Sunday, December 25, 2022

Happy holidays and Happy New Year from Sea to Sky Expeditions!

Happy New Year!

As the year comes to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and express our gratitude to our customers, partners, and team members.

2022 continued to have its challenges as Covid has become more endemic. We are grateful for the continued support and understanding of our customers as we navigated the complexities of operating during a pandemic. We are grateful for the cooperation and understanding of our team members as we shifted and changed and navigated multiple uncertainties.

Despite the challenges, we were fortunate to be able to offer a range of outdoor adventures this year in both BC and the Yukon. We are especially grateful for the stunning natural beauty of the places we visit and work in, which has provided a sense of solace and connection to nature for so many of our guests.

As we look ahead to 2023, we are hopeful for the continued return to normal operations and that all the areas we normally visit are open. We are excited to continue offering a range of outdoor adventures and look forward to welcoming you on a trip with us in the coming year.

Thank you to our guests that have already booked trips for 2023. For January, we are offering some specials. We want to encourage you to consider a group of hiking trips we do at Sea to Sky, and we'll give you 10% if you book before January 15th. You can use discount code NEWYEARHIKING10 for the following trips by the end of January 15th.

Nootka Island Trail

  • June 6-11, 2023
  • July 1-6, 2023
  • July 21-26, 2023
  • August 24-29, 2023
South Chilcotins Trail

  • July 3-9, 2023
  • August 1-7, 2023
Tombstones Mountains Hiking *tentative dates-to be confirmed Jan. 11th

  • July 13 – 20*, 2023
  • July 24 – 31*, 2023
  • Aug 4 – 11*, 2023
  • Aug 17 – 24*, 2023
  • Aug 28 – Sept 4*, 2023

From all of us at Sea to Sky Expeditions, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Thank you for choosing us for your outdoor adventures, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Big Changes at Sea to Sky Expeditions!

 Sea to Sky now has new directors!

Georgia Newsome and Gary Ward are the new directors and owners of Sea to Sky Expeditions, as of November 10, 2022. Georgia and Gary also own Coastal Bliss Adventures, Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Kilimanjaro Bliss Expeditions and Safaris.

We want to thank Mark Waldbillig, previous owner of Sea to Sky, for his years of running the company and his devotion to the industry. Mark has chosen to walk a different trail for his life now. Mark has been a competitor and a good friend for years. We will miss him as a competitor, but also wish him great success and happiness on the new path, and will remain friends for years to come!

Gary and Georgia will keep the great trips that have been a mainstay for Sea to Sky for years. In fact, Georgia guided for Sea to Sky for 13 years and helped develop a number of the trips. We look forward to leading new and returning guests on the amazing experiences that have been Sea to Sky Expeditions.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Amazing West Coast Trail Hike, Even Better Cause!

         Every once and a while we are lucky enough to combine our passion (introducing people to beautiful wilderness spaces) with an opportunity to raise awareness and support for a great cause.

         Our friend Rob Hill, who lives (and lives to the fullest!) with Crohn's disease has been an amazing ambassador for everyone who lives with some form of Intestinal disease. Working through IDEAS (Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society) and his own adventure stream IBD adventures, Rob climbed the 7 highest peaks around the world including Mount Everest proving that just about any obstacle to your goals and dreams can be over come.

       As a BC local, Rob wanted to include some wilderness adventures in his own back yard that folks could join him on to support this cause. Our inaugural WCT trip in 2011 was a great success and so we've decided to do it again!

Sea to Sky Expeditions and IBD adventures are proud to offer another West Coast Trail adventure, September 12-20, 2015.

Participants on this tour will be asked to try and raise support on a per km basis, starting at $10/km for a total minimum donation of $750. (donations sent to IDEAS directly)  Your efforts will be going almost exclusively towards a number of tangible projects (only 3% of revenue at IDEAS goes towards administration). Specifically, funds raised this time will be put towards a scholarship set up for nurses looking to specialize in this field and towards funding for a new research lab in Kelowna, BC. You will receive tax receipts for the total of all funds raised.
Sea to Sky is happy to be donating 15% percent of each spot sold towards this worthy cause. We hope you can join us on this beautiful trail in support of a great cause.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 10 Reasons we LOVE the Bowron Lakes

Here are the top 10 reasons why we love the Bowron Lakes.

