Early Summer Condition Report 2015! - Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures

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 our Glacier Discovery tours. The little alpine oasis is now beginning to bloom with tiny wildflowers popping up as well as some vibrant green moss. We’re also seeing Marmots becoming more active – sunbathing on the rocks!

The weather glaciated rock is now exposed, which demonstrates the age and history of the glacier. Watermelon algae are in full bloom through many areas of the snow, which is unique to conditions this time of year and overall, the snowpack is soft and fun for exploring!


Sunny conditions on the Whistler Glacier – Great conditions for those even with no hiking experience!

Jen McGoldrick (Mountain Top Guide)

Whistler Via Ferrata tours are also seeing Marmots and the current course across a snow slope, makes for nice fast travel to the base of the Via Ferrata course. The creek is flowing well from the glacier, which makes the approach enjoyable and just really nice. We are still kicking steps into the snow as it melts, as we’ve experienced a very hot start to the summer, so our boots are getting wet!

The course itself is in great condition, and has recently been nice and dry. There is a small snow slope about half way up the climb, which makes for a perfect spot for pictures and a snack. ‘Topping out’, at the end of the tour is great right now, with some amazing views of the surrounding peaks and mountains. With enough time, we can slide and glissade down on the glacier, or for the larger groups, it is a nice relaxing download on the Whistler Peak Chair.

We’ve had all kinds of fitness and skill levels on the course so far – from those who’ve never climbed, to vastly skilled mountaineers and everyone is loving it!! This is truly perfect for all kinds of abilities!


Great perspective above the Whistler Glacier, on our Whistler Via Ferrata

Brad Schalles (Mountain Top Guide)

The Squamish Via Ferrata has great views and is perfect for those with no climbing backgrounds and who are interested/curious about the feeling of climbing. It is an easy level trip with both horizontal and vertical traverses, making for some interesting features and amazing photos!

The blueberries are coming out now, and the hike through the old growth forest is spectacular.

Already, we have guided all ages including an 8 year old, who absolutely loved the trip! Some people start a little tentative, but they really get into it very quickly and we are seeing nothing but smiles, thumbs up and happy faces!

With the recent sunny weather, the views go as far as the eye can see, over the Howe Sound – it is very picturesque.

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Climbing along the beautiful and world-class Squamish granite on our new Squamish Via Ferrata course

– Kenzie Ann (Mountain Top Guide)


So, if you’re looking to do something you never thought you could do – take a look at what our guides can show you! Come and experience something exciting and memorable with us, at Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures!

Learn about training courses at the academy: 

For further information about our backcountry tours contact Mountain Skills Academy!

We hope to see you soon!