After several posts about Vancouver, we arrive at the grand finale: Whistler. LELELELELELE!
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I really liked Vancouver. A lot. I love that it’s so inherently connected to nature, that the people are friendlier and more in tune with living a healthy lifestyle. I appreciate that the city is smaller and surrounded by awesome views of the mountains as well as the infamous seawall. Vancouver just rocks. All of that being said, the highlight of my trip (besides the food and coffee – ha ha!) was definitely Whistler. We always intended to go up there – from the moment I booked my flight. But we hadn’t really given much thought to what we wanted to do while there. On my end, I wanted to hike. And see bears. In fact let’s be honest: my mission whilst in Vancouver was to see at least one damn bear (in particular, the elusive white black bear) but no matter where I looked, there was nary a one in sight <sigh>. Anyway, I wasn’t that interested in Whistler Village because REALLY – who goes to Whistler to shop, dudes? I can see the same village at Tremblant! When we got to Whistler Village, we had a wander and came upon a nice big sign advertising some kind of “Peak-to-Peak” adventure, so we investigated further. After speaking to a very nice guy who presumably worked at Whistler (I dunno – he seemed to know what he was talking about), we all agreed that we were going to do the Peak-to-Peak. What is the Peak-to-Peak, you might ask? I will tell you! Or rather, Whistler’s web site will tell you:
Spanning the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the new world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a breathtaking, 4.4-kilometre journey to infinite possibilities. Redefining the Whistler summer experience by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, this engineering marvel breaks three world records.
- Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres
- Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor
- Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe
Sounds awesome, right? So off we went. We began our gondolian (Annism) adventure at Blackcomb’s base, and proceeded to take several lifts that would eventually drop us off near Whistler’s summit <squeal!>. During this adventure, we had to change gondolas a few times – I lost track of how many after like, three. I do know that after two lifts (I think), we were dropped at a base where Christine’s is located; Christine’s is a fabulous restaurant located on Blackcomb that serves fresh, local cuisine. Not only was the food amazing, but the view was stunning. They have a great observation deck where you can snap a few money shots while waiting for your meal to arrive. We resumed our gondolian adventure after a late lunch and after a ride in the bubble (those really fancy lifts that shield you from the elements) and breathtaking views of both Whistler and Blackcomb (and logging trails and crazy-ass trees), we finally reached the last lift.
I was eager to sit my ass down and get going until I saw the lift – a rickety metal contraption that was completely open. Umm, hello? We’re almost at the highest point of this mountain and surely you will agree that it’s a hell of a lot colder up here than it is down there so why, pray tell, is there no bubble to transport me?! I was wearing shorts, by the way – ’cause that’s just how I roll. Anyway, we sucked it up and got on the lift, with my brother muttering “I’m looking sideways! I’m looking sideways!” repeatedly (he’s not that great with heights and apparently looking sideways was helpful. OK weirdo). Elly on the other hand, was worried she’d crap her pants before we reached our destination. As for me? Well, I was feeling a little nervous being so incredibly high up and having my ass flown around on a metal contraption that could drop me to my death at any moment. So I took pictures. In-between not looking down and worrying about falling out of the gondola, I snapped madly away to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. At least if I plunged to my death, I would leave behind a photo journal of my trip to Vancouver, right? Right.
When we reached the top, we stepped off onto a rocky trail and walked the rest of the way up to the summit. The SUMMIT people! I spent a lot of time on various sides of the mountain because I really wanted to take in every vantage point. But my mind was set on being at the very top, so I set off toward what looked like the highest crag, and I (carefully) climbed my way up. Oh. My. I have to pause here because I honestly don’t think anything I write can convey the awesomeness that is Whistler. Breathtaking. Stunning. Jaw-dropping. Beautiful. It is while all of these thoughts were flying through my head that it hit me: complete and utter silence. This realization took my breath away and I allowed myself to bask in the moment, to feel peace in my heart. Definitely inspiring. I resisted an urge to get into Tree pose for fear of falling off the summit and hurtling to my death.
So, here are some photos of Whistler. I’ll be splitting the Whistler posts out because I have WAY too many pics! Click to enlarge, always.
So, before I wrap this one up, this is what we ate at Christine’s – if you go to Whistler and do the P2P, I highly recommend this place.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I could potentially plunge to my death! Except that I’m writing this post, so you already know the ending.