Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sue finally gets to Whistler !

This was Davids mum’s 7th visit to Canada since we have been here, each time we have planned a trip to the resort town of Whistler and there always seems to be an obstacle stopping the visit from happening – the weather wasn’t good enough, we didn’t have time with other things planned or work commitments, concerned not enough shady parking for Charlie/Mojo.

However, on this visit the stars aligned and we finally made it the 1hr30 minute drive to Whistler for a day trip.

Sues friend Mal and her friend Bridget came over and picked up Sue so that the rest of us could travel together.  We stopped for photos at Porteau Cove on the way. Here are a couple of panorama photos taken using the Photosynth App on the iPhone.

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Annabel in Porteau Cove.

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The whole Fowler family, Denny, Jay and Annabel.

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After our stop in Porteau Cove we continue through Squamish up into Whistler village.  From previous visits with my parents we knew of underground parking beneath The Brewhouse, which at $15/day is no bargain but worth every penny when you need to keep a car parked with an Australian Shepherd and the forecast is 30+ degree temps !

As we walk through the village Annabel spots the various wood carvings of different local animals.

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We make our way through the village, doing a little shopping for some new sunglasses for Annabel.  Denny, Jay and Annabel in Whistler Village.

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We stop for lunch at a local pub then jump on the Whistler Village Gondala which takes us up to Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, which sits at 1,850m/6,069ft. From this point there is a steep gravel walk to an open chairlift which takes us to the very peak of Whistler Mountain.

Bridget, Mal, David, Jay and Denny as we walk towards the station for the Peak Express chairlift.


Jay, Denny and David on the Peak Express


Bridget and Mal on the chair behind us.


There were terrific views on the way up to Whistler Peak.




Video as we take the Peak Express chairlift to Whistler Peak.

The Peak Express chairlift takes us up another 1,000ft to 2,182m/7,087ft and provides astounding views over the surrounding valleys and mountain peaks.


The peaks of nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park.


Whistler is a key ski and snowboard destination in North America during winter and in the summer becomes a mecca for hiking and mountain biking. Here are walkers on the High Note Trail.


Views towards the South East.


Views towards the South West over Whistler Village down in the valley with Alta Lake to the left of the village and appropriately named Green Lake to the right.


The top of the Roundhouse Lodge at the top of the Whistler Gondola and where the Peak-2-Peak gondola commences.


The Inukshuk at Whistler Peak with the peak of Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park in the background.


After views and photos at Whistler Peak we take the Whistler Express chairlift back down to Roundhouse Lodge.  Views from the chairlift on the way back down.

IMG_7576The ski runs of the neighbouring Blackcomb Mountain from the Whistler Express chairlift.


Myself, Jay and Denny


We walk back along the steep gravel trail back to Roundhouse Lodge.



Back at Roundhouse Lodge we get onto the Peak-2-Peak Gondola which will take us right across Fitzsimmon Valley to Blackcomb Mountain in the worlds longest unsupported gondola with over 3km between cable towers.

We are a group of eight and the mountain is quite quiet so we enjoy a whole gondola to ourselves.


Annabel and Sue


Mal, Annabel and Jay take in the views.


There are great views to the North from the Peak-2-Peak Gondola.


And great views to the South down Fitzsimmon Valley from our gondola, almost half a kilometre above the valley floor.


More views, we’re on the lookout for bears too as we’ve always previously been lucky seeing them in Whistler.


Eventually we reach Blackcomb Mountain.  Sue here relaxing beside the woodcarvings and taking a break in the heat – even here at 6,000ft it’s still 25 degrees !




Our family photo atop Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler.


We take in the views and walk around Blackcomb before making our way towards the cafe for drinks


After refreshments we make our way towards the Solar Coaster Express chairlift to start our descent back towards Whistler Village.

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Sue and David on the Solar Coaster Express chairlift on Blackcomb Mountain.


Jay, Annabel and Denny are on the chair behind us, and Mal and Bridget on the one behind that.


It turns out our bear-spotting luck hadn’t run out, soon on the Solar Coaster Express chairlift we spot a black bear ahead of us, our lift is going to go right over the top of him.





About halfway down the mountain, delighted at our wildlife spotting we all change onto the final chairlift that will take us back to the village, the Wizard Express. 

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Once back in the village I run and collect Mojo so has been waiting very patiently in the car for us.  I walk him back through the throngs of tourists and meet up with the rest of the group who have found a couple of great tables on the edge of a great patio.  The intention was for Mojo to wait outside the patio walls while we have a drink. 

Somehow I have ended up outside the patio while Mojo is in the pub !

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After our excellent afternoon in Whistler we make our way back towards home, stopping for a photo op at Brandywine Falls (wrong time of day for the sun, much better visited in the morning).


We enjoyed a fantastic day out together, weather, wildlife spotting and scenery couldn’t have been better, all rounded off with Chinese from our favourite takeaway.  A great day out !

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