FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions. We hope that the
answers will assist you in your planning. If you have a question that is not
answered here, check our backpack, kayak, canoe, raft pages or contact our
1. Can you tell me a little about your organization?
2. Why have you selected the regions you operate in?
3. Who typically goes on one of your expeditions?
4. What are the qualifications of your guides?
5. Are there age restrictions?
6. How many guides are with each group?
7. What is the accommodation like for your trips?
8. Do you assist me in preparing for the expedition?
9. What do you provide on your expeditions?
10. What about washing and bathroom?
11. When is the best time to do a trip?
12. What do I have to bring?
13. How do I meet up with you?
14. How large are your groups?
15. Are you licensed?
16. What is the food like and can you accommodate special
17. How about bears?
18. What are the bugs like?
19. Can you guarantee me a great trip?
20. Should I tip the guides?
21. Can you do custom trips for groups or families?
22. How difficult are the expeditions?
Can you tell me a little
about your organization?
Sea to Sky Expeditions, a Canadian company, has been running quality wilderness adventures since 1988.
The company is owned by Mark Waldbillig. He honed his skills , first as a lead guide and then as operations
director for the company. In 2009, Mark took the offered opportunity to take over
ownership and realize his vision for the future of Sea to Sky Expeditions.
Our trips will take you to some very special places. Not only will
you experience a sense of freedom, but you will see some incredible
scenery, learn more of the history, nature, and culture of the
visited area, make new friends, and come to appreciate the need to
preserve our natural treasures.
Why have you selected the regions
you operate in?
enjoy rugged coast and sandy beaches, quiet lakes, or alpine scenery,
British Columbia is in a class by itself. To understand the freedom
of BC's outdoors, you must experience sitting on a wilderness beach
listening to waves lapping against the shore, smell the scented offerings
of a verdant rainforest, marvel in a sunrise or sunset unobscured
by buildings or smog, or view a blue-tinted river of ice wrapped
around a jagged peak.
As for Greely, Amundsen, and Peary, the High
Arctic is a land for the true adventurer. It is a land of quintessential
solitude and majesty. A land where man has had little influence in
sculpting or defining its course. Indeed, it is a land that can impact
you in profound ways
Pierre Berton's book about the Klondike Goldrush of 1898 and Robert
Service's poems capture the essence and spirit of the Yukon. Visiting
these same areas gives one a finer understanding of the magnitude
of the goldrusher's quest. Hiking through the Tombstones, or viewing
the Northern Lights and fall colours of the arctic tundra along the
Dempster Highway, leaves one in awe of the vastness and beauty of
the Yukon. There is a saying here that once you visit the Yukon, you
will return again one day.
Are you licensed?
We are fully licensed to operate in the national, territorial, and provincial
jurisdictions in which we operate. In order to receive this licensing, we
must satisfy authorities that our guides are knowledgeable and qualified,
trained in wilderness first aid, and that the company is adequately insured.
What are the qualifications of your guides?
Our guides, many of whom have been with us for years, have many years of experience
in the outdoors and are expert and certified in the activity they lead. They
are familiar with the natural and cultural history of the area in which you
will be traveling, trained in wilderness first aid, and committed to your
satisfaction and safety. One need only read the references we supply to get
a sense of the high regard in which our guides are held.
How large are your groups?
We keep our groups to a maiximum of 10 plus 2 guides. This minimizes
our impact on the area we are visiting, assures better safety, and creates
a better environment for group interaction.
How many guides are with each group?
We abide by industry and park standards of 1 guide to 5 participants.
Mitigating circumstances may at times override this ratio.
Who typically goes on one of your expeditions?
They are a mix of gender, nationality, profession, and age. Most come from
North America but we have visitors from Europe and the Pacific Rim area. They
either travel alone, in couples, or as a family. They are looking for an active
vacation, and one in which their love for the outdoors, adventure, and discovery
will be satisfied.
How difficult are the expeditions?
We are not an "Outward Bound" type of organization, structured to see
how far you can push yourself. There will however be physical demands
associated with each trip.
We have rated each trip for difficulty that expresses the overall demand of
the expedition. However, with each trip, there will be a range of demands.
When is the best time to do a trip?
We have set our schedule to deliver the best times for weather and for viewing
the wildlife that is indigenous to the area. Contact us to discuss particular trips.
