Love on High
As I pulled into the Sea-to-Sky Gondola parking lot on opening day, I was instantly smitten.
The trouble was I couldn’t decide what I loved more—the view to my left of the Stawamus Chief with a climber hanging from a cliff, or the view to my right of Shannon Falls, thundering like she does.
Maybe it was a tie. And I wasn’t even out of my car.
The seduction continued as I approached the Basecamp and got a really good look at the new sparkling gondola, shooting straight up into the sky.
Behind me, Howe Sound swirled with blue-green hues only found in nature.
I stopped at the Basecamp Café for coffee, although I was tempted by the gourmet food and charmed by the outdoor tables potted with basil.
Once I boarded my lime green gondola car, I couldn't sit still while I jetted up the sharp rock face. As I climbed 916 meters, the magic slowly enveloped me, so did the sight of a bald eagle gliding nearby.
Was this place for real?
Within ten minutes, we arrived at the Summit Lodge and the romance continued.
Beyond the lodge, a suspension bridge whistled at me first. I beelined like a child. As I crossed the daring, bouncy, Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, the wind nearly snatched my camera. (Something tells me there will soon be a pile of smartphones in the deep forest below. Hold on tight, folks.)
The sweeping views were truly breathtaking—glaciers, Mt. Garibaldi, Sky Pilot, Woodfibre, downtown Squamish and more. The learning journey along the Spirit Trail was a wonderful interpretation of the land and the palpable First Nations history and culture.
Inside the 9000sf lodge, chefs laid out a mouth-watering spread of nourishment. Their Tea House had quick snacks, while the Summit Restaurant was self serve and loaded with deliciousness. It all paired nicely with libations from the Edge Bar. They even had their own beer—the hoppy “Sky Pilot” golden ale from Howe Sound Brewing.
Outside, the lodge’s patio was extraordinary, the perfect spot to hang with friends by the fire, work on your tan, or get married.
I’ll be back soon, for the new gondola made quite an impression on my heart. In fact, I’m planning on picking up an annual pass so I can continue, in earnest, my love affair.