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Table of Contents and Introduction

Chapter 1: From the Sea to the Sky
Chapter 2: The Seekers
Chapter 3: The Searchers
Chapter 4: The Setting
Chapter 5: The Settlers
Chapter 6: The Settlements
Chapter 7: The Serious Business
Chapter 8: The Sequestered Life
Chapter 9: The Seasons of Recreation
Chapter 10: The Series of Changes
Chapter 11: The Sea to Sky Country
Selected Bibliography

INTRODUCTION by Doreen Armitage

Where Howe Sound's southern boundary meets the Strait of Georgia, the waves, white-capped from the Squamish winds, wash Point Atkinson's rocky buttresses, break on Bowen Island's southern shore, and hiss through the stony shingle at Gower Point near Gibsons. The magnificent natural environment in the area known as Sea to Sky Country stretches northeast from there to Whistler and beyond. Nestled between Howe Sound's two shorelines, which reach out like welcoming arms, are tree-clad islands attracting those looking for secluded settings close to Vancouver. The highway from West Vancouver follows the base of the Coast Mountains and winds through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world: snow-capped extinct volcanoes, glaciers, lush forests, and lakes and rivers ranging in colour from deep blue to a milky green, silty from the snow runoff.

This is a land of superlatives-the best skiing in North America, the best windsurfing in Canada, the first underwater marine park in Canada (from which no sea life may be removed), the largest eagle population in North America and the second largest granite monolith in the world.

The combination of mountains and water has produced an environment that could also be named "Super Sports Country." From scuba diving in Howe Sound's depths to heli-skiing in the mountains, sports enthusiasts can take their choice of enjoyment in the outdoors-hiking, mountaineering, ice and rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking, sailing and kayaking.

The mountainous terrain is a major attraction, but is far from benign. It has precipitated death and destruction through rockfalls, floods and debris torrents from the rushing mountain creeks. The highway, cut through bedrock and winding high above Howe Sound and through the narrow Cheakamus Canyon, has been the scene of hundreds of traffic injuries and deaths.

The story of Howe Sound, its islands, shoreline and neighbouring lands and mountains, is a story of people and the events that shaped their lives. Much of it is told in their own words-the words of the Squamish people, settlers, loggers, prospectors and those in search of the pleasures of life in the great outdoors.

This is also a story of giving and taking and giving back. The early glaciation and volcanic eruptions uncovered rich ore beds. The land gave to the people and they mined copper, silver and gold. The moderate climate produced giant cedars, hemlocks and firs, and the people logged the forests and built homes and boats. The lush river valleys and fertile fields gave to the people, and they harvested fruits and vegetables. The water of lakes, rivers and ocean gave sea life and attracted waterbirds and mammals, and the people flourished on nature's abundance. There was so much for the taking.

For many years the people have been in the process of giving back through reforestation, conservation and environmental protection. They care enough to make a difference. The land is, again, receiving.