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…
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. After talking to Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures office she was reassured that both ladies would have no trouble with the via ferrata course. Gillian convinced Pauline that it would be a great idea to try something new during their weekly trips up the Sea to Sky Gondola and booked a tour. I was lucky enough to be assigned as their guide. Gillian was a little hesitant at first, having a slight fear of heights but was more than up to the challenge. The process of clipping onto the safety cable, taking a few steps then clipping onto the next section of cable helped her to focus and worry less about how high off the ground she was. Gillian climbed the headwall with no problems and by the time she reached the top of the she was in a groove!
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. Beginning with a guided hike through old growth forest down from the Sea to Sky Gondola's Summit Lodge, the Via Ferrata experience starts with an easy traverse while guests get used to the harness and lanyard system. Before long, the ascent climbs glacier-polished granite rock with a mix of vertical climbing up metal rungs, traverses across the rock faces and crossing catwalks and a suspension bridge. Over your shoulder you'll have the inspiring views of the alpine peaks of Sky Pilot and Copilot as well as the vast expanse of Howe Sound and the Tantalus Mountains across the valley. Fun for the whole family and climbers of all abilities!
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 on the conditions out there!
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 de-proach 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 rock and whistles the town’s namesake.
VIA FERRATA LAUNCHES INTO SEA TO SKY JUNE 19 Easy and accessible climbing experience to open just steps from the Sea to Sky Gondola SQUAMISH, 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 company Sea to Sky Guides will begin running its most accessible climbing experience yet – the Squamish Via Ferrata Tour. This one and a half hour tour will operate in conjunction with the Sea to Sky Gondola, allowing guests an express lift to the Summit Lodge at 885m overlooking picturesque Howe Sound with views to the alpine peak of Sky Pilot.
Sea to Sky Guides is pleased to offer our services at the Sea to Sky Gondola, which hosts the 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 thrilling adventure for all ages and provides new views of Shannon Falls and the famous Squamish Chief climbing area.
An exciting and unique climbing experience Be 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.