Snowy white heads aplenty during Sunwolf's winter eagle viewing tour
Jess explained to us that snowy days are often the best for catching the eagles hanging out in the lower branches, which was proven by what we saw.
In 1994 Brackendale had the highest concentration of overwintering Bald Eagles in North America. In one day 3,701 eagles where counted along the 15 kilometre stretch of the Squamish Valley. The eagles congregate to feed from the spawning salmon that during our tour, laced the bed of stones beneath the crystal clear river.
After the incredible but chilly tour, we regained our warmth and quenched our appetite with hot beverages and a hearty lunch. A thick beef stew with crispy fried onions was served with corn bread, olives, and hot peppers. For dessert we had gluten-free banana bread that was moist, addicting and better than most restaurant banana breads that I've tasted. The meal was prepared on-site, like the muffins, at Fergie's Cafe, and delivered to us in the main Sunwolf lobby, heated by a crackling fire.
Jess ate lunch with us, answering any questions that we had about bald eagles or Sunwolf, although a healthy amount of information was given during the tour. She proved to be very knowledgeable on the subject and her experience with hospitality, rafting and wildlife was apparent.
The Bald Eagle Viewing floats run from November 15th to February 15th so you still have plenty of time to check them out. They cost $100 for a half day including transport from whistler if needed. The tour, that holds a maximum of six people at a time, starts shortly after 10AM when everyone is ready to go.
For more photos of the cabins and the bald eagles check out my Sunwolf set on Flickr.
HISTORY OF SUNWOLF
Old logging maps dating back to 1910 show the location of a logging camp, called “Yapp’s Camp” on the current Sunwolf site. In the early 1950’s, the Ferguson family moved in and ran “Fergie’s Fishing Lodge,” a bustling lodge with cabins and a motel that served the Vancouver flyfishing community, who initially arrived by steamboat to Howe Sound. In 1958 the road between Vancouver and Squamish was completed and Fergie’s became a thriving community of young fishermen, many of whom lived in the cabins whilst they found more permanent accommodation in the area.
In 1995 the site changed ownership and became “Sunwolf Outdoor Centre”, introducing rafting trips to the resort. As interest in running the resort diminished, the centre came on the market and a chance drive by rafting guides and best friends Jess Freese and Tanya Slater, started the next chapter of the resort.
With a vision that recognized the immense potential for the resort, the ladies returned home and quickly convinced their partners that purchasing the resort was a must. In July 2010, Jess and Jake Freese along with Tanya and Andrew Slater moved in and started working immediately.
Jess, Jake, Tanya and Andrew are friends that share a love of rafting, guiding, and exploration, while also sharing ownership of Sunwolf Outdoor Centre. With an outstanding and impressive combination of experiences, talents and qualifications, they make a formidable team in an exciting industry. Jess is known as the smart and empathetic one, Jacob as the thoughtful and humorous one, Tanya as the energetic and passionate one and Andrew as the strong and genuine one. Their personalities may differ incredibly but the outdoor enthusiast in all of them brings them together to offer guests a unique experience with fantastic hospitality.