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Hopefully this much-loved attraction will open again in time for summer!

In the early morning hours of August 10, 2019, Kirby Brown’s phone would not stop ringing.

Brown, the General Manager of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia, woke up to dozens of alarming messages.

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Turns out, vandals had cut the cable that the gondola runs on, and every one of the gondola cars crashed to the ground. The attraction was closed when the destruction happened (and no one was hurt), but millions of dollars in damages were sustained.

The popular Squamish tourist attraction first opened in 2014, and it regularly carries 1,000 or more people per day 800 meters up the side of a mountain. The destination is beloved by both locals and tourists for its stunning views, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. It also makes for a stunning wedding venue and is booked years in advance.

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Because the organization had to order special parts from Europe, and because all but four of the original gondola cars had to be scrapped, it was projected that the Sea to Sky Gondola would be closed for a year, putting 200 folks out of work, and sending couples scrambling for alternate wedding venues.

Fast forward six months and four days. This past Valentine’s Day, the Sea to Sky Gondola reopened its doors.

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The opening day crowd was filled primarily with happy locals and year-round pass holders packing skis and snowshoes, eager to get out into the backcountry trails.

Brown was there, expressing his heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved who helped to get the Sea to Sky Gondola back up and running so quickly. A cheer went up from the crowd as the green button was pushed, a bell rang, and the cars began moving on their cables.

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In our car, heading up the mountain with a few locals, smiles were all around. Everyone was taking photos and commenting on how beautiful the view was and how much they’d missed it.

At the top, there’s a lodge with an immense viewing platform of Howe Sound below and mountains all around. There’s also a gift shop and a café where you can warm up.

There are also seven hiking trails, all groomed in the winter for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. They range in length and difficulty (from 400 meters to 24 km) and are open year-round. For tourists and locals alike, there is so much to see and do. No matter what your fitness level, from couch potato to seasoned backwoods trekker, you’ll find something here.

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Everyone can appreciate the sweeping panoramic views of Howe Sound, stunning snow-topped mountains and the pine-tinted, fresh mountain air. The Sea to Sky Gondola is located just outside of Squamish BC, adjacent to Shannon Falls Provincial Park.

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Getting there

By car: Take Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Corridor) from Vancouver (free parking available)
Shuttle service: Available from three downtown Vancouver locations: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Library Square and Canada Place

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Opening Hours

The Gondola opens at 10 am seven days a week, but hours vary based on daylight. In the winter, it closes earlier, with the last ride down at 5 pm. In the shoulder season, last ride down is at 7, and in the summer, last ride down is at 9 pm.

Admission

For most, a day pass will be the best choice, though yearly passes are available for locals. If you visit more than three times per year, an annual pass is a good value. Passes for adults start at $45 and can be purchased online in advance for a discount. Alternatively, you can hike up the mountain and take the gondola down for just $15. The Sea to Sky Gondola is dog-friendly, and wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.

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At the Top

– Grab a map and take a hike!
– Instagram opportunities abound! There’s a suspension bridge and multiple viewing platforms that are just perfect for taking a photo that will make all your friends jealous.
– Bring a picnic; there are loads of places to hang out, have a snack and enjoy the view.
– Drink a beer on the promenade deck with the whole world just below your feet.

For more information, visit the Sea to Sky Gondola online.

The above post was written and photographed by guest contributor Rebecca Coleman.

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