Ninety miles along the Howe Sound from Vancouver, through the dense pine forest s should go down as ‘must do road’. Following Canada Highway 99 was stunning.
The day was ‘Canada Day’ which to an American means that their birthday’s nation is only three days away!
Now I am not a skier, mountain biker or any other downhill activity but Whistler is a sophisticated and elegant mountain resort and geared up for all seasons. I drove to the village passing dozens of hard working cyclists who had their own lane to navigate. I can assume the ride back down is more pleasurable than the slog to get there.
The village has an Olympic Green that had a huge stage at one end and the rings of the Olympic movement and the broken rings of the Para-Olympics proudly on display. There is a stream that flows across the village that you sit around in Adirondack chairs. A huge town square with anchor stores and restaurants on each corner.
The whole village is pedestrianised and is very pleasurable to stroll around. There are plenty of places to eat but as it was ‘Canada Day’ and all things were red and white many folk were taking prime places along the merchants walls and steps to get a good view thus adding to the throng. There was a range of specialist ski and outdoor suppliers as well as bike rental stores and some very attractive gift shops along with multiple Starbucks and Tim Horton’s.
At the far end was the Whistler – Blackcomb Peak to Peak Gondola station which astonishingly costs over C$60 per person to climb into the sky between the two major mountains. I am sure the views are breathtaking but surely in summer they could drop the rate.
See here for more information on Peak to Peak
There were so many mountain bikers waiting in line to snake down the mountain that it completely surprised me that there is a mountain bike zone ticket to ride on the Whistler Creekside Gondola.
Click here for more detail on the Mountain Bike Park
I parked in the Pan Pacific Whistler Peak Lodge which I pulled into before getting to the main parking lots. I didn’t really understand how to pay but you had to pay by bay number at the pay point. As the signage said you didn’t need to display a ticket I wrongly assumed that there was number plate recognition. I returned to the pay point within the hour and then discovered that I hadn’t paid for the hour I had been in Whistler but for a first hour that ended one hour later. The charge was C$3.50 per hour or C$12.00 all day. My bad! I used the additional time to wander through the Alpine Village and it’s lodges.
The drive alone was worth the visit I only wish the pull in places on the route allowed more viewing points but you can’t have everything.