1. The circuit is made up of thirteen beautiful, unique lakes, rivers and connecting waterways which form a 116km rectangle shape that brings the you right back to where you started, a rare occurrence in the paddling world!

2. On the Eastern and Southern portions of the circuit you paddle  at 1000m surrounded by the Cariboo Mountains many reaching over 2200m. It is stunning mountain scenery enjoyed from the seat of your canoe. Mount Ishpa (the "Father") is the tallest peak in the area at 2537m (8323ft).
The rest of the circuit is through the Quesnel highlands, a land of rounded hills and grassy estuaries perfect for...

3. Spotting amazing North American wildlife! Moose are almost a guaranteed sighting, best to be up early though! Grizzly and black bear, beavers, otters, bald eagles and the most elusive but rewarding sighting, the Mountain Caribou, an at risk species for whom the mountain ranges are named.

4. If your going to be spending all that time in a boat you'd better bring your Fishing rod along! The lakes are full of bull trout, kokanee, rainbow trout and lake trout. Try your luck where the many side streams bring fresh oxygen into the lakes or troll along behind the canoe while paddling the larger lakes.

5. This park encompasses an area full of both First Nations and mining history. The Cariboo goldrush reached this area in 1861 and left the land rich with character's whose stories are almost too good to be true;)

6. The final estuary which winds its way slowly into Bowron Lake (the final lake in the circuit) is a birder's paradise with a wide variety of species to see and hear.

7. There are two powerful, beautiful waterfalls to see along the circuit. Isaac falls is 11m high and is a rolling bouncing cascade. Cariboo falls (a great side hike highlight) thunders away as it falls 26m straight down. Don't miss the turn-off to avoid this waterfall, we suspect your canoe won't survive the journey!

8. The amazing array of scenery including mountain vistas, beautiful wildlife and excellent lighting off of the water makes the Bowron Lakes an amazing place to practice your wilderness photography.

9. The bad news is there are 10.8km's of portage trails on the circuit, the good news is the trails are designed so that you can drag your boat along on a set of wheels! BC Parks allows you to put 60lbs in the boats, the rest of your personal gear has to be carried on your back. It is certainly easier than carrying that canoe on your head!

10. Maybe the best thing about paddling the Bowron Lakes in a canoe is that it forces you to slow down and appreciate a different rhythm of life in the wilderness. Take the opportunity to unplug from your busy daily routine and reconnect with nature, yourself and hopefully some new friends along the way.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pre-Season Training - Getting ready for Backpacking

                 Spring creeps up rather quickly every year....suddenly we are 2 - 3 months out from our first expeditions and are feeling the crunch to get things organized. We also need to get the winter body ready for the shock of carrying that "Pack" again all summer.

There are many ways to continue to improve one's fitness and health: Whether it's the latest craze of cross-fit, martial arts, daily walks, the gym, yoga or a personal trainer, no matter what you already do or choose to start doing these will obviously all help build a healthier, stronger you.

Unfortunately what is usually missing from all of these other options is the one thing that could be on your mind your whole trip and will definitely be on your back the whole trip and that is your pack!

We field lots of calls asking us "How should I train for my trip?" On one level the answer is very easy, start wearing your pack - lots, Basically the more you can get your body used to the exact pack you will wear on your hike the better. The key of course is the weight you should be training with in your pack. Start LOW - If you rarely carry any weight on your walks or hikes then start with 10lbs in your pack and work your way up SLOWLY to the amount or even MORE than the amount you think you'll be carrying on your trip. This way when you do your trip you won't have to spend too much time worrying about your pack.

This raises the question of how much weight will I be carrying typically in my pack. There are of course lots of variables to the packing/weight question depending on the type of trip, budget, size of person etc. Luckily your lovely guides are kind enough to be carrying all of the group equipment meaning that what we are going to hand you is a HEAVY food bag (hey we've got to eat right!?) and either half of a shared tent or a small single tent for your to use - call that anywhere from 10-15 lbs. The rest is up to you. Many of our guests average a pack that is 30-35lbs.

