Today I had a wonderful conversation with a colleague who told me about his weekend spent with his wife being a tourist in his own town… The story was real and full of adventure… I asked him if he’d help share his experience with our readers… please enjoy & thank you Bob Cameron RE/MAX Sea to Sky Whistler.
This past Saturday my wife and I decided we’d change things up and take the day off to enjoy one of Whistler’s bountiful summer offerings. As a real estate agent in Whistler my weekends are often spent working either showing property or meeting clients at my office, so it was a real treat to be a tourist for a day.
Our adventure began by riding the Whistler Village Gondola to the alpine where the scenery was nothing short of spectacular and the air temperature was about 15 degrees cooler than it was in valley. Whistler was blessed with abundant snowfall this past winter followed by cooler than average temperatures in both May and June. What that translates to is lingering snow-pack on all the north and west-facing slopes – so much snow in fact that many of the popular summer hiking trails remain closed. However, Whistler Blackcomb http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/summer/glacier/index.htm was not going to let a little snow curtail their mountain top activities. Snow shoeing in July? How about tubing in the high alpine? Determined to offer access to the high alpine hiking, Whistler Blackcomb used their snow grooming machines to clear the Pika’s Traverse trail and Mathew’s Traverse road of all snow.
In doing so they created an opportunity to ride the Peak Chair and hike down or alternatively to hike up to the top of the Peak Chair. Deciding that the walk downhill might be a bit hard on our knees we chose the latter (Pika’s Traverse to the top of Harmony Chair and Mathew’s Traverse to the top of the Peak Chair). With the Harmony Bowls and Spearhead Range as a back drop this challenging uphill walk is well worth the effort. Hiking in short sleeve shirts and shorts we were surrounded by snow. At times the cut banks along the edge of the trail towered 15 -20 feet above us! Everywhere we looked we saw smiling faces, people making snowballs, carving their initials in the snow banks along the edge of the trail, taking pictures, picnicking. The reward at the top of the hike is the spectacular ride down the Peak Chair offering a chance to relax and literally take in the panorama of the Whistler Valley and surrounding mountains. From the bottom of the Peak chair it was a short walk back to the Roundhouse Lodge for a quick bathroom break and a little people watching (everything from serious hikers to those in sandals and even the occasional pair of high heeled shoes).
Next up was the famous Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride across the valley to Blackcomb Mountain where we re-hydrated and enjoyed a casual lunch on the patio of the Rendezvous Lodge.
Blackcomb Mountain offers skiing & snowboarding on the Horstman Glacier until early August, so the scene on Blackcomb Mountain is a little different and often peppered by the colorfully attired snowboarders & skiers coming down from or heading up to the glacier. Christine’s Restaurant in Rendezvous Lodge offers a fine dining alternative to the more casual fare we chose and they were doing a fine business both inside the restaurant and outside on their generous deck….another day perhaps or maybe one of the Mountain Top evening BBQ’s on Whistler Mountain…..
We wrapped up our day as tourists by riding down the Solar Coaster and Wizard Chairs on Blackcomb Mountain taking in the scenery and welcoming the warmth of the valley below as it gradually transported us back to summer and all the fun things that summer offers up in this magnificent valley…..”Living the Dream”.