This peak of 2,181 metres in the Fitzsimmons Range of the Coast Mountains is a mix of ancient sea-floor sediments from an island arc and the overlying lava flows of more recent volcanic activity that accreted to, and were uplifted with, the movements of the North American Plate ~83 mya.
Once the snow melts in mid-summer, the aptly named “shale slope”—prized by skiers for its consistent fall-line—is visible as a large, dark-red smear to viewer’s rights as you ascend Peak Chair; here you can find fossils while only metres above it sit younger volcanic materials.
Whistler Mountain’s summit plateau provides spectacular 360-degree views to many of the marquee sites of the Fire & Ice Geopark, including key peaks, ancient volcanoes and their edifices, glaciers and icecaps, valleys and lakes. The Cloudraker Skybridge lets you “walk on air” over Whistler Bowl and the rapidly vanishing Whistler Glacier. The Fitzsimmons Fault forms the valley between Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler, and the two peaks are connected by a spectacular 4.3-kilometre gondola as part of the popular Whistler Blackcomb resort.
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.
50° 3.5846' N 122° 57.4141' W
50° 3' 35.0784" N 122° 57' 24.8436" 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.