 7 km. June 19: No weather propitious to flight since the 9th, only clouds, rain, winds. The works on road 95 are ending and hence, the gravel pit is clearing of obstacles. June 23: Finally two days worthy of the Rockies yesterday and before. Ross, Rob, Moi, Greg, Tim, Mathieu, François and the tandems have flown, the first logging good distances. The Columbia river is on the verge of flooding. June 28: The Banff national park is already moving forward and has published provisional guidelines for recreational activities. Hang gliding and paragliding are included and they ask for your comments until july 8.
May 2011 May 3: The Willi (image at right) presale t-shirts are here. They go at $20 each, proceeds go to the Willi. Contact me to get one (or more). The rather cold weather and the abundant snow let us think the season will start later than usual. May 7: I received permanent mt7 t-shirts ($30 each), with profits going to the site fund. Definitely more snow this year. The road is snowed up just above 3 km this weekend. May 21: The road is now snowed at 7 km. Late start. May 29: Bad weather has lingered. Snow now at 10 km point, hence 9k launch is accessible. The gravel pit looks quite busy with some roadway works.
April 2011 April 6: News from the HPAC site preservation commitee regarding National Parks. Not allowed to fly yet. The process is delayed by the federal elections. More details at the previous link.
March 2011 March 2: The hang gliding and paragliding nationals are set. Both will precede the Willi, in july. See the events section for more details.
February 2011 February 2: The results are in, the winning photos of the Willi 2010 photo contest are:
February 6: Brenda provided most, if not all, of the articles Peter wrote and I have them posted now. This significantly augment his website. Growth of mount 7 à la Peter Bowle-Evans. If you see pieces missing or have your own contributions, please email me. February 9: Online registration for the Willi 2011 is now open! February 24: One batch of t-shirts for the Willi 2011 is ready to order. Can be ordered from the Willi 2011 registration form if you check for t-shirt(s) only.
January 2011 January 14: Happy new year! Another snow storm here! Skiers are salivating but the transcanadian is closed again. I remind you that the Willi 2010 photo contest will end soon, vote now! The preregistration form for the Willi 2011 is not ready yet.
December 2010 December 24: The air is cold but light. Jovial moods propagates slowly. It is the time to wish joy for Christmas and at least the holidays (and to keep some for later :). And if you have a couple of minutes, why not go see and vote for your prefered of the photos of the Willi 2010 photo contest? December 26: Brief accident assessment 2010, from memory:
Be well prepared, read this website thoroughly!
November 2010 November 5: I just tucked my wing for the winter. Very last flights of the season for me this week. The road is well snowed and most vehicles don't make it to the takeoff. My faithful car did make it yesterday. Excellent! We took the occasion and the time to cut bushes a little, François and me. The north takeoff will be a bit easier next year. The bushes and the trees begin to grow enough to cut them all, notice to volunteers. The inversion was palpable by the temperature at the takeoff and visible by the laminar smoke in the valley. Sleds only. Novembre 17: The Willi 2010 photo contest page is ready for your votes. Choose your prefered ones!
October 2010 Oct 5: Another beautiful start for the month. The first was very marginal but several stayed in flight over half an hour. The two, better yet but David and Gilles scratch too much and do not make it to the LZ. Gilles find himself in a tree by the rail way. Lucky, the neighbour retrieves it with a backhoe without breaking anything, only a bit of grease on the wing. Today, very beautiful and excellent. Good thermals at the right places under the inversion i.e. under 2100 m (7000 ft). Mathieu practiced his thermalling, while I was able to fly around the mountain for 2:20. Oct 10: Clouds, wind, rain, no flights since thursday. Thursday that was so sunny had a south wind impeaching good thermal formation. Oct 11: Thanksgiving day, a good day between the rainy ones. A north wind brings cold to support the thermals, altitudes of 3000 m (10000 ft) reached, one 40,7 km out and return flight. Oct 14: Return of fair weather. The southerly wind impeach thermals and we only sled down. The hang glider visiting from California likes the site nevertheless. Oct 16: The too numerous cirrus make the strong thermals (2 m/s) too rare, sleds of less than 30 minutes. Notable fact, a Snowbird (or other acrobatic jet plane) makes a pass with smoke trail direction east. Oct 17: Full sun. Two Calgarians come for a few flights. François scratch the west cliffs for an hour. I maintain 23 minutes north-ouest side. David, lacks margin, branches himself just short of the landing zone. His GMRS radios turn out very useful. Oct 21: Two warm and sunny days, hope of thermals. But too strong inversions make thermals that don't slow the descent much. Solid bad weather arrives tomorrow for a while. Oct 30: Snowy ground. Some sun, more possible. Also a perfect day to work on the takeoff. Brush cutting by François and, the clouds opening a hole for us, a hopeful flight. Not enough of the sun so a sled, more or less.
