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Tourism for Mount Seven

Traveler briefing for Mount 7 and Golden

aimed to hang gliding and paragliding pilots in particular

mount Seven and Golden


Access road
Aerological conditions
Peak time
General hang outs & meeting places
Important small print
Maintenance fund
Places to stay
Facilities, services & activities
Notes on Hospital
Flying Equipment
Nearest city
Transportation routes

[...] 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
Earlier is somewhat radical and launches inaccessible due to snow. Later, launches get inaccessible due to ice and snow; only sledders (snowmobiles) can go.
Local paragliders rides snowmobiles in the winter. In April, they also drive to the 7 km point, which melts early because of the sun exposure, and walk a trail to the lower launch.
Note that the Kicking Horse Resort allow access to experienced paragliders. Contact the appropriate local pilots beforehand. However, the conditions proved to be rarely suitable at the resort.

Access road

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.
Late May is awsome, if radically cold.
June can be really nice
July is arsekicking
August goes from arsekicking to glassoffs to pretty quiet, we can float about all afternoon.
September is more cloudy and windy but can be very nice. Daylight get shorter. Smoke may damper thermals.
October and November still allow simple flights before the snow accumulates.

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)
Fun relax meet with many categories to encourage cross-country flights. Prizes. It is basically on the annual "to be there list" of a lot of good folks and good pilots. Note that since 2013, they require a GPS emitter (such as the SPOT) to participate. Past results.
It runs normally during the week end of July beginning of August. So, the week before through the week following is peak activity time.

A list of all meets is posted on the HPAC website at

Peak time

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

Reflection lake

The municipal camground ~ The Nicholson LZ ~ The parking/picnic area between Reflection Lake and the gravel pit.

Important small print

To fly the site you must be have pilot insurance.
For Canadian pilots, this means full HPAC membership
For US pilots as for everyone else, the temporary Out-of-Country HPAC membership is the rule. The forms are available online at
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.

We have an emergency fund known as the Contingency Fund. It is principally setup to cover helicopter rescue costs. You can join in for $25. Rescue charges in BC have been from $2000 to $5000.


shirt mt7 01, back. $30.
shirt mt7 02, back. $30.
shirt girly sizes. Also in red, army, blue. $15.
shirt natural, ash, also steel. $15.
long sleeves steel, sand. $20.
Limited quantities. Sizes adults except girly. Child sizes possible. Simple black design can be added to your own shirt for $5.

If necessary, membership & Contingency Fund can be arranged by:

  • Serge:
    Serge is a hang glider (and paraglider). He knows the whole scene thoroughly. He also speaks French and English.
  • Scott:
    Scott is a paraglider and a BASE jumper. He is the most involved with managing mt 7, since 2006.
  • The LZ office employee. The LZ owners want to make sure everyone landing there is covered by insurance and legit. They also have their own waiver.

Maintenance fund

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 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:


  • The municipal campground
    This is where many groups and travelers stay, to the point that reservations are recommended from mid-July to mid-August. Close to town, to the swimming pool, and mount Seven. Bicycles are handy.

  • Sander Lake Campground
    Probably a nicer campground, located on the bench west of the Nicholson LZ, but you definitely need a vehicle. It is much quieter (no trains) than the municipal campground. Also near popular mountain bike trails.
    Bernie Sander:

  • Eco-Adventure Ranch camp sites
    Perfect for the free flight pilot, located next to the Nicholson LZ.
    Showers, laundry room, internet.

  • There are known wild camping spots close by.

  • Kicking Horse River Lodge 801 - 9th street north, by the river.
    Dorm room, private rooms, cafeteria, kitchen, laundry room, internet.

  • Dreamcatcher Hostel 528 9th ave n.
    Large parking, dorm room, private rooms, laundry, internet.
    Gerald Wagner and Abi Marsh

  • Kicking Horse Hostel on Station Avenue
    Just next to the rail track.

  • Cabin on the bench south of Nicholson. 2 night minimum stay in summer. Breakfast supplies included.
    Stan and Olive Stobbe:

  • Cabin on the Columbia about 15 km south of Nicholson
    Perfect for family of four. Children stay free. Kitchen.
    Breakfast included. Kayaks for rent. Reserve well in advance.

  • Applewood Farm Hostel, 991 Highway 95 South
    Down market. Just a bit south on highway 95. Also fruits and vegetable stand open until 6 pm.


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.

Cozy spots
  • Country Comfort Bed & Breakfast
    Located right in town.
    Wendell & Shari Lu Johnston:

  • Kapristo Lodge Bed & Breakfast
    1297 Campbell road, at the foot of the mountains.
    Roswitha and Willy Ferstl:

  • Timber Inn
    3483 Highway 95 - Parson, 35 km south. European style country inn. Rooms, cabins, restaurant.
    Landing possible close by.
    Operated by 0771367 B.C. LTD:

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

Swimming pool
Hockey arena
Curling arena
18 hole golf course
Ski area
Hikes around
Mountain bike trails
Bike shuttle on mount 7? - ask bike stores
Fishing guide
Visits of the Bison (aka buffalo) ranch
Movie theatre

Library (internet available)
Electronic stores
Clothing and snowboard shop
General sporting goods store
Bike specialists
Massage therapists
Medical clinic
Dental clinics
Ambulance service
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Columbia Valley Credit Union
Mobile phone - good coverage

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.

road map

Flying Equipment

Muller Windsports
Vincene Muller
Cochrane, Alberta
They deal Wills Wing and Apco, but have a lot of stock of all sorts of things. They can repair most, if not all, flight equipment. Cochrane is 30 min. west of Calgary, so is 2.5 hours from Golden.

Nearest city

Calgary, Alberta, 3 hours east on highway 1. International airport.

Transportation routes

Trans-Canada highway (highway 1) west-east and highway 95 south to Cranbrook, and across the border to the US at Kingsgate
Regular bus schedules operates on both routes.
Local depot.

See you in the air!
- Serge.

Former text by the late Peter Bowle-Evans , January 2000
Former Golden Flying site Development Manager - mount 7

All updates by yours truly at
Most recent update: May 2012.

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