Sea to Sky Gondola Winter Operations - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sea to Sky Gondola Winter Operations

I don't think I've seen any discussion on CT of this.

The Sea to Sky Gondola is offering snowshoeing, winter walking, tubing and ski touring this winter.

This will be a great place for snowshoeing, winter walking and tubing. Given the pressure on the winter route up Hollyburn that resulted from it being such a rare opportunity and the Seymour parking fiasco, this should help relieve some of that foot and snowshoe traffic.

I thought they'd also offer XC track skiing, since they have enough flattish roads to set up at least a basic area.

As for ski touring, this is what they have to say:
http://www.seatoskygondola.com/adventures/ski-touring
"The terrain around and on Sky Pilot Mountain, Co Pilot, Skyline Ridge and Goat Ridge is not for the beginner or inexperienced ski tourer. This is big terrain, complex in nature with lots of steeps, alpine bowls, first growth forests, pillow lines, extreme couloirs and all the goodies AND the associated risks you would expect to find in a complex alpine terrain environment. The Shannon Creek watershed offers over 1300 hectares (+3000 acres) of new terrain. With up to 1100m of vertical and four alpine bowls, there is no shortage of terrain to explore. Access is via the summer trail and road network that all begins at the Summit Lodge. As this will be the first winter season of access, it will be somewhat of a pioneering process. As the season rolls on, routes will be established, lines will be skied and terrain will be explored, much of it for the very first time. It's not often people get a chance to be part of that process. It is for this reason we are recommending that only experienced ski tourers consider this area as a destination for this season.
For those who are up for the challenge there are some big rewards likely to be paid out!

"Please be aware that this terrain is in the backcountry and is not patrolled by anyone from Sea to Sky Gondola."


This summer saw regular instances of people with shallow backcountry hiking experience getting into trouble in the complex terrain beyond the lodge. It looks to me like Sea to Sky is promoting the risky end of this sport, while taking no responsibility for it. This could take the problems up a big notch or two, because weather, routefinding and avalanches become more serious challenges. I hope they're on good terms with the Squamish SAR.



No doubt some impressive feats will follow from this, and some nice routes will become established. But the area does suffer from being convoluted terrain not well suited to general mountain touring, like Mt. Seymour.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 04:32 PM
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I see a rash of accidents in the future. People are notoriously bad at determining their own level of experience.

Last edited by sandy; 12-01-2014 at 04:34 PM. Reason: addition
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:53 PM
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I got my hopes up but the winter hours are horrible. it'll be really hard to ski up there unless they expand them. they should open at 7am on the weekends. not 10. you won't be skiing till noon.


people skied up there 10 years ago when the road was open. but I don't think much in the past 10 years. apparently it's nice up there.

with the road open again. might be better to ski from road at a reasonable starting hour


squamish sar had around 30 calls up there this summer (out of around 80 total), and I agree this winter will probably be a gong show up there.

Last edited by smac; 12-03-2014 at 08:56 PM.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 10:44 PM
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Just give them few winter seasons then it should be fine and quite interesting. Until they figure out what is to be figured out i'm not for sure going there in the winter.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smac View Post
I got my hopes up but the winter hours are horrible.
Very much agreed.

On unrelated note -- they are hiring for position of: http://www.seatoskygondola.com/night...erwatch-person

yes, night shift but kinda cool to spend night there by yourself, watch stars then start the [gong show] in the morning.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 06:22 PM
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I was told that on only some of the winter weekend days will you be allowed to bring skis into the gondola, sounded like they still have not retrofitted the gondolas for skis just yet. From what I can see there isnt that that much terrain for skiing, back in the day i think it was over by the lakes and Mt Sheer.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J Mace View Post
I was told that on only some of the winter weekend days will you be allowed to bring skis into the gondola, sounded like they still have not retrofitted the gondolas for skis just yet. From what I can see there isnt that that much terrain for skiing, back in the day i think it was over by the lakes and Mt Sheer.
Without racks etc. they aren't going to like what skis will do to their gondolas.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 10:18 PM
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It's probably not rocket science to screw some ski racks to the outside of the gondola cars.

And I agree with previous posters about their late opening hours, this fall I had a pass but the 10am made a good early start difficult.

As far as the resort being responsible for what people do outside their boundary, that is silly. It's like BC highways being responsible for someone getting into trouble on a hike from the Duffey hwy.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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It's probably not rocket science to screw some ski racks to the outside of the gondola cars.

And I agree with previous posters about their late opening hours, this fall I had a pass but the 10am made a good early start difficult.

As far as the resort being responsible for what people do outside their boundary, that is silly. It's like BC highways being responsible for someone getting into trouble on a hike from the Duffey hwy.
About the ski racks, it could be nothing as you say. But these things may be regulated tightly enough to make it a problem. I don't know.

In terms of responsibility, there are similarities and differences. BC Highways does not charge a fee for using the Duffey road, so people driving on the road are not customers. BC Highways does not promote any activity associated with the Duffey road. When you promote and provide facilities for activities that are known to have abnormal risk, and charge money for access to those activities, there's a good chance a court would find you bear some responsibility when things go awry.

Recall what happened with out-of-bounds skiers at the Kicking Horse downhill area. I don't recall if the resort was sued, but SAR and the police certainly were.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by sgRant View Post
In terms of responsibility, there are similarities and differences. BC Highways does not charge a fee for using the Duffey road, so people driving on the road are not customers. BC Highways does not promote any activity associated with the Duffey road. When you promote and provide facilities for activities that are known to have abnormal risk, and charge money for access to those activities, there's a good chance a court would find you bear some responsibility when things go awry.

Recall what happened with out-of-bounds skiers at the Kicking Horse downhill area. I don't recall if the resort was sued, but SAR and the police certainly were.
Yes they did promote the "Sky Pilot" area aggressively with ads this summer which I did not agree with.

Regarding the Kicking Horse accident, they should not have ducked under the ropes to go out of bounds.

I just feel that too often in today's society, people feel that someone else is always to blame when something goes wrong. People should take more responsibility for their own actions.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 02:47 AM
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It's a disingenuous advertisement. They rave on about all the epic lines to be had, then say its " for experienced ski tourers only." Truth is, if you are experienced enough to go ski touring up there, you've worked out where to go, what to ski and how to get there by yourself, no promo needed by the Gondola management.
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