Celebrate all things Hiking at Hikefest 2015

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.

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Squamish Via Ferrata is beginner friendly

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!

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Squamish Via Ferrata – Video

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!

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

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!

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