THE SUM­MER SIDE OF WHISTLER

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - TRAVELLER I CONTENT - STORY BY RE­BECCA WOOD BAR­RETT IM­AGES BY JOERN RO­HDE whistler­trav­eller.com

A sum­mer va­ca­tion in Whistler is an en­tirely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence from a win­ter’s hol­i­day. The long, sunny days pro­vide many more hours to in­dulge in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. There’s time to take a deep breath. Pause on the moun­tain trail. Linger at the lake­side. And spread out a pic­nic for fam­ily and friends. The “five-minute warn­ing” given to the kids play­ing in the sand and catch­ing min­nows stretches into another hour while your to-do list fades away. Iron­i­cally, hav­ing more time al­lows you to en­joy do­ing less.

When the val­ley emerges from its hi­ber­na­tion un­der snow and ice, ex­panses of ter­rain and wa­ter are ex­posed for you to ex­plore. The es­sen­tial win­ter sched­ule of fuel-up, strap on your skis or board and race to the moun­tains is re­placed by a much more ca­sual itin­er­ary. You have the en­tire day to pur­sue the ac­tiv­i­ties of your choice, at the parks, on the hik­ing and bik­ing trails, on fresh­wa­ter lakes and rivers, and on moun­tain peaks. Sleep in. Dine when you de­sire. Book your ac­tiv­i­ties for a time that suits you. Stay up late to do some stargaz­ing. Get car­ried away. There’s no rush.

Many of Whistler’s sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties are ac­ces­si­ble for the whole fam­ily — from youth to se­niors — which means you can com­bine qual­ity fam­ily time with ad­ven­tures that are fun for ev­ery­one. Con­sider a breath­tak­ing ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gon­dola; an ed­u­ca­tional tour to view Whistler’s bears; a thrilling zi­pline adventure; or an ex­cur­sion on one of the area’s wa­ter­ways via kayak, ca­noe, stand-up pad­dle­board or white­wa­ter raft. The val­ley’s ex­ten­sive trail net­work of­fers hik­ing and moun­tain bik­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties for all abil­i­ties.

While you’re here, stop and en­joy the sights and ac­tiv­i­ties of our neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the Sea to Sky Cor­ri­dor — Pem­ber­ton to the north and Squamish to the south. For in­cred­i­ble sweep­ing coastal views of Howe Sound, Shan­non Falls and the Stawa­mus Chief, ride the Sea to Sky Gon­dola. Spend the day hik­ing, tak­ing in the spec­tac­u­lar views from the three view­ing plat­forms or en­joy a snack and freshly brewed tea at the Sum­mit Tea House.

If you’re a golf afi­cionado, sign up for 18 holes at one of Whistler’s four lo­cal cour­ses, and en­joy the views of pris­tine lakes and the tow­er­ing peaks of Whistler’s “other moun­tains”: Arm­chair, Wedge, Rain­bow and Sproatt. The four cham­pi­onship cour­ses were de­signed by in­ter­na­tional play­ers Jack Nick­laus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Robert Cupp, re­spec­tively, to chal­lenge your abil­i­ties against Whistler’s nat­u­ral wa­ter fea­tures and ter­rain.

Whistler also has a full cal­en­dar of high­en­ergy ac­tiv­i­ties and sport­ing events. Down­hill moun­tain bik­ing on Whistler Moun­tain is sum­mer’s grav­ity-fed an­swer to win­ter’s need­for-speed. The lat­est tech­nol­ogy in down­hill bikes, pro­tec­tive ar­mour, and starter-level trails make it pos­si­ble for ev­ery­one to give it a try. And you don’t have to be able to ride a bike to en­joy Crankworx, a 10-day moun­tain bike fes­ti­val with some of the most ex­treme fat-tire rid­ing on the planet. Through­out the sum­mer Whistler hosts a va­ri­ety of pop­u­lar events that em­brace its moun­tain­ous ter­rain, such as the rolling North Face Whistler Half Marathon, wet and wild Tough Mud­der and Mud­derella, phe­nom­e­nally chal­leng­ing Subaru Iron­man Canada, and the up­hill climb of the RBC Gran-Fondo Whistler cy­cling race.

Warm sum­mer days pro­vide the per­fect set­ting for out­door mu­sic and arts fes­ti­vals. The growth of the Squamish Val­ley Mu­sic Fes­ti­val has defini­tively launched the feel-good party vibe of the Sea to Sky Cor­ri­dor into or­bit. The all-ages, camp-out mu­sic fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the best of lo­cal B.C. mu­si­cians and some of the big­gest names in the in­dus­try. At the north end of the cor­ri­dor is the Pem­ber­ton Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. In­ter­na­tion­ally renowned head­lin­ers rock out un­der the strik­ing ver­ti­cal face of Mount Cur­rie by day and the stars by night. The fes­ti­val show­cases eclec­tic mu­si­cal styles in­clud­ing in­die, rock, hip hop and elec­tronic dance mu­sic.

When plan­ning your visit to Whistler, be sure your stay in­cludes a week­end when the Whistler Presents Con­cert Se­ries show­cases live bands and or­ches­tral mu­sic at the Whistler Olympic Plaza. Pack a pic­nic and lounge on the lush lawn of the plaza. For an ex­cep­tional week­end for the whole fam­ily, don’t miss the Whistler Chil­dren’s Fes­ti­val, packed with hands-on art work­shops, mu­sic, the­atre and dance.

Sum­mer’s balmy days and nights are ideal for din­ing al fresco on one of the Vil­lage’s plen­ti­ful pa­tios. Many of Whistler’s chefs pride them­selves on sourc­ing pro­duce and meat from lo­cal farms, and seafood from Pacific coastal wa­ters. At the sum­mer mar­ket in the Up­per Vil­lage, you’ll find a cor­nu­copia of fresh fruit, veg­eta­bles, baked goods and tasty treats to try.

It’s not too early to start think­ing about sum­mer. With a bit of re­search and or­ga­ni­za­tion in ad­vance, you’ll be able to cre­ate the per­fect va­ca­tion and com­bine your out­door ad­ven­tures with a bal­anced dose of down­time. So start your plan­ning now and come back for a taste of sum­mer­time in Whistler.

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