Mountains and Rivers in Whistler

(17th-19th August)
Monday was the day a hopefully faithful new companion would be joining our adventure. Heading to the airport to meet her, we were greeted by a red, rather large beauty. With 7 seats and a spacious boot, this Chrysler had been given the job of getting us from A-B-C-D-E-F-G.
After loading up, we hit the Sea to Sky highway which ensured our journey was accompanied by spectacular scenery, with mountains, rivers and lakes. We stopped at the Sea to Sky Gondola in order to appreciate the views, taking a ride up to the top of a mountain near the town of Squamish. This was to be the first of many beautiful scenic spots on our holiday. We arrived in Whilster village a couple of hours later and checked into Delta hotel. The village was clean and pedestrianised, on a slight slope as it was originally designed as a village that could be skied through. We couldn’t help noticing that the village felt quite superficial in its design, slightly like it was simply designed as a holiday resort, with it’s abundance of restaurants and pricey shops meaning it fitted the criteria for a ski resort perfectly. We had a lovely dinner at 21 Steps restaurant before heading to bed at what seemed to have become the routine bedtime of 9
Views after the Sea to Sky Goldola ride

Starting off from Alta Lake

The next morning we woke early again and headed into the village to pick up our ride to the river. Starting at Alta Lake we canoed down the River of Golden Dreams. The trip really was a dream. It went even more smoothly after I swapped places with Shelley so that she could steer instead as I didn’t really seem to fully have the hang of it! We maneuvered ourselves over the incredibly constructed beaver dams that were strong enough to stand on. We also had to portage a section of the river due to low water levels and spawning fish, but that was a bit of fun in itself, pushing the canoes on trolleys along winding trails.  Peaceful and once again beautiful, our canoes cut through the water whilst everything around us remained still. It truly was a fantastic experience.  

Cruising down the River of Golden Dreams

Our trusty canoes
We returned to the village to take the Peak2Peak Gondola between Whistler and Blackcoomb mountains. It is the longest unsupported gondola in the world, spanning just over 3km. Taking the first gondola to the top of Whistler mountain, we watched the downhill mountain-bikers weaving their way on narrow tracks below us. From the top we were recommended by a mountain ranger to take the Peak Express charlift right to the very very top of the mountain- and what a view we were rewarded with, even if the journey up on the chairlift was ever so slightly terrifying with the sheer drops and uncomforting rock face below us. The views that followed on the Peak2Peak Gondola simply couldn’t match those we had seen at the peak, but what a feat of engineering and construction the gondola is! From Blackcoomb mountain we took a chairlift to the bottom of the mountain. The journey down was really enjoyable and relaxing, with a cool breeze, we kept our eyes peeled below us for bears, although sadly to no avail, possibly due to the noisy kids in the chair ahead of us. 

Views from the very top of Whistler Peak

The inukshuk, symbol of the 2010 Winter Olympics, at the top of Whistlers Peak

Peak2Peak Gondola

Smile Marmot!

A wonderful chairlift ride down Blackcoomb Mountain

Only two nights in Whistler simply did not feel like enough. I would have loved to go downhill mountain-biking and so would my brother, but, like in Vancouver, we needed at least one more day! Before we knew it the day was over, although not before some truly delicious food at Alta Bistro restaurant, which had been recommended to us earlier in the day. Soon we were hitting the hay and packing up once again.

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