Whistler is a cosmopolitan ski resort that lacks pretense and is all substance. (I wrote all about the epic skiable terrain and its conservation initiatives here.) It’s a mecca for mountain culture and the people are cool; there’s a magnetism about the locals who share a deep passion for their connection with mother nature.
In a kingdom of abundance like British Columbia, you can’t help but absorb the energy of the vibrant culture and rugged mountains, and daydream about not returning home.
Skiing and boarding aside, I found that there’s no shortage of eco adventures at Whistler. My boyfriend Bryan and I enjoyed exploring the bustling pedestrian village which is packed with healthy dining and shopping choices. (Farm to table restaurant Araxi was a favorite.) We ziplined through Whistler’s coastal rainforest, relaxed at Fairmont Chateau’s Vida Spa, and attended a riveting photo-focused event hosted by Arc’teryx.
Herewith, an itinerary of the second half of my trip to Whistler.
8:00am: Kick-started the day with a visit to Fairmont Chaeau Whistler’s Vida Spa.
9:00am: Skied the morning away.
12:30pm: Lunch at Rendezvous Lodge located on Blackcomb Mountain at the top of the Wizard and Solar Coaster Express chairlifts. Also accessible by the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola from Whistler.
1:00pm: I took a half-day ski lesson at the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School because, well, there’s always room for improvement. (And I need to keep up with Bryan who skied his way through college in Colorado.)
4:00pm: Après at Bearfoot Bistro for oysters and local wine.
8:00pm: Seasonal dinner at Rimrock Cafe for freshly caught seafood and outstanding service. Sommelier Darin Newton will pair you something perfect. Just an 8-minute taxi ride from Whistler Village.
10:00pm: Bryan and I enjoyed live music and a few cocktails at Dubh Linn Gate. After a day of skiing and a delicious dinner, this was the perfect spot to end the day.
9:30am: Ecological exploration with Ziptrek Ecotours located in the old growth coastal temperate rainforest on Whistler-Blackcomb mountains.
The five incredible ziplines on our tour ranged from 200-1,100 feet, and are joined by a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks and trails. In between ziplines, our two hosts spoke about conservation initiatives and interesting facts about the local environment.
A testament to Whister’s preservation efforts are the lichens hanging from the trees (pictured below). Lichens (pronounced ly-kens) are made up of algae and fungi in a mutually beneficial relationship, and thrive in non-polluted environments.
Ziptrek Ecotours recently announced it will launch the longest zipline in the US and Canada this July. The zipline will cover a distance of two kilometers (1.24 miles) and take guests from high up on Blackcomb Mountain to a landing area near Whistler Mountain. One of many reasons to visit British Columbia this summer.
6:00pm: Attended Arc’teryx’s Deep Winter Photo Challenge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
For the past nine winters, Whistler has invited photographers from around the world to step up to a 72-hour challenge of creating a three-to five-minute slideshow all shot within the bounds of Whistler-Blackcomb Mountains. This year, the lineup of photographers included Ashley Barker, Mike Helfrich, Ben Girardi, Tal Roberts, and Adam Barker.
Each photographer had a very unique slideshow and presented their perspective of life at Whistler to a sold-out 1,100-person audience at the Fairmont. Fortunately for us, the event was in our hotel!
There were cheers, tears, and plenty of laughs throughout the evening. Admittedly, I got a bit emo watching this slideshow by Adam Barker. It is the kind of photo essay that prompts you to contemplate your own lifestyle and personal connection with nature.
Whistler’s spring skiing and boarding operations will remain open until May 18, but after speaking with so many locals during the trip, I learned summertime is truly their favorite season. In fact, Whistler sees more visitors during summer than winter. Guests flock to the region for some of the best hiking, ziplining, golfing, mountain biking, and kayaking in North America. Have a peek at the selection of the many outdoor summer activities Whistler offers.
Stay tuned as Eco-Chick will travel to Whistler this summer to meet with local artisans and winemakers, and hike and mountain bike through magical Whistler-Blackcomb.
Related: Exploring the Majesty of Whistler