The fault that today separates Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain is a recurring geologic feature in the valley and around the townsite, marked by a series of mineral-rich rocks whose yellow cast is the result of sulfuric gasses circulating over thousands of years deep in the fault zone. It is named for prospector Jimmy Fitzsimmons, who hand-mined the fault’s upper reaches in the eponymous Fitzsimmons Valley, carrying dynamite to his copper claims on horses.
Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask that you treat the land with the same reverence as its original inhabitants, and not remove anything from a site but what you’ve brought to help preserve it for future generations.
Most prominently visible as rock exposures along a 4-km stretch of Hwy 99 between the Creekside neighbourhood and Whistler Village, outcrops of the Fitzsimmons Fault are also visible along the Valley Trail and Westside Road. Parking is not permitted on Hwy 99, so roadside sites like those 30-metres south of the intersection of Hwy 99 and Blueberry Drive must be visited by self-propelled means.
50° 6.5881' N 122° 58.2581' W
50° 6' 35.2836" N 122° 58' 15.4884" W
Geosites of the Aspiring Geopark lie wholly within the unceded traditional territories of the Líl̓wat Nation and the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Nation. The nations have lived in—and shared parts of—these territories since time immemorial, with many landscape features and geological events woven into their cultural and oral histories. We are grateful for, and committed to, the opportunity to learn and share these perspectives of the land alongside its original stewards.
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The Fire & Ice Aspiring Geopark comprises four main geological pillars referenced in all interpretive material: (M)ountain Building, (G)laciation, (V)olcanism and (C)ollapse.
Mountain building can involve several processes that contribute to the formation of mountains, such as the collision of tectonic plates that result in folding, faulting, metamorphism and the creation of subduction zones associated with volcanic activity and igneous intrusion.
Glaciation refers to landform phenomena associated with the formation, movement and recession of glaciers and ice sheets. In temperate latitudes such as British Columbia, montane glaciation at higher altitudes is the norm while continental glaciation occurred during Ice Ages like the recent Pleistocene.
Volcanism is the eruption of subterranean molten rock (magma) and gasses onto the surface of the planet and includes the production of volcanic landforms and the effects of eruptions and flowing lava on pre-existing surface formations.
Collapse is a term that refers broadly to both slow processes of destabilization and erosion by wind, water and ice, as well as rapid processes like rockfall and landslides.
Whether acting as primary or secondary forces, one or more of these processes figure in the creation of each geosite.