WHISTLER

Wel­come to Sea to Sky Coun­try

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - TRAVELLER I CONTENT - STORY BY DAVID BURKE IM­AGES BY JOERN ROHDE

Whistler is best known as a win­ter­time des­ti­na­tion, renowned for its ski­ing and snow­board­ing and as the Host Moun­tain Re­sort for the 2010 Win­ter Olympics and Par­a­lympics. That fact is im­pos­si­ble to dis­pute, as it con­sis­tently ranks as North Amer­ica’s top-ranked win­ter re­sort. But for decades, the con­sen­sus among many lo­cals was that sum­mer was their favourite time of year; and when you look at the op­por­tu­ni­ties for out­door re­cre­ation — in the Whistler Moun­tain Bike Park, on the re­sort com­mu­nity’s world-class trail net­work, along the lakes, in the coastal rain­for­est and in the alpine — that’s not at all sur­pris­ing.

In fact, the en­tire Sea to Sky Cor­ri­dor — from climb­ing the Stawa­mus Chief in the south to paraglid­ing over the im­pres­sive Pemberton Val­ley to the north — is a mag­net for adren­a­line junkies, par­tic­u­larly in the sum­mer. Where else, af­ter all, can you get big hits in the bike park, kite­board at the head of a fjord and go bungee jump­ing or fly over the for­est on one of the world’s long­est zi­plines, all in the same day? From golf to out­door sum­mer­time con­certs to peo­ple watch­ing in the Vil­lage to re­lax­ing with friends and fam­ily on the pa­tio, not to men­tion the world-class din­ing and vi­brant arts scene, more and more vis­i­tors are learn­ing that there is as much to love about Whistler in the sum­mer as there is af­ter the snow flies.

His­tor­i­cally, the Whistler Val­ley was prime hunt­ing and berry-pick­ing ter­ri­tory for the Squamish and Lil’wat peo­ples, long be­fore the first Euro­pean fur trap­pers, log­gers and min­ers ar­rived. The first ves­tiges of a “re­sort” be­gan in 1914, when Myr­tle and Alex Philip bought 10 acres on the shore of Alta Lake and opened Rain­bow Lodge — a sum­mer­time fish­ing es­tab­lish­ment that quickly caught on with vis­i­tors from across Canada. It was not un­til af­ter Franz Wil­helm­sen and his team of Van­cou­ver as­so­ci­ates ar­rived in 1960 that the idea of a ski re­sort sur­faced. Spurred on by the suc­cess of the 1960 Win­ter Olympics in Squaw Val­ley, Calif., Wil­helm­sen and his col­leagues en­vi­sioned the new ski venue as the host com­mu­nity for the 1968 Games — a vi­sion that didn’t come to fruition un­til 2003, when Van­cou­ver was cho­sen to host the 2010 Games, with Whistler host­ing the slid­ing and most of the moun­tain events.

Sum­mer­time re­sort guests can take self­ies next to the Olympic rings and read about all the medals awarded in Whistler at Whistler Olympic Plaza, which hosts an out­door sum­mer con­cert se­ries and other cul­tural and sport­ing events. At the Whistler Slid­ing Cen­tre, you can ex­pe­ri­ence the “Rolling Thun­der” of the world’s fastest track on a wheeled roller­sled; and at Whistler Olympic Park, you can go hik­ing or moun­tain bik­ing on the trails, or try shoot­ing a biathlon ri­fle in the range that hosted the Nordic events in 2010.

Art is also a big part of the Whistler re­sort ex­pe­ri­ence. In 2016, the Audain Mu­seum, an im­pres­sive, 56,000-square­foot gallery, opened its doors, fea­tur­ing works by renowned Cana­dian artists in­clud­ing Emily Carr and E.J. Hughes as well as a fine col­lec­tion of North­west Coast First Na­tions masks. Vis­i­tors can also learn about the area’s First Na­tions peo­ples at the Squamish Lil’wat Cul­tural Cen­tre, and ex­pe­ri­ence many of the fine art gal­leries through­out the Vil­lage that high­light lo­cal, Cana­dian, and in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artists. Whistler also has a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery palate and bud­get, with a vast ar­ray of restau­rants, pubs, and nightspots to fuel your sum­mer­time ad­ven­tures or quench your thirst. Then there are the world-class spa ex­pe­ri­ences ... the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less.

Clearly, adren­a­line junkies aren’t the only peo­ple who are at­tracted to this part of the world, as the spirit of the pi­o­neers lives on in the can-do, ad­ven­tur­ous mind­set of both long-time lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike.

Wel­come!

For as­sis­tance in plan­ning your trip, visit whistler­trav­eller.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.