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Whistler

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.

Buy Local: Whistler Farmers’ Market

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pick up fresh fare, crafts and more at the Whistler Farmers' Market. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Pick up fresh fare, crafts and more at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whether you’re seeking a handmade necklace or fresh strawberries or all-natural soap, you’re sure to find it at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. Each week more than 80 vendors sell goods that are locally grown, baked or made, and each week hundreds of visitors show up to browse, buy and take in the festive atmosphere, complete with live music. Head to the base of Blackcomb Mountain on Sundays from Jun. 21 to Oct. 11, or Wednesday evenings from Jul. 1 to Aug. 26. Let the shopping begin!

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.

2015 Where to Dine Awards: Whistler

Where’s globetrotting readers weigh in on the tastes that left an impression long after the last bite

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Scallops with corn, spicy sausage and mustard vinaigrette at Araxi

Scallops with corn, spicy sausage and mustard vinaigrette at Araxi

FINE DINING
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
Pacific Northwest fare may be no better represented than by chef James Walt’s uncompromising plates. For more than three decades, locals and visiting foodies alike have praised the fresh, regional cuisine and winning wine list.
FINALISTS Bearfoot Bistro; Il Caminetto di Umberto. (more…)

Jackets to Warm Up Winter

By SHERI RADFORD

This heated jacket from DEWALT will keep you warm

Heated jackets from DEWALT keep ski bunnies warm

What’s better than a thick jacket to wear in ice-cold weather? A heated jacket from DEWALT. Hot new styles this season include a women’s jacket with a removable hood (pictured), a khaki jacket with a hood, and two styles of hoodies. Each one incorporates a battery to provide hours of heat, which means outdoor adventurers can stay toasty warm longer than ever before. Available at Canadian Tire and Amazon.

Roundhouse Lodge: Food With a View

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Patio sunshine at the Roundhouse Lodge (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Patio sunshine at the Roundhouse Lodge. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Roundhouse Lodge, the palatial venue perched atop Whistler Mountain, is taking sky-high dining to the next level – 1,850 m (6,069 ft) up, to be precise. Its elevated location makes mid-mountain refuelling easy, which is good news for ski bunnies and sightseers alike. Located at the Peak 2 Peak Gondola terminal, the lodge offers three open food courts and large patios to match. Or try a swanky sit-down meal at Steeps Grill & Wine Bar, located under the same roof. Get ready to feel on top of the world.

Family Fun With Blackcomb Snowmobiles

By LAURA DENNIS

Snowmobiling with spectacular views

Snowmobiling with spectacular views

Every family vacation leaves lasting memories; make sure these are the best. At Blackcomb Snowmobile, families find fun for even the pickiest members. Hop on a snowmobile or strap on snowshoes to enjoy trails through forested terrain, reaching viewpoints for spectacular mountain vistas. Dogsled tours, a favourite with kids of all ages, include learning how to harness and command the dogs before visiting the snuggly Puppy Pen. To end the perfect day, cat-ski to a remote log cabin and indulge in a private family fondue dinner. Ready, set, make those memories!

30 Things We Love About Whistler

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

On or off the mountains, there’s plenty to adore about this winter-friendly town

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1. Slaloming—or at least attempting to slalom—down the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

2. Biting into a truffle or brittle from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or Rogers’ Chocolates.

3. Braving ice cream headaches at Cows Whistler.

4. Marvelling at the jaw-dropping views from on board the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

5. Donning a parka to sip spirits in Bearfoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room.

6. Joining the young and young-at-heart for a slide down Coca-Cola Tube Park.

7. Roots, a Canuck company that’s added a dose of Canadiana to wardrobes since 1973.

8. Making tracks in a pair of snowshoes from Cross Country Connection.

9. Practising our triple lutz while gliding around the free outdoor rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza, located right in the heart of the Village.

