Posted by: carterlakelife | July 19, 2010

Whistler Continued…

Kevin      We were able to take advantage of an on-line booking for a two days for the price of one for gondola/lift tickets which allowed us to ride up the mountain on Thursday and Friday (July 15 & 16). The first day was great in a closed gondola up Whistler Mountain. A little cooler than down in the valley, but still t-shirt and shorts for the most part. The views all around are spectacular and something that everyone should see at least once. The first gondola took us to an elevation of approximately 6100 feet, which was amazing enough, but we also had an opportunity to travel to the peak of the mountain on the “Peak Express”. An open-chair lift ride seemingly straight up another 1200 feet. The views back down into the valley overlooking Whistler and into the back country on the back side of the mountain were again breathtaking and it wasn’t hard to see how one could spend an entire day up there if you are the least bit interested in the landscape.   

Snow Much Fun There is the Roundhouse Lodge containing two restaurants and a coffee shop, a souvenir/clothing shop and many hiking trails starting from both the Lodge and the peak, if you were so inclined. We were not with the exception of a short hike across a snowbank to another rocky peak with more spectacular views. There is also a large stone Inukshuk that adorns the top of the mountain at the Roundhouse Lodge and another leading the way to the trails on the backside of the mountain.

Blackcomb to Whistler A relatively new feature is the peak-to-peak gondola ride from the top of  Whistler mountain to the top of Blackcomb with the option of riding across in a gondola with a glass bottom giving you great views of the valley floor during your crossing. Once across to the Blackcomb side, similar amenities existed with a Lodge containing a restaurant, coffee shop, souvenir and clothing shop. A new and unique sight, at least for prairie folk in July, was skiers and snowboarders coming down a trail that ended right at the Lodge.

There is also the opportunity to get even higher up the mountain on the Blackcomb side and after a short bus ride to another open-air chairlift, we found ourselves at 7500 feet overlooking a glacier/snow-covered bowl at the top of the mountain with many snowboarders and skiiers taking advantage of a warm July day. We passed over the downhill ski/snowboard trail that led from the 7500 foot point back down to the Rendezvous Lodge at the top of Blackcomb.  

We returned back down the mountain via an open-air chair lift giving us some great views of Whistler and the valley and also a couple of black bears who are part of the wildlife that inhabit the area. The second day we reversed our trek and traveled up the mountain on the 0pen-air lift, rode across on the peak-to-peak over to the Whistler Mountain and to the Roundhouse Lodge where we enjoyed a BBQ dinner. The food is amazing at at that altitude with the views added on, the meal was tremendous. Whole hog bbq on a spit, bbq chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, buttermilk biscuits, garlic & herb potatoes and topped off with a fantastic apple cobbler and fudge brownie. Awesome!  Kirsten

We did get “sucked into” a sort of time share presentation that is commonplace in these locations, but we stuck to our plans not to commit to anything although it was difficult and tempting for the opportunity, at least until we saw the buy-in price. We got $100 to spend in the village and discounts at a couple of the local spots, so it wasn’t a lost morning.

On Saturday, we spent much of the early part of the day relaxing in our apartment, then spent a few hours in the afternoon hanging out in the Peace Park (next to Rebigliati Park for those of you that remember him). The sun was hot and the muskoka chairs were comfortable and some tanning was in order. Late afternoon we returned to the apartment, had a quick rest and then went back out into the village for some shopping and dinner.

 We hit the Dubh Lihn Gate, an Irish pub and sat on the patio while we ate. As the evening went on we noticed live music drifting outside, so we moved in and took in some of the entertainment which surrounded a guitar player, fiddle player and a couple of bridal showers and a birthday party. The place filled up as the evening went on and the music drew many enthusiastic dancers especially a table of french-speaking tourists. One of whom spent most of the night very excited about the dancing and the music. His friends described him as “gauche”. A good evening all around.

Today, we had a relaxing morning, caught the final round of the British Open, had lunch in the village and decided to take a drive to explore more of the sights in and around Whistler. First stop was the Nicklaus North Golf Course just north of town. An amazing area with many very beautiful home that surround and intersect the golf course. It looks like an amazing course and we are looking forward to playing there this coming week. Related to the British Open, the clubhouse had a sale on merchandise related to the tournament. The players in the field were grouped into five categories from favourites to long-shots. Each category came with a % discount in the pro-shop. Less for the favourites, more for the long-shots. With Louis Oosthuizen, a relative unknown, leading the tournament since Friday and winning the tournament today, he was in a category that resulted in a 40% discount on clothing apparel in the pro-shop. For us, a very opportune time to be in there to get some good deals.

Following our time at Nicklaus North, we ventured south of the village to Whistler Olympic Park, site of the Kevinski-jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon and other nordic events of the 2010 Olympic Games. Again, it was great to see those sites and the surrounding areas. The venues are still being “tidied” up a bit, according to one of the workers at the park gate, but will be used and available for years to come. We made a quick stop in Whistler Creekside where the downhill ski events were held and completed our journey of the Olympic venues in the area. We returned to the village and our studio apartment to reflect on the day and will be heading to dinner later on.


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