September 2010 Sept 2: Beautiful start for the month. Non-stop flights all day from the tandems, me and numerous visitors from the area, from Calgary and from Brazil (in leave in Canada). Sept 7: Strong south wind last saturday allowed some flights. One paraglider could not make the LZ and had to land in the dry slough. We are in a long stretch of bad weather that started sunday. Sunday, a short window early afternoon that only Raul and some tandems took advantage of. Several went up afterward to observe the thunderous cells closing in rapidly and the closure of the sky. Sept 10: HPAC announces that Parks Canada has reevaluated its position regarding allowed activities. Free flight (HG and PG) could be authorized in some cases. See the news release from Parks Canada.
Sept 18: Yesterday, friday, relatively good weather, so finally some flying. Tom, visiting from the UK, Tim, Martin and me have good flights, about one hour and a half. Mostly scratching on the west cliffs in a south wind. But today the weather deteriorate too rapidly, as I am barely ready a huge cloud covert hides the sun and shows signs of rain, the troph is already here. Well, a sled run is better than nothing. Tim does his sled under a very light rain. Next appointment with the sun is wednesday. Sept 23: And wednesday was very good all day. Full sun, light wind, thermals under an inversion. New paragliders and a very "sympa" french couple, enjoyed well. The sun comes back again next wednesday, probably.
August 2010 August 2: The paragliding national ended yesterday with a windy day, one hang gliding flight only. Mike and Matt got into a mountain bike accident leaving Mike in a sling for a few weeks. Thunderstorm and award dinner finished the day. August 4: Ole Andreas Haddeland made a video about the paragliding national that I added to the videos page.
July 2010 July 3: Large group of flying visitors in spite of uncertain weather, worrisome at times. Air turned out very calm for such an active cloud cover. Large group of paragliders learning with Muller Windsports got their first high flight without incident. Sunday is rather rainy. The Willi is closing in! You can register now online or in person, I have registration forms ready for use. July 12: A weekend busy with student pilots doing their first high flights. A weather calm enough, especially Sunday. Cloudy and windy today, return of hot weather is forecasted Wednesday and on. Perfect start for the Willi 2010, this coming weekend. T-shirts has arrived today and I'd like to remind that early registrants have first choice.
June 2010 June 4: The road is open, dry and in good shape to the Lookout. Unfortunately, the weather remains bad and the rares flights are sleds to the landing only. June 6: The weather turned out good long enough in spite of the forecast. Nice flying visits of Sotir, Tim and Rob. June 14: Saturday was rough mid-day, excellent in evening. Sunday, a weakening front brought too much wind for paragliders. The wind calmed enough for me to race a Parson and back before a thunderous ending. A batch of Willi t-shirts is available already, $20, proceeds going to the Willi fund. June 20: Good weekend in spite of the menacing thunderstorms. Rough air saturday and few flights in the afternoon. Sunday started well but a long thunderstorm line develops rapidly easterly. All landed before the gusts arrival. June 28: The uncertain weather continues but we find some good flying windows in spite of it. A Swiss paraglider visiting the Rockies with his companion had the pleasure to find someone lending his flying equipment, saturday night. It was a rather windy day with washing machine thermals that calmed down after 5 pm. The nice weather continued until sunday around 1 pm, thunderstorm retaking over. A pleasant weekend after all, with several flying visitors.
May 2010 May 10: Sunday, the road was open up to 8 km, one km short of the 9k launch. Count a week or two for that shaded and muddy km to be ready. Tim and I walked it but for less than 30 minutes airtime flight. First mamma bear and cubs sighting this year. May 16: The barrier of Forestry BC is still at 8 km. Paragliders (Peter, Hugo, Mike) and a hang glider (Tim) had good flights saturday, short distances. The Willi 2010 page info now has a registration form with Paypal payment. Use it, register now! May 19: Forestry BC moved the barrier to 10 km today, opening 9k launch to vehicles. Fallen tree at 9k needs cutting. May 29: Flying season really slow to start this year. Bad weather all last week and this weekend. Not much sunny forecasted next week either.
