Thursday, July 30, 2009

goodbye Whistler?

I first came to Whistler in January 2002. Four months later, I had skied 67 days, spent many late and enjoyable nights working at Whistler Village Sports, discovered an amazing burger place (Splitz grill) and had had a much-needed break. I got to enjoy these spectacular mountains, which rise whopping 5000 feet above the valley floor, with friends old (TK, Adam, Scott, Pete LaF, Jake, Mum & Dad) and new (Chris, Shara & Jen). After 67 days, there was still a lot of skiing on these hills to be done…

So I confess… coming to study in Vancouver always had an ulterior motive. Jess and I have been blessed to be able to enjoy three more ski seasons and two summer visits. Each season we booked a 3-day trip (twice on bargain time-share trial deals!) and also did a bunch of day-trips with the crew from Regent, the Neridas, Ken & Julie, Matt & Chris and AY.

While Whistler is known for its winter activities, the two summer visits that Jess and I enjoyed hiking and biking were incredible too. We just got back from a farewell stay, where we hiked the recently built alpine trails along Blackcomb mountain. The weather was warm, the wildflowers blooming and the creeks running wild.

We experienced the Peak-2-Peak Gondola for the first time, which transports skiers from the peaks of Whistler to Blackcomb mountain in 11 minutes. While I don’t think its necessary to ski both of these huge mountains on a single day, this gondola is a truly amazing engineering feat. At its tallest point, you are 436 meters high and the unsuspended cable length is 3km (1.88 miles) long. If the gondola breaks down, I have no idea how they would be able to rescue people from such heights!

Whistler is gearing up to host some of the events for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, so we checked out the impressive new sliding centre (perhaps Whistlers white elephant after the games?), which will host the bobsled and luge events.

So for now, goodbye to wonderful Whistler… and hello again when we will tune in come February 12!

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