10. Feeling stress melt away with a massage, manicure and more at one of the resort’s many spas.

11. Channeling our inner Olympian on the bobsleigh and skeleton tracks at Whistler Sliding Centre.

12. Picking out a Coast Salish carving or handcrafted jewellery at The CRS Trading Post.

13. Digging into filet mignon or a New York strip at Hy’s Steakhouse, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar or Sidecut.

14. Sampling a buttery croissant or melt-in-your-mouth pastry—or two, or three—at Purebread, a local favourite.

15. Soaring high above the scenery with Superfly Ziplines or Ziptrek Ecotours.

16. Getting a rush of adrenaline over the Cheakamus River with Whistler Bungee.

17. Sipping handcrafted beer at The Brewhouse or Whistler Brewing Company.

18. Pairing Araxi’s celebrated Pacific Northwest plates with one of 1,000 wines from the cellar.

19. Soaking up the area’s local history at Whistler Museum or the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

20. Admiring stunning local and international artworks at Whistler’s galleries.

21. Reliving the 2010 Winter Games at Whistler Olympic Park on snowshoes, cross-country skis and
even toboggans.

22. Refueling with a sweet hand-stretched pastry from BeaverTails before heading back down Whistler Mountain.

23. Keeping toasty in a sweater from Amos & Andes or a fur shawl from Snowflake.

24. Warming up with a wood-fired pizza or other fresh regional fare at Grill & Vine.

25. Defying gravity on the indoor trampolines at Bounce.

26. Exploring the great outdoors on snowshoes, snowmobiles, dogsleds and more.

27. Partaking in Whistler’s post-black-diamond ritual with après-ski at Garibaldi Lift Co., Dusty’s or Merlin’s.

28. Going in search of untouched powder with Whistler Heli-Skiing.

29. Giving credit cards a workout at the shops.

30. Snapping photos by the Olympic Rings  and the Inukshuks in the Village and at the top of Whistler Mountain.

Worth the Wait

By LAURA DENNIS

The Arc'teryx flagship store

The Arc’teryx flagship store

Outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice: Whistler’s first Arc’teryx store is finally open in the Village. Get decked out head to toe at the huge flagship location while learning about the innovative designs at in-store info areas. All clothing, equipment and accessories are tested by athletes—in both real-world and extreme conditions. In fact, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski School will weather about 12 m (40 ft) of snow in Arc’teryx gear this season. If you’re into shops, not slopes, pick up sleeker streetwear that uses the same hi-tech design. What are you waiting for?

Cool Jewels

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Find stunning jewellery and more at Ruby Tuesday

Find stunning jewellery and more at Ruby Tuesday

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but at Ruby Tuesday there are plenty of precious pieces to chum around with. This charming boutique carries an array of eye-catching jewellery and accessories, most of which are crafted by local and Canadian designers. Think sterling silver cuffs, flora- and fauna-inspired pendants, and eye-catching earrings set with semi-precious stones. Get ready to make some new friends.

A Peek at Peaked Pies

By SHERI RADFORD

Savoury meat pie found at Peaked Pies

Savoury meat pie with all the fixings, at Peaked Pies

It’s impossible to spend a day in Whistler without hearing Australian accents aplenty. Before Peaked Pies opened, all those homesick Aussies couldn’t find one of their favourite foods here: meat pies. But these savoury delicacies aren’t just for folks from Down Under. Choices ranging from beef curry to chunky pepper steak to chicken with mushroom and leek—all “peaked” with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy—appeal to taste buds of every nationality. Consider it a United Nations of flavours.

All Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

By SHERI RADFORD

Rocky Mountaineer train allows for breathtaking views

It’s all aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for breathtaking views along the Sea to Sky Climb

Travel between Whistler and Vancouver the picturesque way with Rocky Mountaineer’s Whistler Sea to Sky Climb. Stunning scenery abounds, including Howe Sound, the Coast Mountains, Brandywine Falls, Mount Garibaldi and Cheakamus Canyon. Make sure your camera is charged beforehand, because the breathtaking views are guaranteed.