April 2010 April 3: Tim's parents bought a little domain right at the foot of the mountain. Be careful around this psychopath and his girlfriend Lani. April 17: Tim tries the very risky 5k takeoff. The weather get worse quickly and he goes for a direct sled to the gravel pit. The forestry road is closed by the ministry of transport at the 6 km point to keep it in better shape while it's soft. Still thick snow at 7 km anyway, it won't open before May for sure. I will keep you informed as soon as the 9 km launch is accessible.
March 2010 The free flier Lucille de Beaudrap will begin her ascent of mount Everest this month. It is a climbing expedition we can follow on her blog. March 21: The Golden film festival was yesterday and surprise, Scott Watwood had two films presented. Speed flying first and the other mostly bits of BASE jumping.
February 2010 February 7: The Willi 2009 photo contest is now wrapped. Winning photos are:
Also new this month, I've open a twitter username mt7air . News bits sent via mobile phone has an irresistible appeal. It also has the potential to be very useful in the field.
January 2010 Wishing happy new year to all friends of mount 7! Please make the resolution to fly more safely. January 18: The PG national will be in Golden this year and its organizer and the HPAC competition comitee have decided to encroach on the Willi for it i.e. the PG National will be July 26 to August 1. The Willi will then precede it, July 17 to 24.
December 2009 Wishing happy holidays and great new year to all friends of Mount 7! Take the time to reflect on this ending year to improve the next. And as usual in aviation, learn as much as possible including from other people mistakes.
Accidents this year were all recoverable.
Be well prepared, read this website thoroughly.
October 2009 October 3: Cold and cloudy week. The mountains are powdered white. Flight season is ending. October 12: Great weekend flying in very cold air with thermals on the rocks. How do the birds do it all winter? Mike and Louise even did a little out and return cross-country flight of 10 + 10 km. Snow week coming. October 13: The Willi 2009 is not quite complete yet. The photo contest held by Glenn Bitterman was not judged because of other concerns during the event. However, Glenn has collected and sent me the photos, and they are now posted on this Willi voting page. Please visit the page and vote for your prefered photos! Octobre 24: The flying season is over but the site is still active. Last week, Brenda Bowle-Evans held a small ceremony with family after receiving the new memorial plaque dedicated to Peter. It will accompany the ones of Chris and Willi Muller on the big white rock at the Lookout takeoff.
September 2009 September 5: Still many pilots around in nice enough weather. Rather stable air though so far. September 14: Good weekend of good weather that lasts and lasts. Good enough to add hours in the log book. Several rare visitors. September 19: Last weekend brought many visitors from outside as usual with nice weather. Julie and Joël right from Yamaska, Québec, were of the group when the thermals were so nice Saturday. Hours of airtime. The weather stayed nice until Thursday, attracting a paraglider from the US, another from southern Alberta and a dynamic trio from Calgary. Tomorrow, the return of the sun. Only the winter will let me rest from flying. :D September 28: The Glassoff, target landing, dinner, and live band, went very well. Even the weather helped the maintenance by making Saturday too windy for flying while Sunday proved fantastic for the season. Forty-seven pilots registered for the costume and target landing event, sixteen participated in the maintenance work on the LZ, ninety-six adults paid for the dinner. Louise Bouchard won the target landing and the couple Dianne Fiala-Scott Watwood won the costume portion. This fund raising event sponsored and organised by John McIsaac collected $920 for Search and Rescue (SAR), $1000 for the Willi event fund and an extra $75 was donated for site maintenance fund. In addition, mt 7 site fund donated $2500 to SAR and Vincene Muller on her side collected another $1460 in individual donations to SAR.
August 2009 August 19: Finally I find some time to update the news. Lots have hapenned. The Willi results are up since a while with a very short overview, stressing the dangers of this year. Even in good weather, two paragliders, one non-participant, went in the trees on the very last day. One self rescued, the other got heli-rescued. The weather was not so good for the first half of this month while a hang glider from New-Hampshire was befriending some nice locals. At the same time, Odile, a woman from France no less, travelling all over Canada with a very well equipped trike (motorised hang glider) and had to pause in Golden a few days for inclement weather. We had a good time helping her, chatting, learning about her and her trek. See her website: Envolée au Canada (i.e. Taking off in Canada. Stories also in english.). Today marked the return of the nice weather with three hours airtime for me. And the forecast is plain great for the next seven days at least! August 26: The weather was excellent on Saturday with almost all having long flights. Sunday was acceptable until the strong wind arrived around 3 pm. Three hang gliders flew briefly in this wind and one found the LZ rather small in these conditions. Sun still staying.
