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Kids Whistler

In Your Element

For those who love the river, the road or the sky—or all three—adventure awaits

By CHLOË LAI

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Make a Splash

Whistler’s rivers and lakes are icy, but the action is hot. Thrill-seeking travellers and fun-loving families put their paddling power to the test by rafting through glacier-fed white water rapids with Sunwolf. With adventures for every ability level, from the roaring Elaho to the gently rolling Cheakamus River, there are plenty of opportunities to get your feet—and everything else—wet. Those looking for a more meditative experience can head over to Backroads Whistler and glide gently down the River of Golden Dreams in a canoe or kayak, with fresh air courtesy of the old-growth forest. Drift solo, or go with a guide to discover the stories behind every landmark. (more…)

Udderly Delicious

By SHERI RADFORD

Scoop up some joy this summer.

Scoop up some joy this summer.

If the whole family is screaming for ice cream, head to Cows Whistler. There’s something for all tastes, from traditional—Vanilla, Chocolate, Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter—to more playful: Gooey Mooey, Messie Bessie, Wowie Cowie, Moo Crunch, Chip Chip Hooray. With so much frozen goodness to choose from, brain freeze is inevitable (but worth it).

History Comes Alive at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

By SHERI RADFORD

Learn about the local First Nations at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Learn about local First Nations culture at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Centuries before skiers and snowboarders took over Whistler, the Squamish and Lil’wat people lived, fished and hunted in the region. Celebrating the diverse cultures of these two First Nations groups, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre brims with information and hands-on exhibits. Prepare to be fascinated.

The Must List: Summer

With the warm weather finally upon us, we present this season’s must-do activities and must-see attractions

By SHERI RADFORD

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

See black bears up close on a tour.

Relax in a spa.

Travel between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Stroll through the Village while window-shopping and savouring an ice cream cone.

Whiz down Whistler at breakneck speed on a mountain bike. (more…)

Make a Splash With Sunwolf

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cruise the Elaho River with Sunwolf

Cruise the Elaho River with Sunwolf

Turquoise-blue water and spectacular alpine peaks—the setting takes your breath away. That, or the rollicking Elaho River. In nearby Brackendale, Sunwolf offers rafting trips through pristine wilderness, with plenty of white water to boot. Scale a rock face for a glacier-water plunge, then dig paddles deep to work up an appetite for the mid-trip barbeque lunch. Pint-sized adrenaline junkies find calmer adventures on the Cheakamus River. Still waters run deep, but wild ones are much more fun.

Guide to Outside

Plot out an itinerary for one of the world’s most pristine adventure playgrounds

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

MAKE TRACKS
Once ski season is over, the peaks here turn into a mountain-bike mecca. Downhillers and freeriders flock to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, which boasts 1,500 vertical metres (4,900 vertical feet) of lift-serviced descending trails. Pedal through sprawling terrain that ranges from beginner to heart-stopping. Those with gold-medal dreams head to the Whistler Sliding Centre, the venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Even in summer, it’s possible to rocket down a track on Rolling Thunder, a bobsleigh equipped with wheels that reaches speeds of up to 90 km (56 mi) per hour. (more…)

Whistler by the Numbers

Why do we love Whistler? Let us count the ways—skiing, shopping, dining and reliving the Olympics are just the beginning. To sum up, there’s something for everyone

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

1 Whistler Blackcomb has once again been named the number one ski resort in North America by SKI magazine. The resort offers more than 200 unique runs, 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain and après options for everyone.

8 Whistler was home to eight sports during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Live the dream and try everything from skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre to ski jumping at Whistler Olympic Park—glory can be yours.

50 The 2015-16 season marks the 50th anniversary of Whistler Mountain as a ski resort. When it first opened in 1966, there were just six runs, including Franz’s Run, named for Franz Wilhelmsen, the company’s first president.

200 If you need a break from all the wintry adventure, or just get the urge to shop, duck into one of the 200+ stores to stock up on everything from art to ski gear.

551.3 Whistler boasts 551.3 hectares (1,362.3 acres) of parkland spread across 15 public parks. Add in the area’s five major lakes, and there’s plenty to do without taking a chairlift.

6,450 Need to refuel? There’s no need to go far, or even to leave the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb has 17 on-mountain dining options, with seating for 6,450.

69,939 Whistler Blackcomb’s 37 lifts can move 69,939 people per hour. That includes the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the world’s highest and longest lift, which spans 4.4 km (2.7 mi) between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb.

