XC Paragliding has access to some of the best flying sites in the Lower Mainland! We have carefully curated several sites in the Miracle Valley which offer large, open, and safe launch and landing spaces, perfect for training!
Mt. St. Benedict
This is our premier site, situated near the summit of Mt. St. Benedict and overlooking beautiful Stave Lake with fantastic views of Judge Howay and Robie Reid. Reachable either via hiking or 4×4 and keyed-gated access, Mt. St. Benedict is where you will develop your soaring skills and fly with the eagles.
The take-off is large and ideally situated near a known “house thermal” at 1080m, which means when you take off you are likely to go up straight away, maximizing your chances of reaching heights of almost 2000m and getting stunning views of Stave Lake to the north and Mt. Baker to the south. On the right day you can see Vancouver in the distance as well as the glint of the Pacific Ocean!
The landing zone is a short distance away and *huge*, easy to land in, and a short (10 minute) walk to the Cascade Falls Regional Park parking lot. In the fall you can often watch the local wildlife snacking away on the berries as you come in to land!
From Mt. St. Benedict you can fly XC west to Mission, Pitt Meadows, or Maple Ridge, although most XC flights are to the east or south to Agassiz, Chilliwack, or Hope. From Mt. St. Benedict you can easily fly to other paragliding sites such as Little Nic, Woodside, or Bridal Falls. 50km FAI triangles are possible from this site, and open distance flights of 100+km are possible!
Al Thielmann, owner of XC Paragliding, is currently the only pilot to launch from Mt. St. Benedict and fly north to Pemberton, a distance of almost 150 km and over spectacular terrain! Click here for his amazing track log!
Mt. St. Benedict sits inside the local CYA136 which has a ceiling of 6000′. Please see the Canadian Airspace Viewer for more information if you would like to fly outside the CYA.
There is restricted airspace over the Mission Institution Correctional Facility. Please do not overfly the prison. You must be over 1500′ when in the vicinity. Please see the above link for information on the location of CYR140.
The road up is currently gated with key access only, please contact us for details. Note that due to its elevation, the upper part of the road is likely to be snowed-in and inaccessible via 4×4 until late spring or early summer.
Club Tread has a good article on how to reach the summit.
Lower Mt. St. Benedict:
Because the upper take-off at Mt. St. Benedict is so high and tends to be snowed-in until early summer, we’ve created a NEW lower launch on the same mountain so pilots can fly the mountain earlier in the season! Brand-new since May 2018, Lower Mt. St. Benedict boasts a quick turnaround for student training and epic views of the Miracle Valley and Stave Lake. The main LZ is an easy glide away and visible from the take-off. The take-off is still being perfected but when completed should easily handle three gliders at a time.
XC Paragliding’s exclusive brand-new site, designed for beginner paraglider pilots looking to gain experience and airtime, as well as experienced pilots looking to test their low-save skills!
Dewdney Bench sits at 340m and faces directly into the prevailing wind. This geography, along with the huge setup space, large, safe takeoff, and easily visible landing zone, makes this site ideal for student training. The drive up is short which means we can get YOU more laps and get your launching and landing skills dialed!
Because the launch elevation is so low and less prone to snow, this site will be usable for the majority of the year. No more waiting for the higher sites to melt out, you can fly year round!
Dewdney Bench sits inside the local CYA136 which has a ceiling of 6000′. Please see the Canadian Airspace Viewer for more information if you would like to fly outside the CYA.
The road up is currently gated and access is private to XC Paragliding customers only.
Details to come!