Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain

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.

  • alpine hiking trails
  • viewscapes
  • Cloudraker Skybridge

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

Whistler Mountain is comprised of the uplifted and eroded sediments and volcanics of an ancient oceanic terrane that accreted to the North American plate ~83 mya.

HOW TO SEE IT:

Services:

Full resort services are available through Whistler Blackcomb.

Hazards:

Cliff areas, loose rock and sensitive alpine ecosystems; stay on marked trails, behind barriers and in designated areas.

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.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.059744, -122.956901

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 3.5846' N  122° 57.4141' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 3' 35.0784" N  122° 57' 24.8436" W

What Are Pillars?

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

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

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

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

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.