Squamish’s natural landscapes, rich history and world-class facilities have been set up to provide a unique, accessible tourism experience. With so many exciting initiatives to provide adventures everyone can enjoy, it is hard to outline them all. Here are some top picks to help you plan your activities, get outside and enjoy what the district has to offer this winter.
CANADIAN ADAPTIVE CLIMBING SOCIETY
Once winter is in full swing, the Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society will move its operations indoors. Every first Tuesday of the month, the society gathers between 4 to 6 p.m. at the Ground Up Climbing Centre. The not-for-profit organization grew from the desire to assist people living with disabilities climb and its indoor climbing club nights are the perfect way to develop your skills in a controlled environment. The folks behind the society have learned to use unique rope systems to meet each climber’s needs. Among others, they have extensive experience working with people living with cerebral palsy, spinal injuries and those with missing limbs.
While some participants and volunteers consistently attend climb nights, others have never set foot in a climbing gym. To attend an upcoming climbing night contact the Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society at adaptiveclimbingsociety@ gmail.com, or visit their website at canadianadaptiveclimbing. com.
SEA TO SKY GONDOLA
If you are looking to spend some time outdoors, the Sea to Sky Gondola provides an accessible way for people to connect with the natural world. Throughout winter the gondola is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
From the base camp to the summit, the Gondola is built to accommodate almost everyone. Wheelchair parking is provided adjacent to the gondola and an accessible ticket booth awaits visitors. The gondola’s cabins accommodate wheelchairs and are able to slow down for ease of access. The 10-minute ride up takes you 885 metres above sea level to a variety of spectacular views. At the summit, visitors are greeted with a wheelchair friendly patio and viewing deck. Additionally, gender-neutral accessible washrooms are available at the Summit Lodge and base camp cafe. To purchase tickets and get more info, visit www.seatoskygondola.com.
SEA TO SKY AIR
For those who are trying to get a little higher, Sea to Sky Air offers a variety of scenic sightseeing tours anywhere between 900 to 2700 meters above sea level. The company has been flying in the region for more than 20 years and has made a conscious effort to provide an accessible experience. Visitors enjoy a wheelchair friendly route to the landing strip where they meet the flight crew. Wheelchairs are not permitted onto the aircraft but the Sea to Sky Air staff has experience helping visitors move from their wheelchair into a comfortable seat on the plane.
To book a flight, visit www. seatoskyair.ca.
BRITANNIA MINE MUSEUM
The Britannia Mine Museum is an award-winning national historic site located in Britannia Beach, a 10-minute drive from downtown Squamish. The museum is a member of the Access 2 Entertainment Program, meaning any person living with disabilities who requires the assistance of a support person can present the Access
2 membership and receive free admission for the assistant. The mine also offers free admission for individuals helping folks who require visual support regardless of membership status. As part of the mine’s commitment to accessibility, visitors are greeted by an accessible parking lot and bathrooms. Currently, the majority of the lower site of the mine accommodates wheelchairs. The visitor centre is part of the accessible portion of the lower site – in it you can watch films, check out the exhibit on modern mining, as well as the Britannia A-Z exhibit on the history of the Britannia Beach community. Additionally, there are paved surfaces that lead to activities such as gold panning. The mine has experience providing tours and in some cases, interpreters to groups of people living with visual or auditory disabilities. With some prior planning, the Britannia Mine Museum staff is happy to coordinate a tour. For more info visit britanniaminemuseum.ca.
For those looking to have some bouncy indoor fun, Airhouse has a wide range of trampolines as well as a skateboard mini-ramp inside of an accessible facility. Airhouse staff has experience working with groups of people living with disabilities. Special Olympics and Paralympics athletes have used the facilities to train. However, you don’t need to be an athlete to go, and with some prior planning, staff at Airhouse are happy to work with groups to arrange a custom session
and meet visitors at their skill levels. The facility is focused on safety and coaches who oversee sessions are trained on how to accommodate visitors’ needs. Support aids can also access the facility free of charge. To book a session, visit airhouse.ca.
CANADIAN OUTBACK RAFTING
Between Nov. 15 and Feb. 28 you can travel via raft down the lower Cheakamus and Squamish rivers observing, photographing and learning about wintering eagles. Each year, bald eagles gather in the Brackendale area
of Squamish. This interpretive wildlife float is an opportunity to learn about these eagles, and the world-renowned area that hosts them. Canadian Outback rafting has experience working with folks living with all sorts of disabilities, and makes an effort to provide an accessible experience. For more info and to book a trip visit www. canadianoutbackrafting.com/ eagle-viewing-floats. •