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What to See Whistler

Backroads Whistler: Dreamboat

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Only a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams can fully explain its idyllic moniker. Soak up the beauty of this slow-moving waterway as you glide through old-growth forests and wetlands with Backroads Whistler. Choose from guided or unguided canoe and kayak tours, or watch for cute critters on the twilight wildlife tour. Some stick close to scenic Alta Lake on paddle boards and pedal boats—certain to make a splash with the whole family.

Tough Mudder

By SHERI RADFORD

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

It stretches over 16 km (10 mi) of rough terrain. It contains challenges that our ancestors tried hard to avoid: fire, electricity, water and heights. And it’s probably the only competition in the world with both an official pain reliever and an official beef jerky. (Advil and Oberto, respectively, in case you were wondering.) (more…)

Make a Splash This Summer

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

From relaxing lakeside to tackling white water on a rafting tour, here’s how to test Whistler’s waters

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Best way to beat the heat? By soaking up the area’s spectacular scenery at one of the many lakes surrounding Whistler. Some folks lay their towels on the shore, but others prefer to make a splash at secluded Lost Lake and bustling Rainbow Park—furry companions included. These areas come equipped with concessions, kids’ play areas and gorgeous mountain views. Bonus: the sandy beaches are perfect for both sandcastle building and lakeside lounging. (more…)

Whistler’s Stone-Cold History

By JASON TWETEN

"Ilanaaq" keeps watch over the valley. (Photo: Randy Lincks/Tourism BC)

“Ilanaaq” keeps watch over the valley. (Photo: Randy Lincks/Tourism BC)

Look towards Whistler’s peak on a clear day, and you’ll see this iconic stone structure watching over the valley. Inukshuk cairns play an extremely important role in the survival of Inuit travellers. For thousands of years, Inuit people have set up varieties of these stone formations to use as navigation points or as landmarks for good hunting and fishing sites. “Ilanaaq” (pictured) was built as an emblem of friendship and welcome at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Though this monument is commonly referred to as an Inukshuk, the more specific term for this style—which resembles the human figure—is Inunnguaq. Since 2010, four more of these waypoints have been built around Whistler mountain, and each one provides a free Wi-Fi signal.

Whistler Welcomes TEDActive

By RACHAELA VAN BOREK

June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media, takes the stage in 2013. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media, takes the stage in 2013. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

It’s official. After 30 years of spreading worthy ideas, the monumentally popular Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference known as TED is coming to British Columbia. The main event is being hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre with a live simulcast feeding to Whistler’s own TEDActive Conference at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The five-day retreat themed “The Next Chapter” is expected to bring hundreds of brilliant thinkers to the slopes. Ticket or no ticket, mountain visitors can count on some interesting chairlift conversation.

Fresh Fine Art Frost

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Harris' captivating canvases are sure to brighten your outlook.

Harris’ captivating canvases are sure to brighten your outlook

Baby, it’s cold outside. Warm up by checking out hot new artworks at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery, which features changing winter exhibitions, including Laura Harris’s richly saturated acrylic-on-canvas pieces (“Sunday Kisses,” pictured). The bold textures and colours in her gorgeous floral and abstract works make the perfect winter warmer.

Come Fly with Me

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Get a birds-eye view on a thrilling ride over Whistler's stunning winter scenery.

Get a birds-eye view on a thrilling ride over Whistler’s stunning scenery.

Sure, scenic Whistler is pretty spectacular on foot. But there’s nothing quite like soaring over it with Superfly Ziplines. Take your sightseeing to new heights on two of Canada’s longest ziplines, both over a kilometer (0.6 mi) long. Buckle up, admire the winter wonderland and prepare for an exhilarating ride.

