Guppy grew up in Tofino, son of a retired Indian Civil Service officer. The Guppy family arrived in Tofino in 1921 when Walter was three. The Zeballos gold rush between 1934 and 1938 kindled his interest in prospecting. At age 18 he acquired his first 'Free Miner's Certificate'. His chronicles of searching for gold on the West Coast in the modern era are significant and rare. He traipsed from Nimpkish to the Nitinat area, across Vancouver Island from Bedwell Inlet to Buttle Lake, and along the Pacific Rim Highway route from Kennedy Lake to the Albernis. He has since contributed memoirs about the Tofino area.

Author of

A Place for Gold (Self-published / Grassroots Publications 2000)

Clayoquot Soundings: A History of Clayoquot Sound, 1880s--1980s (Self-publshed / Grassroots 1997)

Wilderness Wandering on Vancouver Island (1993).

Wetcoast Ventures: Mine-Finding on Vancouver Island. Edited by Ed Gould. Cappis Press, 1988.

[BCBW 2003] "Mining" "Local History"