July 2009 July 4: Cute weekend following a very sunny week. Leif fills up of flights. Tim comes back for a couple weeks. Guy comes for two days. Moors as well. More will be here for sure. July 7: the weather was super at times and at places, strange like the mountains. Better for hang gliders because of south winds, some paragliders did not make it to the LZ but without any harm. Excellent adventures. July 11: One freak accident on takeoff broke a wing on Thursday and shook the pilot. Yesterday mini celebration of the late Peter Bowle-Evans whom had the honour of giving his name to the mount 7 forestry road. Today a group is doing their first high flight. July 14: Weekend well filled with a new batch of pilots from Muller Windsports, a wedding at the most busy time, and great weather. Two fantastic days for all. July 19: this week was very excellent although darkened by one incident and one accident on friday. One paraglider clipped a tree when he came so short in a south wind but still landed okay. One hang glider, Saskatchewan representative, was a bit nervous on landing and didn't have enough speed in final. He stalled when he tried to turn. Bruises, swollen elbow and light concussion only, fortunately. Plus much repairs on the wing. This weekend is windy, few flew so far. July 24/25 – August 2: the Willi 2009! It's going on in good weather, overall. Excellent distances. Life-challenging experiences with good endings. Goofs sometimes. Drama. Beats the movies ten times over.
June 2009 June 3: The weather, so great suddenly, brings visitors mid-week from Montana and Calgary. Good distance flights. And a reminder from one field owner to avoid landing in his grown field. Oups, I thought he'd be happier to see me again. His so inviting field is the one at about 25 km from takeoff. Its GPS UTM Coordinates : 11U 0522487 E, 5659956 N. However, he has no problem if we land in his packages (animal fields), including the long narrow field by the river. If the river is low, it may do. Always choose a safe landing spot, though. Minimizing damages done to crop by the place you land and walk in the field, helps. If possible/useful, fold outside of the field. This owner had a bigger beef against paragliders in large competitions. June 6: After such a good week bringing me to the 1st position in the provincial distances, this weekend is cloudy. I take the opportunity to recall that the landing zone is peppered with gopher holes. Must be careful. June 17: Finally rain to seriously wet fields and gardens. Many good flights last weekend in better than forecasted conditions. Sunday, Raul (prononce raw-wool) did Invermere again. Me and Doug made Parson and return. Mike said he did Harrogate and back with another paraglider. Many flew locally. June 22: The weather turned out much better than the forecast, last Saturday. Only good for the numerous visitors. Sunday got ugly in the afternoon but some flew briefly during a long clearing. The road got a great grating Sunday and looks almost new. Super! Seven women from Golden skied the seven of mount 7.
A small group from Calgary and Edmonton couldn't wait any longer and came to the Rockies on the 1st of the month. But the forestry road, recently christened “Bowle-Evans”, still being impassable with mud and snow, they only made it to the 9k launch with difficulty, in a jeep. There will be mud ruts to take care of again, hopefully less than last year! :)
April 2009 Prepare your gear. Still some time since the road is not quite open yet. If you plan to come to the Willi and camp at the GEAR, please make an advance reservation. No other major competition at mount 7 this year. See Events calendar. Peter Bowle-Evans received a great posthumous honour when the mt 7 road was named Bowle-Evans drive. With street signs.
December 2008 Wishing happy holidays and great new year to all friends of Mount 7!
October 2008 24 October: After a week of bad weather, flying resumed. It was rather marginal however and didn't get a flight of over an hour in the stable air. Nice finish though on 21 October, after a snowy day in the mountain. The air was cold and crisp like Spring, and plenty of thermals. Cumulostratus were forming above the eastern ridges. The next day I was parking car and wing for the winter. Another year full of great flying memories.
14 September: Rather stormy at the beginning of September but the good weather returned nicely. Air too stable for distances however. Several good flight though. Not bad this weekend with many hang gliders and paragliders coming from Calgary. Saturday was better with a light WNW wind. Good scratching flights. Today was more difficult in more stable air. Possible to stay up for a while above the west cliffs. 24 September: The cold has arrived this week. The air is more active, harboring good bubbles when the sun shows up.
