I have been in Whistler for just over 3 months now doing the winter season, and not so long ago I was lucky enough to have my parents come for a visit from the UK, as well as my brother come to warm up from Saskatchewan! The great thing about doing a ski season here is you get to live like a local and a tourist, so it was great to show my family around and still explore things myself. We had had a good bit of snowfall just before they arrived so Whistler was all pretty and snowy again, and I had managed to drop a few shifts at work so I could show them around. Here’s how we spent our week in Whistler and Vancouver:
Exploring Whistler’s lakes
After a hectic day at work I met my family at their lovely little apartment in Whistler Village; they had found an apartment for the week through AirBnB. Then, in true British fashion, we went straight out for a beer at one of my favorite bars here, The Brewhouse.
Our first outing was to Lost Lake. At Lost Lake you can do cross country skiing, and a lot of people play ice hockey too as the lake is frozen for most of the winter. Living up to its name, we took a wrong turn somewhere and lost the lake for a while! It looked a bit different than the last time I saw it:
I hadn’t had chance to go see one of the other lakes since arriving, so the next day we went to visit Alta Lake, which is the bigger and arguably more scenic. I didn’t get enough pictures to give it justice.
Fire & Ice Show
Every Sunday night in Whistler there is a Fire & Ice show, which I hadn’t yet seen since arriving so we checked that out. Some of the ski and snowboard instructors basically do tricks through a ring of fire which is cool to watch then there is a firework display at the end. Beats most Sunday nights back home anyway!
Fresh Tracks Breakfast
One of my favorite things to do here is the Whistler Blackcomb Fresh Tracks breakfast, which means you get an early gondola up the mountain at 7:15am and then enjoy a buffet breakfast at the Roundhouse restaurant at the top. A bell is called at around 8am to let people get fresh laps on the freshly groomed runs. There is always a mix of people who stay and fill up on the buffet breakfast and those who rush off to get to be one of the first few down the mountain – this time I was the latter!
We unfortunately didn’t get to see the sunrise this time, but just a few days later I got to witness this amazing sunrise:
Peak to Peak Gondola
For the most part, my family wasn’t skiing or snowboarding (although my dad and brother tried snowboarding and skiing for the first time and both loved it!), so we took a site-seeing trip up the mountain. Whistler is home to the record breaking Peak-to-Peak Gondola, which connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. We were really lucky to get a nice clear day, as you really can’t beat these views:
Next up was ziplining through Ziptrek Whistler. We were booked on the Eagle Tour, which included five different ziplines. After doing the skeleton and bobsleigh, I wasn’t expecting the ziplining to be too much of an adrenaline rush, but once we were harnessed in and about to do a 2,400 zip with a 30-storey descent that all changed! The whole set up of the tour was great; we got the gondola up to mid station, then we snowshoed our way down to the first zipline. We walked through the trees and suspension bridges to get to the next ziplines, which was very scenic, and then ended up back at the bottom of the village.
Enjoying the views in Vancouver
For the last few days of the trip we headed to Vancouver. I hadn’t left Whistler for 3 months so it was nice to get to the city and enjoy a couple of nights in a hotel, do some shopping and eat at nicer restaurants than I can afford to in Whistler! We stayed at the Empire Landmark Hotel, which had great views of the city and a revolving restaurant at the top. Dinner at the revolving restaurant was great. It takes about an hour to get round and the views of the city were amazing.
Biking around Stanley Park
The next day we hired bikes to cycle around Stanley Park. You cannot beat the views, certainly beats the parks back in the UK!
Shopping in Vancouver
Next it was a flying visit to Granville Island, home to the Granville Island Brewing that I’ve become accustomed to. There were loads of cool little shops and a huge food market, but it was more of window shopping trip unfortunately! Talking of shopping, we then heading downtown and I took a long overdue trip to some of my favorite shops to stock up on cheap clothes!
Although we didn’t get to do everything we had planned due to pesky weather, the whole week was amazing; it was so good to see my family again and even better, in a place I’ve grown to love.