On the Glacier Ascent Tour, your guide will lead you across glacial snow and ice into the Whistler Bowl. You will be led on a short-roped mountaineering ascent of the alpine bowl – just as the world’s great peaks were traditionally climbed.
Peak 2 Peak gondola tickets are not included.
While ascending the glacier, learn about glaciology and how to safely travel on and hike up a glacier mountaineering-style. Enjoy the stunning alpine vistas and world-class photo opportunities before descending. This truly is a must-do mountain activity during your visit to Whistler.
No experience is necessary on this safe and fun, authentic Canadian adventure. The tour will cover up to 4 km (2.5 miles) of mountain terrain and up to 200 metres of glacier hiking and ascent. Your guide will establish a safe and steady pace throughout the tour; however, a moderate level of fitness is recommended.
Each day is subject to varying mountain conditions – ask our staff what the mountain has in store for you and your visit.
A lift ticket for Whistler Mountain is required for this tour. Peak 2 Peak lift tickets are available for purchase through our office or online.
Groups welcome! Please contact our office for more information.
Included: Glacier and climbing equipment
Location: Top of Whistler Mountain
Duration: 3-4 hours
Departure times are at 9:00am and 1:00pm daily.
For 9 am tours, guests will meet their guide at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre in Whistler Village 15 minutes before tour departure.
For 1 pm tours, guests will meet their guide at the mountaintop-top office 15 minutes before tour departure. Please take into account that the ride on the Whistler Gondola from the village takes approximately 30 minutes and you may encounter line-ups to get on the gondola so plan to arrive at the top with plenty of time to spare.
To get to our mountaintop office please take the Whistler Village Gondola all the way to the top (the second stop). Our mountaintop office is located at the top of the gondola about 100 m/yd straight down the gravel path as you unload. It is in the wood cabin on the right with signage for Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures.
At the office, your guide will get you to sign a waiver, and be outfitted with your glacier travel gear.
Next you will hike about 30 minutes up either a beautiful alpine snow slope or a breathtaking glacial moraine and wildflower meadow (depending on the time of year and mountain conditions) as you approach the Whistler bowl and glacier. As you look up at the bowl you will see the 2160 metre Whistler Peak.
Along the walk, you can take advantage of the world-class photo opportunities of the pacific coast mountain ranges.
The tour ends with a walk back to the mountaintop office.
All climbing and glacier equipment is included and here is a list of gear that is nice to have:
At the top of the gondola you step out into an alpine mountain environment where weather and conditions can change fast – it is good to be prepared. Temperatures are about 10 degrees lower than down in the village.
A Peak 2 Peak lift ticket for Whistler Mountain is required for this tour. If you have not already purchased a lift ticket(s), these are available at our village office, online, or at any Whistler Blackcomb ticket window.
*The ticket windows can get very busy – plan to purchase your tickets prior to the tour date.
All glacier and climbing equipment is included and the gear is located at our mountain top office. Equipment varies depending on the season and condition of the glacier. Later in the summer crampons and glacier axes are used to walk on the ice when the snow recedes from the glacier.
You are responsible for your own water and snacks.
Groups may have up to 6 guests to one guide.
Private tours are available for groups of all sizes. Guests with children under age 12 need to book a private tour.
The guide will establish a pace to suit the guests and tour length; a moderate level of fitness is recommended as there is elevation gain. The tour covers roughly 4 km of uneven, mountainous terrain and up to 200 meters of glacier hiking.
We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).
Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance
This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.
Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.
Learn about training courses at the academy:
Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:
All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.
Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA. We also accept bank e-transfers and cash.
• For 1-2 day adventures/courses booking must be paid in full.
• For longer adventures/courses a deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking.
• The remaining balance is due 30 days before the start date.
• Bookings made less than 30 days before adventure/course must be paid in full.
Next day bookings are taken up until 5pm the day before any tour or course. *Subject to guide availability
Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.
Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.
Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability. *Does not apply to first aid courses.
Late Arrival Policy
Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.
Adventures Cancellation Policy
Half Day and Full Day Tours
**On all multi day trips pre-arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).
1-2 Day Courses
3+ Day Courses
**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.
Minors (under the age of 19) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where a parent or legal guardian is not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well, they must sign a waiver and have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.
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