August 2008 14 August: Finally some time to update here. The Willi was very successful in spite of the rather inconsistent weather. See the Willi results. The weather got excellent for a few days, then a rainy stretch. We are now in what seems to be a long good stretch of sunny days. Expect a lot of people this weekend. 20 August: And there sure was. The weather being ideal for some distance Saturday. Thermals were going very high, over 4300 m (14000') altitude. Doug Keller did very well. One serious paragliding accident happenned in unusual risky conditions: badly broken ankle. Ouch! Sunday was more touch and go. A couple of good windows only. The sky may clear for next weekend. 24 August: It did and Saturday was good scratching, although some hesitated a bit too much. Sunday got windy with low pressure system due overnight.
July 2008 4 July: Yes, it's summer. Hot. Tomorrow, saturday July 5 the road access to the takeoff will be limited. The bike club provided us with passes to go through. These passes are available at the GEAR office at the landing zone. There are a limited numbers of passes, so please car pool more than usual on saturday. 20 July: Finally we get a long stretch of good weather and it coincide with the start of the HG national. Great flying if you can handle the rather strong (and rather small, today) afternoon thermals. Much easier in the evening. One missed takeoff damaged a glider and caused benign injuries. A reminder to be careful. 29 July: The Willi is happening. The weather stays uncertain but we pass a good time. The breakfast volunteers are extraordinary, good quality movies, BBQs, good flights, camp fires, and other activities. Not too late to enter.
June 2008 14 June: Thursday was nice. Too windy and stormy for a return distance. Still very nice. Forecast for the week is excellent. 29 June: Well, it got mostly cloudy and marginal until this weekend. Great sun, light wind but an inversion to keep us attached to the mountain. Lots of visitors. 30 June: The last weekend was only good, not super-good. Lots of flying with many visitors from Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and even a group of Californian hang gliders.
May 2008 16 May: The mountain road is blocked by snow at the km 9,5. It's icy but passable at the km 8. Flying is then possible from the km 9 launch but the weather is lacking so far. Late start, this year. 30 May: Some flying was possible at the end. Not sunny enough, so turned into good exercises for the beginning of the season.
April 2008 17 April: Scott is back from New Zealand and had a flight on the first with the help of a snowmobile ride. We were invited to an informal meeting with CSRD and Forestry BC representatives and we heard very good things for the future of our beloved mount 7 flying site. 18 April: The fresh snow sure seems to announce a late Spring this year.
February 2008 15 February: Confirmation of the annual Willi cross-country challenge end of July, see events calendar. 16 February: The website is moving. Indeed, the mount 7 website visiting traffic exceeds Geocities limits. Serge Web Service is the new host.
January 2008 Happy new year! I embedded two videos Youtube in my videos page. One is mine the other is by Rob Green. I will post more of these from videos sharing sites if they are relevant to mount 7. I will consider suggestions while reserving the right to embed or remove videos according to pertinence. 21 January: Sorry to report here the tragic death of Peter Bowle-Evans last wednesday in an avalanche while backcountry skiing. There will be a memorial tomorrow in the main GEAR building, at the landing zone.
December 2007 Merry Christmas!
November 2007 Here is the snow, here are the clouds, here is the cold. One tandem paraglider has migrated south while the others have put theirs away. Some wings will surely see the snow again a few times this winter.
October 2007 15 October: Finally, we had a couple of sunny days last weekend. Sunny enough for workable thermals. We were a few locals to enjoy it, and some in tandems, and one from Canmore. The season is winding down. The big wind sock is stored for the winter already. Snowy peaks announce and promote the coming ski season.
