Cawston (Keremeos) - Updated Aug 15th 2015

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Cawston (Keremeos) - Updated Aug 15th 2015

Postby siteguide » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:38 pm

Site Name: Cawston: A DESIGNATED XC SITE ONLY. -
- SOAR Website:

Updated Aug 12th 2015: The main LZ (hayfield ) for Cawston is closed indefinitely. See below.

This is a Hyper-Sensitive Site where expert flying skills AND supervision are required.

One of the best XC sites in the area.

Peter Ehlers Cell: 250-462-0794
Peter Rasmussen 250-485-4044 Cell: 250-462-4270
Jeff Cook Hm: 250-497-5623 Cell: 250-809-8836

Direction of Launch: W- SW . . . . Site suitable for: HG & PG
Type of Site: Mountain . . . . . . . . Type of flying: Thermal & ridge soaring.
Elevation Launch: 4700' asl . . . . GPS: 49°11'3.74"N 119°41'21.95"W
Elevation LZ: LZ 1200' asl . . . . . . GPS LZ: N
Do Not Land: west of Hwy 3. . . . . GPS No: 49°09'46.1 N 119°44''29.6 W
Site Regulation: Formal . . . . . . . . Cross Country potential: Very Good
Location: Between Oliver and Keremeos. - South Okanagan Valley British Columbia Canada

Flying season: Assign value 0 1 2 3, or 4 (4 Highest):
Late Spring: 4 . . . . . Summer: 3 . . . . . Fall: 2 . . . . . Winter: 0

Ratings Recommendations:
Mild conditions: PG Int - Hg -Int . . . . . Moderate conditions: Int . . . . . Strong: conditions: HG & PG: Adv.

Vehicle Requirements: Rugged 2WD

Description of launch:
The "new" launch can hard to find. Go with a local.
Hang Gliding launch is right alongside a Power Line.
Paragliders launch just south of this on a flatter slope.

Launch Road Name & Directions: Contact Local Pilots.
No information is provided for finding the site as the Native Reservation rules are "visiting pilots guests must accompany club members only."

Times to Fly
Early Afternoon to mid to Late afternoon.
Evening flights are ill advised - it is sometimes hard to get down.

Soaring Information and Weather Notes:
For your HAGAR Canadian Airspace information, see: ... space.html

Canada Rasp:

Cawston RASP (focused on Ripleys) thanks to TJ Olney:
Smart Phone Small Convergence RASP Loop for the South Okanagan thanks to TJ Olney.

You don't get Cloud Suck here. You get Ground Push. It's called the Cawston Blast Off.
It can be a very nice site but other times it can become a scary site.
Cawston launch is leeside behind a ridge on the south side (like a box canyon) that gives you light and variable winds on launch.
You can take off expecting a nice light day, fly forward a kilometer and find yourself in lift rising in front of the headwall with no down air at all to be found and with wind and lift increasing as you rise and / or descend while try to escape.
If you are high, the BEST option is to fly to the Osoyoos Airport.
It is a wide open valley, facing down an independent valley, so winds there are entirely different.

Flying after 5:00 PM is asking for it.
The Cawston Valley stretches all the way south into Oregon and a windstorm or Thunderstorm hundreds of miles away can strike with insurmountable winds without warning.
Pilots flying east from Hedley can encounter this headwall effect
- with the additional hazard that light winds at Hedley can rise to "sounds like a freight train" with little or no warning at all.

No glass offs here: its BLAST OFF, and it can be extremely frightening.
Watch closely while flying:
i. If it switches southerly on a westerly day, look out!
ii. If your mind says, hmmm those trees down there look kinda bent over, look out!
iii. If you descend through shear, look out!
iv. Running down wind to escape is VERY ILL ADVISED.
The BEST place to land in the valley in extreme conditions was the LZ on the Indian Reservation (now lost again.)

Description of LZ:
IMPORTANT Contact local pilots before flying this site. It was lost once for a number of years and is threatened again.
The landowner has made it very clear to us that we may be shutdown permanently if anyone flies here with out a local pilot present:
- one who knows the proper protocol for landing in the designated field for the day.
If you cannot find a local pilot to fly with, then please Do Not fly here.