It is important that you try and start planning a walk/hike once every 2 weeks or every week that is longer in duration in addition to your more regular local routine.  Most of the time backpacking is an endurance workout not a cardio workout. Being out for a full day-hike with a loaded 65-75 Liter backpack is what will get your body ready for what it is going to experience on the trail.

The key here is to have the pack sitting ready to go with some weight already packed in it (be creative with things for weight - bags of rice, lots of really good food on a longer hike!, the actual stuff you are going to carry on your trip). Every time you go for a walk, put the pack on. It's time to be that crazy neighbor who everyone notices because of their pack - our guess is you'll probably start up some good conversations along the way. Some of our guides have been known to wear their packs around the house while doing daily chores like vacuuming, whatever it takes when time is short, in order to get a little more pack time! Many of our packs have developed nicknames  such as "The Black Hole", "Big Red", "Mutt" - after you've spent enough time with your own pack and completed your wilderness adventure, you'll be ready to give your pack it's true name as well!

                                                     Happy Training!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Klondike Gold Rush

          Have you ever wondered what it would be like to simply leave your job, walk down to the docks, jump on to a boat, travel thousands of miles and have an adventure of a lifetime?

If yes, then you would certainly appreciate the story of the 1896-1899 Klondike Gold Rush. And since we're unlikely to try that adventure until summer, the next best thing for right now is to watch the documentary that PBS put out this winter.

Based on the book "Gold Diggers" by Charlotte Gray the documentary does a great job of trying to answer the question of what drove these goldrushers through so many adversities with so little chance of true riches.

We do our best to follow in these intrepid adventurers footsteps by offering a trip over the Golden staircase on the Chilkoot Trail and then a couple of days later on a 10 day trip down the mighty Yukon River and into Dawson City to see the original claim sites.

Hope you enjoy the video!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Paddling Under the Midnight Sun

Guilty - I have to admit I'm feeling a bit that way these days as I'm enjoying unseasonably warm February days full of sunshine while it seems the rest of the Northern world is freezing solid.

What this also made me think about was how important the sun is to my overall mood and energy levels.

A little bit of research shows that the science confirms the "good feelings" that more sunshine can give us:

Sunlight Boosts Serotonin

Researchers from the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne found that levels of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood—are lower during the winter than the summer. Serotonin is the body's natural happy hormone. That's why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines.  It's also been shown that exercising outdoors creates more endorphins in the body than exercising indoors.
Apparently Northern schools finish the school year earlier and bring their students back in August instead of September. The kids simply have too much energy to sit still in the class room in May and June and instead can be found playing soccer outside at 1 am in the morning!

Natural Daylight Can Improve Sleep 

Sunlight shuts off the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you feel drowsy. Constant exposure to sunlight can help your body maintain its circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes and makes you feel tired when it’s dark outside. This is why you need less sleep in summer but still feel livelier.

Paddling under the Midnight Sun

This past summer we had an intrepid group of paddlers who requested a trip down the Yukon River in mid June over the Summer Solstice. For all of us, the chance to experience 24 hr daylight in the Yukon on a wilderness canoe trip was truly fantastic. In fact it was such a great trip that we just knew we had to add the dates to our regular line-up. For 2015 we've added a June 15-24 trip in addition to our regular July/August tours. It was not uncommon on the trip to look down at your watch and be amazed that it was past midnight but you couldn't tell by the amount of daylight or our own energy levels. 

True 24 hours of sunshine doesn't happen unless you are above the Arctic Circle but the one or two hours where the sun is not above the horizon in the central Yukon is anything but dark. Walking, paddling, heck even reading are all easily done in the amount of residual daylight that still abounds.

For all of us who don't live in a far northern community experiencing the overwhelming energy boost of 24 hour daylight it is something special and something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives! And remember as visitors instead of residents you get to experience the 24/ 7 daylight and avoid the 24/7 darkness on the flip side in the winter!

See you on the water!