September 2007 3 September: A better weather than forecasted on the 1st, allowed a few good flights until a stratus, leftover from distant thunderstorm, comes stopping it all. Clouds and rain come back the next day in afternoon. Grey and humid weather. 10 September: A mild weather comes back this weekend bringing several visitors. Saturday was particularly good, better than forecasted. Showers spared mount 7 and even allowed Rob to claim a Parson and return. The wind became stronger later, many free fliers took advantage to appreciate our occasional dynamic lift north side. 16 September: Very beautiful past week. A few visitors from Calgary and the USA have enjoyed the all sunny conditions of Friday and Saturday. Sunday, with a cold front approaching rapidly in a moderate wind, all cancelled their flight. 30 September: The weather stayed on the rainy side for two weeks with very few flights if at all. However, somewhat miraculously, yesterday the weather was rather excellent. The sun was there for most of the time and when layers of smooth altostratus came, the wind was light and the thermals still climbing. I had a great Parson and return flight. The flying was low with cloudbase getting barely higher than the peaks and I recovered from low right above parson. Back to GEAR... I don't recall the winners' names of the target competition, sorry. They were all paragliders I think. Remind me, if you know them. The preferred and winning costume entry was of Tim Middlemiss. A beak and tail for the hang glider wing, which is in the spirit of the event inspired by France's renowned Coupe Icare. Paragliders were wearing elaborate costumes actually more visible in flight, compared to hang gliders. The event was fully sponsored by GEAR under John McIzaac and Cathy-Anne David direction. All entry fees collected (about $1000) are to be given to the HPAC canadian competition teams. Participants received more than the traditional t-shirt! A nice dinner was served, presence prizes were distributed, a pretty good live band played and the floor was danced until the end. This was the second instalment of the event, and the owners are very attached to it. It will surely grow more. Cheers to next september!
August 2007 3 August: The paragliding national continue in a beautiful blue sky, read Nicole's Blogs . Eighty participants mostly from Canada and the USA. No serious incident so far. Lots of fun. 4 August: Final results of the paragliding national, Jamie Messenger from Great Britain won, Matt Beechinor from the USA second and Keith MacCullough from Canada arrived third. One helicopter rescued a paraglider stranded on a cliff by the side of mt 7. How to tell them to avoid getting grounded?
10 August: The Willi cross-country challenge is already over. See the results, some photos and a short report. One grave accident to report, no relation to the Willi. A student paraglider froze during the approach and struck a tall tree. He'll have to recuperate from several grave fractures.
End of August: That's it, the weather pattern changed for cloudy and rainy. A few time windows best exploited by paragliders occurred nevertheless. Short flights in general.
July 2007 3 July: The long weekend and nice weather bring many visitors from Calgary and farther. Very good flights by Rob Clarkson and Scott Gravelle among others, the first doing Radium and back to Spillimacheen while the second decided rather to stop in Invermere for a friendly diner (that's what he said). Organized activities are starting this month with the bike race and the distance clinic, then the paragliding national at the end of the month. See events calendar. 4 July: Scott announce that the last bit of road to the takeoff will be temporarily closed between 3:45 and 4:45 pm Saturday 7 July for a wedding. 8 July: Rather windy and cloudy weather reduced the quality of possible flights. Still flights Friday evening and in two periods Saturday including dynamic lift in the evening. 19 July: Vincene Muller was also here for the cross-country clinic and all went well past weekend. The Psychosis didn't disrupt the flying too much in spite of road complications. There was a nice BBQ fundraiser organized by Scott Gravelle for the canadian team on Saturday with participation of Brett Hazlett. Muller Wind Sports and Rob Clarkson made nice donations that were auctioned. Yours truly (Serge) survived a scary landing Sunday during an untimely gust front, downtube broken. The group from Saskatchewan is here for the week, including Cas Wolan. One visitor from New-Zealand also. We finally get some serious rain today to abate the dust. 22 July: Rather cloudy weekend. Muller Windsports have brought nineteen new fledglings paragliders for their first high flights. Visitors are becoming more numerous. 29 July: The paragliding national commence in a beautiful blue sky, read Nicole's Blogs . The Willi cross-country challenge is coming soon.
1 June: Visitors come with the sun and since the Lookout is open. Will Gadd came back from a 30 km out and return to land at the Lookout. Another went under reserve south of Parson after venturing too much into the lee side. Safe and sound, he climbed 1.5 h to the small peak and relaunched. It turned nice in the evening.
May 2007 7 May: The road was plowed last week, sponsored by the tandem pilots. However, not quite ready for showtime as you see. Give it a couple of weeks. 14 May: The 9k (lower) launch is accessible now and the summer is on! Last half: gives a few good days for cross country flights as shown in my provincial ranking. Scott Watwood in tandem with Sam (québécois) landed in Fairmont on the 29 while I did an out and return to Spilli. Magali, a newcomer, went to Parson on the 30, while I experienced an electric fenced landing in Horse Creek. That bailout field is now to avoid of course because these fences make it really too small to land safely. In spite of the snow left, the Lookout can be considered open since four days of sun are forecasted.
