Flying conditions on the Ridge are best in the spring and fall. Weather forecasts that include thermal activity, winds from 280º - 320º, and 10+ knots of wind are likely to lead to good flying conditions. However, weather conditions can change quickly on the Ridge. Good sources for detailed weather information for the area include Dr. Jack, nullschool, and Windytv.The two most popular airports to launch from to fly the ridge are Ridge Soaring Gliderport and Mifflin Airport. The Ridge Soaring Gliderport is a private-use gliderport. Detailed information about the airport location can be found here. A dual flight is required in order to fly at this location, which can be arranged through renting a club training glider with an experienced instructor. After a check flight in the area, tows can be taken with individual or club gliders. To see flights originating from Ridge Soaring Gliderport, click here. The Mifflin Airport is a public airport, out of which the Mifflin Soaring Association operates. However, outside of competitions, there are no club operations and no gliders are available to rent. Contact the Mifflin Soaring Association directly to arrange a tow. To see flights originating from Mifflin, click here. Both the Ridge Soaring Gliderport and the Mifflin Airport have club houses and bunk beds available to rent, with motels located near the Mifflin Airport.
Pilots and guests are welcome to camp on the airfield free of charge, with water available but no power. The campground also has a cookshack which is the centre of soaring camp activities. The camps are entirely a voluntary effort, and everyone on hand is expected to help out in some respect such as taking a shift as time-keeper or field manager out on the flightline. Motel and hotel accommodation is also found nearby. For fly-in visitors, there is avgas available at the nearby Pincher Creek airport and emergency avgas is available (in drums) on the airfield. There is a camp registration fee of $15. Tow tickets are $30 for each 2000 feet of tow and a $15 "wimpy" sticker may be added to the ticket for an additional 1000 feet. Oxygen is available on-site.
The Alberta Soaring Council runs two major soaring camps at the airfield. The Cowley Summer Camp starts on a Saturday and runs for 10 days ending the Monday of the August long weekend. The Summer Camp is the largest annual soaring event in Canada. Pilots and families are most welcome with free camping at the airfield campground. On a historical average, wave can be expected on 30% of the days. The Cowley Fall Camp starts on a Saturday and runs for 10 days ending the Monday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, which is usually the second weekend of October. At this time of year, this is not a family camping affair except for the hardy – visitors often choose motels in nearby Pincher Creek. The weather is highly variable and at the airfield elevation of 3900 feet prone to freezing at night and a fair chance of the first snowfall of the year. At times the camp has been cancelled at the last minute due to a bad weather forecast, so check ahead by e-mailing the Alberta Soaring Council office before committing to the trip.To see flights originating from the Cowley Camp, click here. For more information, visit the Alberta Soaring Council website.
The Lake Placid Wave Camp is held each fall in upstate New York. Lake Placid offers some of the most interesting and varied flying in the northeast: mountain wave, ridge, and local mountain thermal flying are possible at this location.
Three Canadian clubs make the annual pilgrimage to Lake Placid each year to enjoy its fabulous wave flying. Pilots typically come from the Montreal Soaring Council, the Gatineau Gliding Club, and the Rideau Valley Soaring, but the camp is open to anyone interested in participating. Pilots can fly one of the many club gliders that are brought down for the duration of the camp, or bring their own glider to fly. A check ride is required to familiarize new pilots with flying at Lake Placid. Rates for flying at Lake Placid are decided directly through the participating gliding clubs.
Pilots and guests can arrange to camp directly at the airport, but a full range of accommodation options are available in the area.To see flights originating from the Lake Placid Camp, click here. For additional information on the camp, contact the Montreal Soaring Council.