Storms have been rolling through Vancouver during the past week, so I thought I’d share two recent local adventures before fall turns to winter.

The Sea to Sky and Peak to Peak experiences sweep you up, down and all around the mountains between Squamish and Whistler, B.C. Both outings take you right into the wilderness within one to two hours of the city.

The Sea to Sky Gondola lifts off from Basecamp (at sea level) to the Summit Lodge (885 meters) in about ten minutes. I made the trip on a dreary day, but the views from the top were still vast and breathtaking — especially from the suspension bridge. If you’re really up for a challenge, you can bypass the gondola and go by foot from the parking lot to the Summit Lodge. Three viewing platforms are within easy walking distance from the lodge and a trail network leads to the surrounding mountains beyond.

Just up the highway from the Sea to Sky Gondola, the Peak to Peak Experience takes you from Whistler Village to the Top of the World Summit, across the valley to Blackcomb on the Peak to Peak Gondola and back down to the village on two final chairlifts. I made this journey on a much sunnier day and it was an absolute blast to see the resort in a season other than winter, without my ski goggles. Getting to the Top of the World Summit is a precarious ride past cliff faces and up steep slopes still covered in ice from last season. But the view from the top is spectacular.

Then the fun really begins — going back down on the Peak Express chairlift. Not for the faint of heart or fearful of heights!

At the bottom of the Peak Express, transfer to the Peak to Peak Gondola — a massive operation that takes you all the way across the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb.

I looked for bears in the riverbed below. According to a guide who was riding in our gondola, they are often visible — about 60 bears live around Whistler/Blackcomb. I didn’t see any of them but the bird’s eye view of the river through the trees was unexpectedly cool.

After a pit-stop at the Rendezvous for a glass of wine with my hiking buddy, it was time to descend back to the village, above grassy slopes and wildflowers.

On a sunny summer day, the Peak to Peak is a fantastic mountain adventure. With a day pass, you can ride the lifts either direction, as many times as you want. But you’ll have to wait until next year … the Peak to Peak experience is closed for the season and the snow has arrived!

11 comments

  1. That looks awesome! I always have a wee bit of fear on chair lifts and gondolas, even though I’m not really afraid of heights. Usually I’m freezing and the chair is rocking and I have too much time to think about death falls, so maybe the cure would be a ride in the summer with no wind and all those gorgeous views to behold!

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    1. Thanks Lex! Yes, you should try it. I was thinking, “how different can this really be in the summer?” But it was totally different. So fun to see the lush green grasses and flowers. If we would have had more time I probably would have gone up and down the last two chairs again. I’m definitely going to go again next summer and do more hiking between chair rides. Great to hear from you. Enjoy the weekend! 🙂

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  2. I think I would react the same way with Lex if I take the chair lift. The view looks amazing nonetheless, and I might need to focus on that, not the height, should I find myself on one of those chair lifts one day. Beautiful photos, Kelly!

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