April 2007 12 April: Melting, melting and there, the first Spring flights. Paragliders Dan, Hugo, Scott, J.-P. and more already went off cross country even: Briso, Spilli... The longest being by Dan, landing yesterday at the Invermere airport, about 100 km. The road is drivable up to the 8 km and could be open to the Lookout next week. 14 April: After verification, the road is challenging, snowy and muddy at places. It was plowed all winter for tree harvesting. Higher? At least a metre of snow, quite hard still, since it doesn't melt fast in altitude. The 9 km takeoff is clear though, if you're willing to walk. 24 April: Yesterday was nice and sunny. Scott took off from the expert 5k launch. First north to Willowbank then south to Edgewater. One hundred thirty-five km, he estimates. "Up to cloud base of 11,700'. It was tiring with violent lift out there." he reports.
December 2006 Good snow falls this year. And it's already time to wish merry Christmas and happy new year. Some take advantage of the rare nice weather to go for a little flight. Here J.-P. and Dan satisfied after a flight from the summit (helicopter transport to the takeoff).
November 2006 Well, since the snow fall and fall again during the first week, put the wing away seems like the thing to do. The mount 7 road is already too snowed in for the car. It looks great for the ski and snowmobile... and avalanches!
October 2006 Sunday morning free flight aplenty and Glass Off finalization. Greg Leslie, a well known veteran, won the target competition, I'm told. Very good conditions in the afternoon when I find myself alone during set up and in flight. All gone already. Air is cold... Incredible, nice weather come back again for Thanksgiving weekend. Very nice flights and even a cross country! Several short flights the following week in a superb weather. Clouds and rain since mid-october. Cold and snow fell upon us, the last week.
September 2006 Good start for the month with a nice sunny week end during the rodéo. The decidedly stable air makes long flights difficult. Scott takes a paraplegic in tandem, helped by Peter and Hugo at the take off. Weather keeps good during week ends and so the forecast for the first Golden Glassoff, a costume and target landing competition, on saturday 30. Saturday was too windy for paragliders and most hang gliders. Thirty participants, a good portion in costumes, did appreciate the supper, and the following party.
August 2006 Less good weather the first week. Perfect to cool off and keep the dust down. And good weather comes back for the Willi (read more). A paraglider needed rescue on Pagliaro's plateau. Lucky a 4 meters tree slow him down, scraped his face, scrapped his glider. South takeoff was modified by and for paragliders. An Emu was found on mt 7, and rescued. Several hang/paragliders from Calgary and elsewhere come in the week ends with this nice weather. The tandem instructors decided to do some mountain cross country camping flights together for pleasure alone. Nice weather comes back for the last week end. Must know how to climb in thermals. Some good distances, of which one landed in Lake Louise. Janet adopt the dog wandering at the LZ. If you know its owner, tell us.
July 2006 Good weather continues during Canada day weekend and fills up the Lookout with hang glider and paraglider pilots, and mountain bikers. An american ("Spike") was here but not in best weather. I suffered an attack from hawks in flight: more patches on my wing. Second week is rainy enough for a respite. The Willi cross country challenge is coming. Great flying weather during the mountain bike race week end attracted many. Good weather continues while Bruno Berti, the national paragliding champion 2006, travels through, a hang gliding group from Saskatchewan camp in town and Will Gadd do some cross country. Uncertain weather during the last week did cause special conditions, wednesday and saturday especially. A hang glider pilot landed poorly and sprained an ankle, in a cross country flight.
June 2006 A bit rainy and windy start. Some good days. Tandem season is on. The nationals hang gliding in Vulcan being cancelled, Doug Keller directs it at mount 7 at the last minute, June 18 to 24. Brett Hazlett made the task on Sunday and everybody else went for the LZ and the second place. Monday was rain. Tuesday cleared early enough to call a task and most had a good start. Read more and photos...
May 2006 The lower launch, the one at 9 km, is now accessible. Good weather this third week. Fun every day! The Lookout is open on the 21st. And then rain.
April 2006 Some pilots couldn't wait for the road to dry out any more. They reinstated a former launch. Scott demonstrates. Spring sun is so pleasant. Beware though, the air is active!
