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Avalanche Awareness Days 2018

Wed, 17th Jan 2018  /  By Vince Shuley
Avalanche awareness days Whistler Rockies

Avalanche Canada's annual Avalanche Awareness Days are back for 2018! This series of events take place at ski resorts across Canada to promote safety and knowledge in the winter backcountry. As an avalanche educator and guiding outfitter, Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures will again be participating both in Whistler and the Rockies this year. Here's a list of events going on this weekend. Kananaskis Country, AB - January 21 For those of you residing in Banff, Canmore, Calgary or surrounding areas, Alberta Parks is organizing a free event at Burstall Pass Day Use Area in Kananaskis Country on Sunday, January 21 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. MSAA guides will be o...

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Enjoying the Outdoors During Extreme Fire Danger

Fri, 21st Jul 2017  /  By Vince Shuley
Outdoors hiking camping Fire danger

You've probably been hearing about wildfires sweeping through British Columbia this month. According to BC Wildfire, as of today (July 20, 2017) a total of 152 wildfires are currently burning across the province. Emergency services have responded to 688 fires since April 1, which have burned an estimated 405,000 hectares of land. The cost to control these blazes has run up to $111.9 million, which doesn't include any of the costs to the province for dealing with the fallout such as housing the approximately 42,000 displaced B.C. residents. While most of the wildfires are in the Cariboo and Kamloops Fire Centres, the danger rating is between Moderate and Extreme for most o...

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MSAA to partner with Whistler Hiatus as official guiding bureau

Mon, 26th Jun 2017  /  By Vince Shuley
hiking Whistler hiatus

Whistler and the surrounding Sea to Sky Corridor is one of the most beautiful areas to hike in Canada. Through a new partnership, Whistler Hiatus and Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures (MSAA) are here to help you get the most out of your summer hiking season. Trails permeate these valleys in all directions, from low-lying forested walks to all-day and multi-day expeditions into alpine elevations. There are natural attractions such as waterfalls, lakes and old growth trees that date back over a thousand years. There are man-made attractions too, like suspension bridges over gushing rivers, abandoned logging camps and even the remnants of a decades-old train derail...

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Ice climbing with MSAA featured on FlightNetwork

Mon, 20th Mar 2017  /  By Vince Shuley
Intro To Ice Climbing Canadian Rockies

The 2016/17 winter has been an amazing season for ice climbing. Consistently cold temperatures lingered in December and early January, freezing many of the waterfall features in the Sea to Sky and opening up a few routes that had not seen the swing of an axe in quite a few years. For MSAA, this has meant many more ice climbing trips going out at all levels, from kids and families safely trying it out on top rope belay to clients looking to achieve their own first ascent. [caption id="attachment_2426" align="alignnone" width="550"] Ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies[/caption] Our lead guide and owner Eric Dumerac recently wrote an article for FlightNetwork.com t...

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Making Sense of the January 11 Viral Avalanche Video

Fri, 13th Jan 2017  /  By Vince Shuley

By now you’ve probably seen the viral avalanche video of Australian Tom Oye’s avalanche in Chocolate Bowl in the Brandywine area south of Whistler on January 11. The video not only received tens of thousands shares and millions of views, but also made news headlines on Australian television. It serves as a stark reminder that avalanches can occur when the danger rating is forecasted at the “Moderate” level. There’s a lot of questions left unanswered on why this avalanche occurred, so Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures owner and lead guide Eric Dumerac (IFMGA mountain guide, CAA professional member) has weighed in with an analysis on what happened, why it ...

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Iron, Rock, Snow and Ice – 2016 in Review

Thu, 22nd Dec 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
2016 in review

What a year it has been for us here at Mountain Skills Academy! In case you don’t keep up with our updates on our Facebook page and Instagram feed (you definitely should), we’ve had some standout moments in 2016. From ski touring in the backcountry, scaling rock and waterfalls, to hiking on snow and dirt trails, our guides are proud to have introduced hundreds of guests to the outdoors and shown many more what is possible when pushing their limits in the mountains. Here's a few of the highlights of our 2016 in review.   A strong start The 2015/16 season began with a bang (ok, not quite as good as this season but still pretty good) setting up ideal snowp...

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Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day 2016 in Pictures

Thu, 24th Nov 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
opening day 2016

Opening Day 2016 - the gates have officially parted. Whistler Blackcomb fired up its lifts on Whistler Mountain this morning to the delight of thousands of shred-ready skiers and snowboarders. Some participated in the The North Face's overnight basecamp event in Skier's Plaza, others rose early and stumbled into line before the sun came up. With 26cms of snow overnight, the early birds were rewarded with more than a few face shots. Despite the great snow for opening day and more in the forecast, conditions are still very much early season. Venturing off piste can yield some great pow turns, but usually ends with cross ditch or creek crossing. Small trees are not c...

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Avalanche Awareness Days 2016

Tue, 12th Jan 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
Avalanche Awareness Days 2016

This weekend (January 16-17) marks Avalanche Canada's annual Avalanche Awareness Days, a series of events at ski resorts across Canada to promote safety in the backcountry. As guides and avalanche educators ourselves, Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures will be participating both in Whistler and the Rockies this year. Here's a list of events going on this weekend. Burstall Pass Day Use Area, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, AB (January 17) For those of you in Banff, Canmore, Calgary or surrounding areas, Alberta Parks is organizing an information session at Burstall Pass Day Use Area in Kananaskis Country on Sunday, January 17 from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. MSA guide ...

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The new face of Whistler Alpine Guides – MSAA

Thu, 17th Dec 2015  /  By Vince Shuley

Locals to Whistler and the Sea to Sky Corridor may have noticed that the Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau – a staple of the Whistler guiding community for many years – is now branded under the Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures (MSAA) family. The move came from MSAA owner and lead guide Eric Dumerac after he worked extensively in the European Alps and the Canadian Rockies and wanted to grow his business towards the Coast Mountains. I sat down with Eric recently for an interview about where he has come from and where he wants to take MSAA in the future. Then and now Vince: Why the move to the Coast and why did you choose to purchase Whistler Alpine Guides? Er...

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UPDATED: Getting the Goods on Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day

Fri, 13th Nov 2015  /  By Vince Shuley
Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day 2015

There's nothing that quite gets the locals talking like Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day. After a turbulent early winter snowfall, the weather this week looks be building a decent base for the season's first shred. It's official, Whistler Mountain opens one day early on Wednesday, November 23. In order for you to get the most out of the Opening Day festivities, we've compiled a list of equipment, strategies and tips for how to get the most of winter's official kickoff in Whistler. [caption id="attachment_2523" align="alignnone" width="710"] The SKIRAD app gives skiers and snowboarders convenient tools and exercises to avoid on-mountain injuries[/caption] Ready yo...

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