Canada #11 Sea to Sky Gondola
We were amazed by the statistics connected to the Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway.
For a start, it’s located between the third highest waterfall in British Columbia and the second largest granite monolith in the world. At Shannon Falls, water tumbling over the cliff edge drops 335 metres to the ground while, on the Stawamus Chief, rock climbers aiming to reach the 700 metre high summit resemble ants as they cling to the sheer granite wall.
Then there’s the gondola. As its name implies, the ride begins just 35 metres above sea level, at the northern end of Howe Sound. After a ten minute journey covering 1920 metres from Basecamp to the Summit Lodge, the gondola ride ends high on a rocky outcrop in the mountains, 885 metres above sea level.
From our shiny, green gondola we could see right around – up the mountains of the Coast Range and down to the blue waters of Howe Sound.
At the Summit Lodge, the sight from the viewing deck of the snow-capped Tantalus Mountain Range across the water was magnificent.
The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, named after one of two nearby peaks, stretches for 100 metres over one of many narrow gorges between the ridges.
We stopped several times on the way across to the Spirit Viewing Platform as the scenery demanded our attention. Perched on the edge of the granite ridge, the platform offers grand views of both Sky Pilot and Co-Pilot Mountains. The rugged peaks were white with snow and dense forests of maples, cedars and Douglas firs covered the steep slopes.
The Spirit Trail, one of many walks in the mountains, begins at this platform.
The 400 metre circuit took us on a journey back to the days of the Squamish First Nation. From the information boards along the track we learned about the first people’s connection to the land and their use of the abundant natural resources in the forests. For them, the trees were the source of many household items. To us, they were simply beautiful.
With another glorious view at every turn, birdsong filling the air and the lush green of the forest surrounding us, we forgot about statistics.
The wonders of nature had taken their place in our thoughts.
Visit Jo for more Monday Walks.