Squamish Guides Archives -


The Psychology of Fear & Adventure

Wednesday, 10th July 2019  /  By Dan O'Keefe

When things get a little scary, they also get more fun! Up to a point. Some people have trouble knowing where that line lies, but most of us have a healthy sense of self-preservation. If you can just press yourself to move into the fear a little, you’ll probably find that you get an extra hit of adrenaline. The heightened adrenaline gives you the ability to do things you might have believed were outside your ability and helps to fix your memories more firmly.[caption id="attachment_6375" align="alignleft" width="1024"] Climbing past your fears[/caption] We are hardwired to remember events that come with an emotional kick, whether that is joy, fear, sadness, excit...


Weekender’s Guide to Summer in the Sea to Sky

Wednesday, 5th June 2019  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Mountain skill academy via ferrata Daniel-OKeefejpg

The weekend is coming up, there’s sun in the forecast, but you have no plans! What are you going to do? The Sea to Sky corridor from North Vancouver to Whistler is filled with adventures for the timid to thrill-seekers. Let’s say it’s a long weekend and you want to fill it with the most amazing, unique memories to hold you until the next long weekend. Here’s what you might get up to...[caption id="attachment_6335" align="alignleft" width="1024"] Climbing to Whistler Peak on the Via Ferrata[/caption]Day 1 - Britannia & SquamishYou’ve left Vancouver and are heading up the gorgeous Sea to Sky Highway. The first totally unique stop is at the Britanni...


5 Reasons to try Via Ferrata

Saturday, 28th July 2018  /  By Vince Shuley
via ferrata

Updated: 7/28/2018: Click here for all of our rock climbing activities: Summer has been poking her head out quite a bit recently in British Columbia, which means that hiking and climbing season is not far away. But have you ever considered a hybrid version of these two alpine activities? Via Ferrata, a form of vertical climbing assisted by metal rungs embedded in the rock, blends the two experiences seamlessly. Begin by hiking in the fresh alpine air. Clip your harness into the cable safety system. Ascend a steep rock face with the ease of climbing a ladder. Soak up the views of the surrounding mountainous terrain.At Mountain Skills Academy we are positive that you'll l...

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Canada Day Long Weekend Sale! 50% Off

Wednesday, 27th June 2018  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Whistler Sky Walk - whistler's number one family activity

For the Canada Day Sale this long weekend we are offering 50% off on 2 tours! Celebrate the grand opening of our newest tour called the Whistler Sky Walk. The Sky Walk is a hike up to and along the edge of Whistler Mountain overlooking amazing mountain and valley views. You clip into a cable to safely cross small suspended bridges and cliff-edge features. This is a stunning guided 2-3 hour hike that is great for wide range of ages and abilities.[caption id="attachment_4687" align="alignnone" width="300"] Family climbing the via ferrata in Squamish[/caption] Enjoy 50% off the Squamish Via Ferrata tour at the Sea to Sky Gondola too. The sun is out and summer is her...

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Squamish Via Ferrata OPEN + Summer Special Offers

Wednesday, 10th May 2017  /  By Vince Shuley
Squamish Via Ferrata open

After a very fruitful winter of snowshoeing, ice climbing and backcountry skiing and riding, summer is finally beginning to rear its beautiful face. And that means summer adventures are right around the corner! With the warmer weather in the Sea to Sky recently, our Squamish rock climbing courses and adventures are already in motion in the lower parts of the valley. But our beloved Squamish Via Ferrata course is situated around the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, which meant there was a bit more snow to clear.*Don't forget to check out all of our Whistler Rock Climbing Expeditions - Squamish Mountain Climbing Tours[caption id="attachment_4042" align="alignnone" width...

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5 Reasons to go Fall Hiking in Whistler

Tuesday, 20th September 2016  /  By Vince Shuley
Glacier walk

Updated: 7/16/2018 Don't forget to visit our Whistler hiking page for our guided hikes.The unmistakable scent of fall is in the air here in Whistler. Leaves are falling, grassy fields turn white with morning frost and bears are coming out to top up their bellies. Winter may be on its way, but there's still plenty of outdoor adventure to be had between now and when the snow flies. One activity that's by far the most accessible to the most people is fall hiking. July and August are the months when Canadians are the most likely to get outside, and  while summer may get all the glitz and glamour, the best season for hiking is actually during September and early October...

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Celebrate all things Hiking at Hikefest 2015

Tuesday, 25th August 2015  /  By Vince Shuley
HikeFest Sea to Sky Gondola

We're big fans of hiking here in the Sea to Sky Corridor. After all, how else does one access the best of the outdoors?One Sunday, September 13, Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures is teaming up with the Sea to Sky Gondola, MEC, Adventure Smart and The North Face for the second annual HikeFest, a day to celebrate all things hiking and the activities on offer at this beautiful location in Squamish.With our goal to get more people like you climbing and hiking in the mountains, as a special offer during Hikefest Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures will be running our Squamish Via Ferrata Tour for the special price of $25! This offer is for one day only on S...

