The hardest part about visiting Whistler in the summer is trying to figure how to fit the myriad of activities into a day that only has 24-hours. You see Whistler is not only a winter wonderland. Yes, it is the site of the alpine, Nordic, and sliding events for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Whistler Blackcomb also remains the top ski resort in North America for the 12th year in a row. But in the summer, it becomes an adventure seekers’ paradise.
Cooling off a bit from the previous week before, it seemed the locals welcomed the cloudy-and-windy morning we woke up to yesterday. After a rise n’ shine, peddle-and-paddle tour with Whistler Eco Tours, we couldn’t wait to grab lunch in the square and take in some of the sunshine that was now peeking through the clouds.
Always a hub of activity, Whistler Village square is one of my favourite places to sit and people watch and it never gets old. The terraces of the restaurants are always filled with energy, as young couples, groups of girls and guys, and families gather to eat, drink and talk weekend gossip.
What’s the buzz about these days in a community that draws two million visitors a year? According to Amber Turnau from Whistler and Blackcomb, it’s summer sightseeing, 360-degree-style courtesy of the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola and then a little mountain top wine tasting. So up we went.
The Whistler Village Gondola was the first step to getting us to the base of the PEAK 2 PEAK. I never get tired of getting up-close-and-personal with the trees that we pass over. On a clear day, the views of the village, Lost Lake, Green Lake and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler are stunning.
Although I was nervous at first, once I got into the PEAK cabin, the smooth ride settled my weak stomach. The spacious interior of the cabin holds 28 people and we were joined by no more than ten, so there was enough space to walk around.
The glass windows were spotless, giving us a magnificent view of the trails, the surrounding mountains and the dense-and-lush mountains below. It was truly breathtaking.
And we didn’t even have to hold our breath that long (11 minutes to be exact). Spanning from Whistler to Blackcomb Mountains, at the highest peak we were 436 metres above the valley floor. The world record-breaking line is a 4.4 km journey across, while the longest unsupported span is about 3 km. This makes it the longest continuous lift system on the globe.
After a quick photo-op with the ”wooden cougar” on the Blackcomb side, we looped back to complete our Alpine Experience with a wine tasting at Steeps Restaurant in the Roundhouse Lounge.
Sitting on the patio in the gorgeous sunshine and overlooking Whistler Mountain gave me a real taste of everything that Whistler had to offer in the summer months. If only it could give us more hours in a day, so we could enjoy it all.
To share your own personal photos from across Canada, we’d love to see them at Locals Know.
While I’m a contributor to We Blog the World, the below blog post is the copyright of the Canadian Tourism Commission. Please link back and credit all content used to Canada is a Big Place. You can also check us out on Flickr and @biglaceblog.