2,100,000 Each year 2,100,000 people from all over the world visit Whistler. That doesn’t include the more than 2,000 seasonal residents—note all the Australian accents.

Gone Fishin’

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

An eager angler hooks a catch with Pemberton Fish Finder

An eager angler hooks a catch with Pemberton Fish Finder

It’s cool—you don’t have to miss out on excellent BC fishing because you’re visiting during winter. It may sound fishy, but with Pemberton Fish Finder you can visit stunning high-mountain lakes and land a rainbow trout—through six inches of ice, of course. Chilling with family and friends on the frozen lake is just about as Canadian as it gets. Ice-fishing tours are family-friendly and, if you need to come in from the cold, the ice huts are cozy.

Flight of Fancy

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

From November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world's largest populations of bald eagles

November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world’s largest populations of bald eagles

Birds of a feather flock together. It’s especially true in beautiful Brackendale, where from mid-Nov. through Feb., the tiny town hosts one of the largest populations of bald eagles worldwide—all thanks to the feast of spawning salmon. For a bird’s-eye view of the feathered arrivals, take a float down the Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. Expect to see dozens of eagles along the glacier-fed river, plus breathtaking views of the Tantalus Range and surrounding scenery. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to flock together, too.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s Record-Breaking Ride

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The greatest mountain range (Himalayas) and the flattest country (Maldives) have something in common with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola: they’re all record-breaking. In the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, the engineering marvel claimed fame as the “highest cable car above ground” and for the “longest unsupported span between two cable car towers.” Gondola cars hang 436 m (1,427 ft) above the valley floor, suspended by towers 3 km (1.8 mi) apart. It all adds up to one unbeatable ride.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Whether you’re a nervous nellie or a thrill-seeker or somewhere in between, there’s an outing to suit your desired adrenaline level

By SHERI RADFORD

Explore Whistler's back country on horseback

Explore the picturesque Pemberton Valley on horseback. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Horseback
Giddy-up! If you feel the urge to saddle up and hit the dusty trail, call Adventures on Horseback—only instead of dusty trails you’ll see postcard-worthy scenery throughout the Pemberton Valley, BC’s very own cowboy country. As you clip-clop along, keep your camera ready for picturesque creeks, tall grasses, roaring rivers and lush forests. Most impressive of all is the snow-capped peak of Mount Currie, rising up 2,591 m (8,501 ft). Surrounded by so much tranquillity and natural beauty, it’s easy to imagine you’ve slipped into an earlier, simpler, quieter time period. Trips can be customized for riders of all levels, from beginner to expert, and even small children. Adventure Ranch also offers equine adventures, complete with friendly cowgirls.

Bike
Summer here is practically synonymous with cycling. At the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, more than 1,507 m (4,946 ft) of sprawling bike-park terrain guarantees a trail for every preference, from gentle and banked to tight and twisty. Over 200 km (124 ft) of the trails are lift-serviced, meaning you can start from what feels like the top of the world and descend on two wheels, fuelled only by adrenaline. Whistler Eco Tours offers a valley bike tour for those who want to keep it peaceful and learn about history, geography and nature while on a bicycle, as well as a single-track tour for more advanced riders wishing to explore rougher terrain. Whistler Electric Bike Tours lets riders take it easy, which is especially appreciated on the uphill sections.

ATV
Do you feel the need to boldly go where no one has gone before? Put the pedal to the metal with Whistler ATV and embark on a bushwacker tour. Deep in the backcountry, stunning views of snow-capped mountains and remote lakes await. If you’re not afraid of heights and want to experience high alpine trails, choose the “top of the world” tour. Or chill out on a leisurely “easy rider” tour, with its gentle trails, perfect for newbie ATVers and families. For even more ATV excursions, call Canadian Wilderness Adventures. In summer, the most popular trip involves riding 1,830 m (6,000 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain, then enjoying live music and wild BC salmon on the Crystal Hut patio, with its sweeping views—a feast for all the senses.

More Than Just Books

By SHERI RADFORD

Cozy Whistler Public Library (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Cozy Whistler Public Library. (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Sink into a comfy chair in Whistler’s living room, better known as the Whistler Public Library. Part community hub, part resource centre, this spectacular building—with even more spectacular views—features an abundance of free events, such as story time for kids, workshops, games nights and film screenings. Visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia can borrow materials using the free BC OneCard program, while those from farther afield need to purchase a $10 temporary membership. Bonus: all guests can make use of the Wi-Fi, printer and scanner. Just like home? Even better, because most homes don’t contain thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and more.