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Squamish Via Ferrata is beginner friendly

Wednesday, 29th July 2015  /  By Vince Shuley
Squamish BC Via Ferrata

By Brad Schalles ACMG Assistant Ski Guide I had a great day at the Squamish Via Ferrata recently  with an unlikely group of guests - two adventurous grandmothers, Gillian and Pauline. Both ladies were Sea to Sky Gondola season pass holders and had been doing weekly trips up the mountain for morning hikes and coffee at the Summit Lodge since the gondola opened in the spring of 2014. Gillian had inquired about the steel cables and rungs she could see from the observation deck of the Summit Lodge  and was curious about the experience and if it was beginner friendly.[caption id="attachment_1703" align="alignnone" width="640"] For Gillian and Pauline, the Squa...

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Squamish Via Ferrata – Video

Wednesday, 15th July 2015  /  By Vince Shuley
Squamish Via Ferrata Sky Pilot

Since our launch of our Squamish Via Ferrata Tour last month, more and more people are hearing about this easy and accessible climbing experience  just steps from the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Recent rain has cleared the sky of smoke from wildfires in the region, allowing pristine views of Howe Sound and the Tantalus Mountain Range once again. Our guides have been leading groups of all ages with children as young as eight years old to enjoy this unique and exhilarating experience.Here is the Squamish Via Ferrata Tour Video that shows what you can expect from the Squamish Via Ferrata Tour!https://vimeo.com/133526545Beginning with a guided hike throug...

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Early Summer Condition Report! Via Ferrata’s & Glacier Discovery Tours

Friday, 3rd July 2015  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Summer Condition Report 2015

It has been a really exciting start to summer 2015, here at Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures HQ. With our new branding, website and also our new Via Ferrata in Squamish - things are shaping up to be very busy this season!For those visiting (or even for those of us who are lucky enough to live here!) the Squamish and Whistler area this summer, we have plenty of unique adventures and experiences for all ages and abilities!We caught up with some of our Mountain Top Guides, to get the 'hot off the press' updates in our early Summer Condition Report 2015.The Whistler Glacier is in perfect condition for ascending and glissading with a nice approach, on o...


Blackcomb Buttress – A Chamonix-Like Experience In Canada

Friday, 26th June 2015  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Climbing Blackcomb Buttress

I can always count on two things when I guide Blackcomb Buttress; happy guests and me saying, "Man I love my job”! It brings me back to my Cham’ days where I guided for many summers.Why is it a Chamonix like experience? It’s all about ease of access, quality granite and quality climbing. First off you kill an otherwise grueling approach and knee wrecker descent by taking the Whistler Blackcomb lifts and alpine shuttle bus, something I never take for granted! Next comes a beautiful approach through rolling alpine meadows. The pristine ever clear emerald waters of the little tarn reflect Blackcomb Peak, looming above. A curious Hoary Marmot stands up on it’s roc...


Squamish Via Ferrata Launch June 19th 2015

Tuesday, 16th June 2015  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Family Climb Squamish Via Ferrata

Updated: 7/16/2018Our Via Ferrata and Rock Climbing courses are now open for the 2018 summer season. Come enjoy the incredible climbing crags in Squamish or Whistler. To check out our courses and lessons please click any of the links below. *We also have transportation and rock climbing equipment options available if you need.Rock Climbing Squamish BCSQUAMISH VIA FERRATA LAUNCH IN THE SEA TO SKY SET FOR JUNE 19Easy and accessible climbing experience to open just steps from the Sea to Sky GondolaSQUAMISH, BC June 10, 2015 – The latest way to experience climbing in the Sea to Sky Corridor has arrived. On June 19, 2015, Squamish-based adventure compan...


Sea To Sky Gondola

Wednesday, 27th May 2015  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Sea to Sky Gondola

Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures is pleased to offer our guiding services at the Sea to Sky Gondola! The Summit Lodge boasts beautiful panoramic views of the Howe Sound and the mountainous regions of the Sea to Sky Corridor."The ride up to our summit provides sweeping views of Howe Sound, the majestic coastal forest and surrounding mountains. Every gondola cabin has a maximum capacity of 8 passengers and a level entrance/exit point, making them wheelchair and stroller accessible. The gondolas were custom made by Austrian manufacturer, Doppelmayr, and have comfortable padded seats and floor to ceiling glass windows for maximum views. The ride up and down is a t...


Via Ferrata Coming Soon!

Thursday, 14th May 2015  /  By Dan O'Keefe
Via Ferrata Coming Soon

Via Ferrata Coming Soon!An exciting and unique climbing experienceBe one of the first to experience the Sea To Sky corridors newest and most exciting climbing adventure!Via Ferrata, Italian for "Iron Way" is an engineered vertical adventure, assisted by metal rungs and a specialized cable system. This exciting trip is suitable for children and families alike, and is a fully guided experience. With awe-inspiring views of the stunning Howe Sound, and the nearby peaks, this is sure to be an adventure you won’t soon forget.You begin with your guide, hiking down from the Summit Lodge, becoming immersed amongst beautiful old growth forest. After this short hik...