August 12, 2012

Whistler Mountain

On Wednesday we made a day trip outside of Vancouver to visit the home of the 2010 winter Olympics, Whistler Mountain. That morning started off rainy and cloudy and we were afraid that our plans for a hike in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, just outside of Whistler, were ruined.

Driving to Garibaldi Provincial Park
We drove on the Sea-to-Sky highway, with astounding views of the mountains and crystal clear lakes. The signage on the road was not only in English, but also in native aboriginal languages. I found it interesting that the aboriginal names not only had alphabet characters, but also used numerical symbols. For example, Squamish was translated as Skwxqu7mesh. I wonder how you pronounce that?

Aboriginal names
The hike in Garibaldi Park started at higher elevations, so we soon found ourselves climbing into deep fog (or hiking among the clouds if you'd rather). The greenery was similar to rain forests we'd hiked in in Washington, but there was a lot more moss ground cover. We only had 4 miles in us, so we turned around at the 2 mile point. If we'd hiked an hour further we would have made it to Garibaldi Lake, which we heard was beautiful, according to all the hikers we ran into coming from that direction.

Hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Lindsay and Skyler tackle the mountain
Lindsay and I at a waterfall
After the hike we drove another 30 miles north and pulled into the town of Whistler. The main attraction, from what I'd read, was at the Whistler Village, so we headed there. In the Village we found a big green lawn and several big screens broadcasting the 2012 London Olympics live. We walked further into the village along the hotel and cafe lined streets, and made our way to the bottom of the ski lifts.

At Whistler Village
Walking around Whistler Village
Hotel and cafe lined streets at Whistler Village
Whistler is a year round destination, and while the ski lifts are busy escorting skiers and snowboarders up the mountain in the winter, in the summer they are packed with downhill mountain-bikers. There was a bike ramp at the bottom of the mountain near the lifts, so we sat a while and watched the bikers do their thing. It was all pretty interesting and scary at the same time. I figure skiing looks scary at first too, and I've gotten to the point where I like to show off at the bottom of the mountain by doing the hard sideways stop, so I bet downhill mountain biking would be similar, its just so unfamiliar to me now.

Ski lifts full of bikes
Hard-core dudes taking a rest
We got some yummy ice cream in the Village and then decided to head back to Vancouver. On the way home we saw all the same beautiful sites we'd seen on the way in, except this time we were on the outside track, near the water, and had an even better view.

A visit to the Porteau Cove
The smoothest water I've ever seen in a large lake
To see more pictures of Whistler Mountain, click here.

Happy Olympic Village hoping,


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  1. Love the blog and the beautiful pictures. Great material for a book!