Sea to Sky Gondola set to reopen in Squamish after six month closure
Squamish’s Sea to Sky Gondola is set to open on Valentine’s Day, and it couldn’t be soon enough for general manager Kirby Brown.
“We are so excited that on Valentine’s Day, we get to carry our passholders and guests back up the mountain on a brand-new cable, in brand-new cabins,” he says. “Our community stood by the gondola and showed us overwhelming support, confidence, and love through the last six months, and for that, we are so grateful.”
It’s been just over six months since an act of vandalism shut down the beloved gondola. But it could have been longer. The Family Day Weekend opening is actually earlier than Brown had anticipated.
The work that took place on the journey to rebuild the Sea to Sky Gondola includes the installation of a new 4.4km long main haul cable, assembly and installation of 30 new cabins, and a new state of the art security system.
“The fact that the main haul cable was completely severed was, and still is, shocking, and the investigation with the RCMP is ongoing. However, we want our guests to know they can travel to the summit on the Sea to Sky Gondola with complete confidence,” says Brown.
It will also mean a return to the hum of happy hikers for Arron Vickory of Sea to Sky Guides.
“I’m pretty excited to return to a sense of normality up here,” he adds. “You get used to the buzz that goes on, the constant hum of the lift, the ebb and flow of guests heading off and returning. It’s been so quiet and still these past six months, I’m looking forward to excitement and joy returning to this ghost town. “
The gondola was featured in the New York Times' 52 Places to Go in 2015 list, where they cited the attraction’s “unusual combination of West Coast wilderness and accessibility." The gondola whisks people to the Summit Lodge on a ridge leading towards Mount Habrich situated between Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief.
Vickory designed some of the trails at the top of the gondola and is happy to share his favourites.
“I’m probably biased because I’ve designed a couple of them now, but I love Alpine Alley, the kids’ trail that teaches mountain safety and about our furry and feathered friends that live up here,” he says. “I also think Harry’s trail up to Copilot is amazing, it’s a great workout. You pass by a few hidden alpine ponds, and it has epic views along the way. It takes a direct line up into the alpine, and you’ll hike the trail in awe at the fact that a lone trail warrior (Harry) built the entire thing by himself!”
With a snowy winter wonderland waiting at the summit and 50 per cent off lift tickets for the entire Family Day Long Weekend, the Sea to Sky Gondola is finally back in Squamish.