Traveler briefing for Mount 7 and Golden
aimed to hang gliding and paragliding pilots in particular
[...] I have flown in just about everything, with all kinds of pilots in all parts of the world — British, French, Pakistani, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese — and there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between any of them except for one unchanging, certain fact: the best, most skillful pilot has the most experience. [...]
- Chuck Yeager, in source not found yet, 19--.
May to October
was upgraded to 2wd in 2000. More about it on the main page.
Conditions (in very general)
Of course, conditions will depend on the weather. It varies significantly from year to year. However, general patterns are recurring. Late autumn and winter are very cloudy. Spring, when the valleys are dry and the mountains still frozen, is often sunny. When the peaks are melting, strong thermals mix with strong sink for very challenging conditions, dangerous at times, for paragliders especially. Rain is common then. Middle and late summer is drier and sometimes, sunny weather locks in place for weeks. The temperature depends on the amount of sun and varies by 10°C to 20°C between night and day. Thermals become milder and more predictable then, although quite strong. Later in the year, the daily thermal period shortens rapidly and the lift strength weakens.
April starts nicely. Harder to climb high and go cross-country.
This is a thermal site, an afternoon site, and a cross-country site. 1000 fpm (5 m/s) is quite normal, up to 2500 fpm (13 m/s) is perfectly common. PGs do get all sorts of collapses at these times. Evenings can be very smooth, and glass-offs are common some years.
Cross country flights - to the south most common. 100 km flights relatively common. Good LZs, though there are some restrictions and rules. See cross-country section of the main page and locals can fill you in if there are recent changes. Return is straightforward as there is only one highway; very basic hitchhiking if you do not have retrieval arranged (the bus comes from Radium after 8:30 pm). To the north is more challenging and less distance to travel.
Days are long at the end of June - daylight 5:00 am to about 11:00 pm. August closes in fast. 7:00 am to 8:00 pm by last week of August. If you are over mount Seven at say 9500 ft (3000 m) ASL in glass-off at 8:00 pm August 23, it will be DARK by the time you have struggled down to the valley bottom at 2600 ft (800 m) ASL to land.
Willi Muller cross-country challenge aka Willi (HG and PG)
Mid-July to mid-August is the peak time, especially the last week of July to first week of August. There are lots of pilots here, flying at all times of the day, rides up to launch are quite easy to arrange, advice for new visitors is plentiful.
General hang outs & meeting places
The municipal camground ~ The Nicholson LZ ~ The parking/picnic area between Reflection Lake and the gravel pit.
Waivers are becoming a norm - be prepared to be asked to read and sign one. The owners of the Nicholson landing zone have their own waiver you will have to sign. It's posted online . You can print it, sign it, and mail it in advance.
shirt mt7 01,
If necessary, membership & Contingency Fund can be arranged by:
Profits from sale of shirts go to the site fund. I am particularly thinking about improvements of the north ground. I have a couple of designed shirts for sale. Contact me (Serge) at email@example.com to order or buy in person. Some items could also possibly be found at the landing zone's office/store. Plain donations are also gratefully accepted, of course. You can donate right now, online, with Paypal:
Places to stay, three categories:
Range is from 4-Star hotels - the Prestige Inn and Best Western Hotel, to some very motelly sort of motels and some very pleasant and more personal bed and breakfast places.
These people seems to like their work and outdo themselves in the kitchen. Try them and tell us how good they are.
There are dozens, lets just mention three in the central area of town. They have the convenience of being easy walking distance of everything that you need. The others are mostly along the TransCanada highway.
Golden is a town of about 3500 persons, with another 3500 living in the surrounding rural area that relate to Golden. All kinds of outdoor activities abound: climbing, hiking, mountain biking, motocross, white water rafting and kayaking, hunting in seasons, fishing, archery range, shooting range, canoeing, bird watching, and all kinds of skiing and snowmobile rides in winter. Not forgetting hang gliding and paragliding! There are lakes and sloughs to go swimming in or just relax at. If you have not seen mountains before, you are going to see them here.
Facilities, services & activities
Library (internet available)
Notes on Hospital
This is a small one with not too many resources, although there are some excellent doctors, who, as we are on the Trans-Canada highway, are well practiced at ghastly emergencies. With anything serious, the patient is transferred to Foothills Hospital in Calgary - by road, helicopter, or plane, as needed. They have the best of everything there.
Calgary, Alberta, 3 hours east on highway 1. International airport.
Trans-Canada highway (highway 1) west-east and highway 95 south to Cranbrook, and across the border to the US at Kingsgate
See you in the air!
Former text by the late Peter Bowle-Evans , January 2000
Former Golden Flying site Development Manager - mount 7
All updates by yours truly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most recent update: May 2012.