I found out that you could paraglide from Grouse Mountain with spectacular views of Vancouver and all the way over to Vancouver Island, as well as all the surrounding mountains, and thought I might book it. But as my time in Vancouver came to an end, I still hadn’t done it, so I began researching other places to do it.
My top pick was Golden, on the edge of the BC and Alberta border, and although it wasn’t inside a national park, the views looked pretty unparalleled, plus it would be right on our road trip route. A couple of people offer it, and I ended up booking Altitude Adventures for their second to last flight of the year. Talk about good timing!!
Being October, I was a little worried about the weather. I would be disappointed if it was cancelled, but actually I would have been more disappointed if the weather was bad and it wasn’t cancelled.
We would be driving through the surrounding national parks – through Glacier National Park to Golden, and then onwards through Yoho National Park. It stood to reason that Golden itself would be stunning.
We arrived spectacularly on time – I had almost forgotten that Golden is an hour ahead of the rest of BC, so where I would like to have spent lunch in Revelstoke, we suddenly had to get a wiggle on and get to Golden. I pulled into the car park at 2.59pm for my 3pm flight, though luckily they were waiting for their car to come back down the mountain to take us up anyway.
Thankfully, we couldn’t have actually asked for better weather. Golden had been hit by the snowstorm that hit Banff and the rest of the Rockies though, so while it was absolutely gorgeous both in the air and on the ground, the drive up the mountain to our take-off point was, well, a little covered, but incredibly scenic. This is why I was their second last flight; in winter, the mountains are impassable, and the previous week had been full of terrible weather, so I can’t really believe how well I timed the trip!
I took my camera up with us, thinking that I could use it to film the view even though we would also have a GoPro. Turns out it’s pretty cold and windy when you’re flying, so I was advised to put it away for the flight. I’m glad I took it up though, because I got some amazing photos of the view from the top.
Our take-off point! Towards THAT view!
The view in the other direction – not too shabby, either!
My guide and pilot, Hugo, had us set up in minutes, and we were ready to take off. I was really excited for the flight, but actually a bit nervous about taking off – I literally had to run off the mountain until the parachute picked us up!
It was also way colder than I expected; luckily Hugo had provided me with gloves, which would have made it even harder to operate a camera.
We circled over the mountain for a while, just taking in the views, when something totally unexpected happened. Two birds were in the distance, getting closer.
“What are those?”
“They’re eagles. I think they’re golden eagles.”
“I THOUGHT SO!! I couldn’t tell from here!”
We watched in awe as these two eagles flew right past us, mountains in the background. It was like something out of a fairytale! Totally magical, and not caught on camera, so it’ll remain a memory with me.
I would guess we were in the air for at least 15 minutes with the ground slowly closing its gap on us. I got to control the parachute too, which was pretty fun!
I had a great experience with the guys at Altitude Adventures, and if you’re looking to do something like this in Canada (especially the Rockies), then I totally recommend doing it in Golden! The whole place is beautiful.