Do you assist me in preparing for the expedition?
We will send you an information package that includes a list of
equipment and clothing, along with details about what to consider
and look for when purchasing items you may need.
We also look to your physical preparation by providing a conditioning program
of exercises and routines to best ready you for your expedition.
We encourage you to contact us as many times as you feel necessary with your
questions. We are there to serve you.
What do you provide on your expeditions?
transportation from the point
of origin and return, national or provincial park user fees unless otherwise
stated, camping fees, cooking gear, camp stoves, meals/snacks/beverages on
the expedition, tents, meal preparations, tarps, major first aid supplies,
emergency radio or satellite phone, and professional guides. We can provide
sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpack if required.
Some expeditions will include some accommodation
and some air and/or boat charter. Please refer to individual trips for a complete
list of what is included
Canoe and Raft Expeditions:
paddles, PFD [life jacket], canoe carts [where applicable], large
Sea Kayak Expeditions:
sea kayaks, paddles,
PFDs [life jacket], spray skirts, dry bags, paddling jacket.
What do I have to bring?
We will provide a comprehensive list of equipment and clothing to bring upon
Wilderness trips can
present their own unique set of unexpected circumstances. Patience,
a sense of humour, and willingness to accept the unexpected are
How do I meet up with you?
We have set an origin for each of our expeditions that makes it as logistically
and cost effective for you.We have made arrangements with an area accommodation
provider to offer a reduced rate. Our comprehensive information package will
outline various travel options, as well as accommodation suggestions for all
Are there age restrictions?
Age is not a disqualifier. We have had guests in their 70s and children and
teens. Some trips require a certain stature and strength in order to attempt.
Consider the demands of the expedition and your own fitness level. It is best
to discuss this topic individually by contacting our office.
What is the accommodation like for your trips?
You will be staying in a tent for most of our trips and based on double occupancy . We will supply
a top quality tent, with two entrances and two vestibules. You are welcome to bring
your own tent but check with us to see if it is ideal for the conditions you may face.
With some of our trips, a hostel or hotel stay is included. Check the
individual itineraries for details.
What is the food like and can you accommodate
special dietary needs?
Our menu is designed to fulfill the nutritional needs of our expeditions.
Menus will vary depending on the activity and guide choices. Lunches and dinners
are diverse, often supplemented with fresh vegetables and foods dehydrated
by ourselves. There is always enough food to offer seconds. Guests are often
surprised and pleased with what we offer on our menu. We do have a great deal
of experience accommodate special dietary needs.
What about washing and bathroom?
The guides will assist you with the conventions of the area you will be in.
We suggest that you use biodegradable soaps and shampoos. Some parks will
have rustic toilet facilities, but for the most part, a special area will
be designated and prepared for washroom use or the guides will outline the
What are the bugs like?
It varies with temperature, rainfall and wind. In coastal areas they
are not a problem. As you move to the interior and the north they
can prove to be an annoyance to some. Mosquito repellent, a head net, or bug
jacket is in order for the bothered. Bugs tend to be less of
an issue in August and September.
How about bears?
You can expect bears to be present in all the wilderness areas we attend.
On Vancouver Island there are only black bears. The Yukon, mainland British
Columbia, and arctic is home to both black and grizzly.
The chance of encountering a bear is unlikely. If we do happen to see one,
it is often viewed as something special.We aim to avoid bear encounters by
maintaining clean campsites and announcing our presence. Our guides will always
be on the lookout for signs of bear activity. They are equipped with bear
spray and bear bangers. There has never been a recorded bear attack upon a
group. By traveling in a group you are minimizing the possibility of an encounter
of the bruin variety.
Should I tip the guides?
There is no set rule. If you feel that the guides
have been attentive to your needs above your expectations, and have made your
experience an enjoyable one, you may want to show your appreciation with a
tip. Five percent of the value of the trip appears to be the norm. Please
do not feel compelled or required to offer a tip.
Can you do custom trips for groups or families?
We are prepared to design itineraries to suite the schedule and preferences of small
groups or families. The same quality of equipment, attention, and professionalism
can be expected.
Ask how our special group rates can save money for your party.
Can you guarantee me a great trip?
We wish we could guarantee you a great time. All we can say is that we will
do our darnedest to make your time with us a wonderful experience. We have
been running wilderness expeditions for 18 years with a very high return rate.
We must be doing something right!