 

An Insider’s Guide to Whistler Inside

By CHELSEY ALLEN

Renowned for its spectacular all-season playground, Whistler also brims with indoor activities, come rain, shine or snow. Here are some of our favourite ways to explore the great indoors

Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

RELAX

If you want to unwind in a tranquil setting, look no further than Scandinave Spa Whistler. Relax with a Swedish or hot-stone massage followed by a eucalyptus steam and a dip in the world-class Scandinavian hydrotherapy baths. Thanks to the spa’s breathtaking scenery and an invigorating ambience year-round, you may never want to leave.

Scandinave Spa Whistler, 8010 Mons Rd., 604-935-2424, scandinave.com
Maps and reviews (more…)

Let It Snow

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

When the flakes start to fly in winter-friendly Whistler, the locals celebrate. Here’s how to make the most of the snow, whether there’s a little or a lot

Freshly falling snow in Whistler Village is met with a flurry of activity. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Freshly falling snow in Whistler Village is met with a flurry of activity. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Blizzards
Even in whiteout conditions, snow bunnies never miss a chance to hit the slopes. Some spend their days slaloming down Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, while others sit back and enjoy the ride at Coca-Cola Tube Park. If you really want your fill of the fluffy white stuff, go in search of untouched powder with Whistler Heli-Skiing. Stunning views and unparalleled conditions make this snow day one to remember. Cover even more backcountry terrain with Blackcomb Snowmobiles. After riding through Whistler’s winter wonderland, end your day with a fondue dinner in a remote log cabin—our favourite way to get warm. (more…)

Livin’ La Vida Low-Key

By RACHEL DUNLOP

Enjoying Whistler's après-ski scene doesn't require a day on the slopes. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoying Whistler’s après-ski scene doesn’t require a day on the slopes. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Not outdoorsy? Not a problem. Whistler is a mountain-and-wilderness-lover’s dream, no doubt about it, but there’s just as much to do off the slopes.

Relax
Rest and recharge with a spa day. A massage, facial or manicure—or all three—will have you feeling like new in no time.

Sweat
Being inside doesn’t have to mean being a couch potato. Get energized with yoga, Crossfit and even indoor rock-climbing.

Spend
Keep your blood pumping with another high-energy activity: shopping. Whether you’re stockpiling souvenirs, fishing for the latest fashion or sussing out sports gear, you can shop till you drop.

Eat
Take your pick of high-end, casual, local or international cuisine—Whistler has them all. You can grab a burger and a beer for lunch, then go fancy with seasonal West Coast fare for dinner. It’s a foodie’s fantasy.

Drink
Whistler’s party scene is legendary. Sip a cocktail or a craft brew, then dance the night away at one of the many nightclubs.

Hot Entertainment: Meet Your Maker Race

A participant of the Meet Your Maker race. Photo by Robert Shaer (robshaer.com)

A participant of the Meet Your Maker race. Photo by Robert Shaer (robshaer.com)

Are you ready to Meet Your Maker? This 80-km (50-mi) ultra trail marathon and relay race, which takes place Sep. 1 against the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Whistler Blackcomb, isn’t for the faint of heart. With an elevation gain—and an elevation loss—of 3,736 m (12,257 ft), it has hamstrings begging for mercy and grown men crying. Good thing the aid stations along the course stock not just the usual water and energy gels but also soup, bagels with Nutella, and ham and cheese sandwiches, plus the tools of the gods: Vaseline and duct tape. Visit www.meetyourmaker50.com for more info.—Sheri Radford

Hot Entertainment: Haven for Hikers

Some of the best that Whistler has to offer can be seen on foot. Photo by Steve Rogers courtesy Tourism Whistler

Some of the best that Whistler has to offer can be seen on foot. Photo by Steve Rogers courtesy Tourism Whistler

Not sure what to do on a gorgeous sunny day? A hike lets you take in the best of the west: lush wilderness, dazzling mountain vistas and a sky that goes on forever. What’s more, you can customize the experience to suit your own preferences. Whether you’re looking for something challenging or chilled-out, group or self-guided, Whistler has a hike for everyone.—Rachel Dunlop