Squamish Gift Guide: Gifts for the Adventurous
For the adventurer on your Christmas list forgo the Christmas socks and flannel pyjamas and gift them an experience destined to become the highlight of their year, or at least their weekend. Full of rushing rivers, granite cliffs and world-class trails, Squamish is hardwired for adventure, here are a few of the experiences you can wrap up and gift this Christmas.
Mountain Biking is legendary on the West Coast, and Mountain Biking Magazine recently named Squamish as one of the top 25 wildest and most exotic places to ride in the world. Gift a mountain bike tour and let the recipient see for themselves why riders of all abilities flock to Squamish to experience the legendary terrain. First time and beginner riders will be hooked on the sports after a tour on the Squamish trails, and experts will never want to ride anywhere else. Trust us when we assure you this won't be a gift that goes unloved.
Availability: Select tours are available year-round, peak season is April through October
Photo: Dan O'Keefe, Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures
If you've been to Squamish, you have likely seen the majestic walls of the Stawamus Chief just off the Sea to Sky Highway. The 700-metre marvel is any climbers dream, and Squamish's local rock guides can help make that dream a reality. Routes on the Stawamus Chief's "apron" start at a "novice" grade of 5.7 and are suited to introductory climbers. Single pitch outings and anchor building one-on-one lessons are also available.
Availability: Peak climbing season is between April and October
Photo: Squamish Rafting
Splash down one of Squamish's exciting whitewater rivers and create a memory that will last a lifetime. Whitewater rafting is a bucket list item for many adventurous people and being able to experience a class 4 river surrounded by rocky cliffs, jagged peaks and cascading waterfalls is an ideal setting to give the sport a try. Knowledgable guides will read the river and coach adventurers to propel the raft through exciting rapids. Family-friendly class 3 rafting trips are also available.
Photo: Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures
Hikers, climbers and anyone searching for a unique view will adore a trip up the Squamish Via Ferrata. Italian for "iron way" a Via Ferrata is a vertical adventure up steep rock faces that use metal rungs and walkways to ascend the mountain. Participants can watch the ground disappear far beneath their feet as they climb their way to top. And because it's set in Squamish, gorgeous Sea to Sky views will be there to greet you every inch of the way.
Availability: Summer only
Photo: Aerial Kiteboarding
The unique shape and position of Howe Sound make it an ideal summer playground for wind sports. In fact, Howe Sound is one of Canada's two major kiteboarding destinations. Gift a truly unique experience for first-time "kiters" with an Introductory Kiteboarding Lesson, which includes four hours of learning time, three of which are on the water!
Availability: Summer only, peak season is May to September
Photo: Chris Christie
Harness your inner balance and stand above the waters of Howe Sound on a stand-up paddleboarding tour that will take you up close to Squamish's rugged ocean cliffs, the Stawamus Chief and the runoff waters from mighty Shannon Falls. Tours start from Squamish and end kilometres away at Britannia Beach. It's common for paddlers to be greeted by harbour seals, fish and plenty of other wildlife who call Howe Sound home.
Availability: Rentals are available year-round, tours are summer only (April to October)