Local pilots recently acquired permission to land elsewhere.
- Unknown if this is suitable for Hang Gliders.

Note again that the primary LZ always has been down wind, over the top of the Mt at the Oliver Airport.

1. In the large fields on the road up. This is INDIAN RESERVE. Pilots are NOT WELCOME.
2. In the huge field in the valley bottom west of Highway #3 south of Cawston.

Landing Road Name and Direction:
Alt LZ for XC flights is the Oliver Airport. HG & PG should be well aware of this and be alert and watchful for Aircraft.
Below 2000' stay on the West side of the Runway. DO NOT cross to the East side of the Runway.
Hang Gliders set up on the west side of the airport and land on the grass strip South of the airport office.
Planes set up on the East side of the airport and land on the runway.
OBSERVE THESE RULES so HG & PG may continue in this already sensitive area.

Other Information:
CYA (H) - Otherwise Class E Airspace above 2200' AGL.
See Canadian Airspace at: ... space.html

FIC Advanced Weather Briefing and HAGAR Notification: 1-866-WXBRIEF (1-866-992-7433)
French service: 1-866-GOMETEO (1-866-466-3836)

Radio Frequency: 123.4 Mhz (Aircraft) & 173.640 Mhz, Family Radio Band, Local Club: 146.415


The airspace within the area bounded by a line beginning at:
N49°14'15.00" W119°46'30.00" to N49°14'15.00" W119°36'45.00" to
N49°12'10.59" W119°36'45.00" thence counter-clockwise along the arc of a circle of
3 miles radius centred on
N49°10'24.00" W119°33'04.00" to N49°08'37.52" W119°36'45.00" to
N49°01'55.00" W119°40'45.00" to N49°14'15.00" W119°46'30.00" point of beginning
Designated Altitude – Surface to 5000´
Time of Designation – Cont daylight
Operating Procedures – The rules for Class G airspace apply when the area is active. When not active, the rules for the applicable surrounding airspace apply.

Keremeous means valley of the winds:
It's great in light or west conditions but South winds hit the headwall and the lift band can be everywhere.
There can be no way to get down. (In S & E winds fly at Kobau. In Nth winds fly at Ripleys. Strong W winds fly at Anarchist.)
If you fly XC west towards Hedly, any "outhouse" you see in fields or hidden in clumps of trees is actually a pumphouse
- and has Long UNMARKED POWER LINES strung from the highway, often with no power poles to warn you.

Do no fly below 1500' AGL over the Radio Telescope facility.

Pilots traveling to Chelan should drive south from Nighthawk Border Station west of Osoyoos to check out the magnificent XC route and scenery.

Keremeos Hotels etc:

Inexpensive Motels:

There are several BC Recreation Camping Sites nearby:
The Ripley Lake Forestry Rec campsites at the west, north, and east sides of the lake, 200 m from Ripley's launch (half way back to Oliver on the Oliver - Cawston Rd.) are very nice.

Site Record(s): Altitude Gain: 11,999 Duration: Overnight (forced! see above.) Open Distance:: to Rock Creek +
Dog Leg: Vaseau lake to Oliver. Out & Return: Hedley Triangle: Vaseau lake to Anarchist, Race to Goal: Rock Creek.

Primary Contacts:
SOSC Group on the Line App
HG: Peter Ehlers Tel: 250-496-5235 Cell: 250-462-0794
H&P: Peter Rasmussen 250-485-4044 Cell: 250-462-4270
H&P: Jeff Cook Tel: 250-809-8836 Cell: 250-809-8836

1. Upper Launch
2. Looking west towards Keremeos and Hedley.
3. Looking south towards Nighthawk Station (USA Border) from above Cawston.
CawstonTo.jpg (147.19 KiB) Viewed 4894 times
CawstonPgTo.jpg (99.69 KiB) Viewed 5488 times
CawstonSthView.jpg (77.91 KiB) Viewed 5745 times
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