November 2005 One nice sunny day brought three of us in the cold air. Otherwise, low clouds, lack of sun, snow prevents flights. Most wings are tucked for the winter.
October 2005 Weather keeps rather foggy and cloudy, sometimes rainy. Snow starts to accumulate on the peaks. Some rare but welcomed flights in ridge lift and weak thermals.
September 2005 Quiet month so far. Weather rather uncertain if not rainy. Still, the last two week ends were sunny enough and several Calgarians came by for at least a flight.
August 2005 Check the results of the Willi Muller cross country challenge. We were blessed with good weather. I personally recorded 21 flying days.
July 2005 The Muller flight park (Nicholson landing zone) open officially as part of the eco-adventure ranch. Vincene Muller did cut the ribbon. See Landing Zone section. A reminder of the Willi Muller cross country challenge at the end of the month (this week). Reminder also about the Session 7 shuttle up from reflection lake.
June 2005 Weather keeps cloudy and stormy during all month. The road was repaired. The grass grew.
May 2005 The lower launch is now accessible. Too much snow left above 12 km to reach the Lookout. Garth and Annelies stopped for a short flight returning from Chris Muller memorial. We all mourn the early departure of our skillful, most daring and loving pilot. Mid-May the road is practically open to the Lookout. Four gorgeous days end of May.
April 2005 Snow and ice on the road are melting. Patches of soft granulous snow, mud, and hard icy snow makes the climb hard. Must be 4wd. Weather ain't so good yet.
March 2005 The low season for forestry work leads to an increased flying activity on the mountain. Still spotty days.
October 2004 The weather improved a little. Only a few good spotty days so far though. Check the forecast before coming to fly. It's dark at 7:00 PM and days shorten fast.
September 2004 The atmosphere is now in rainy and cloudy mode most of the time in here. As usual for this season, check the forecast before coming to fly. ~ Read the new tree rescue page.
August 2004 Weather was good but challenging during the Willi cross country challenge 2004. Check the results and more. ~ Well, it's rain, clouds and rain for the last half of the month. Let's hope for the return of the sun before automn and the first snow!
July 2004 Session 7 shuttle with a small bus from Reflection lake to mount 7. It carries up to 6 passengers and mountain bikes. Also open to tourists and paragliders. ~ The Willi cross country challenge brings many visitors. ~ Fields problems: read carefully the Cross country flights and Etiquette sections before going in distance.
End of June 2004 Summer and sunny hot weather are here together. Great conditions. Regular calgarian pilots, well, start coming regularly. Already some good cross country distances reported. A field in Edgewater is now to avoid. Read the sections Cross country flights and Etiquette carefully before doing distance flights.
End of May 2004 The cloudy and sometimes rainy weather did maintain and continue. It's typical in the Spring. One must be watching the atmospheric conditions more closely.
Mid–May 2004 After two weeks of clouds, rain, snow in altitude, the sun returns. The Lookout is now accessible for all. Take-off areas were cleared of all tree regrowth and of many bushes. The landing zone owners now request to sign a waiver, in addition to the HPAC membership.
April 2004 The road to the lookout was cleared of snow but the paragliders blocked access to it with a cable. There's a need for more hang glider pilots, here! Fortunately, the Spring-efficient lower launch was accessible and I had a great season start with 7 hours 30 min. total airtime and a flight to Brisco, all during the last week. Paragliders had some good flights too, and earlier in the month. Improvements at the landing so far: graveled parking, fence open and no horse.
March 2004 The snow melt in the valley and good South wind days brought a few paragliders back to life at the gravel pit. A few hours of airtime claimed in total.
December 2003 Apart from more snow and lower sun, the Nicholson LZ property changed hand. The new owners plan to develop it as an eco-adventure ranch including a flight park. Maintenance and convenience should improve. Merry Christmas and happy new year 2004!
2003 November 9 Snow falling and low clouds. The early sunset, the road, the weather preclude good free flights. All hang gliders and most paragliders are tucked in for the winter. Time to cultivate your knowledge. Time to travel South.
2003 October 9 We just had 11 great sunny days. Conditions were very pleasant although marginal.
2003 September 9 The recent rain announces the start of wet season and the end of the forest fires. Access to the backcountry, and mount 7, is open. Let's now wish for some sun. Check weather forecasts before coming.
Road to launch
Road to landing zone
Flying mount 7
Cross country flights
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