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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. Read more…

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.

Mark Richards Gallery: Picture Perfect

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Fall in Whistler Village"

“Fall in Whistler Village” by Mark Richards

The only match for the stunning scenery here? Artworks by local talent, including luminous landscapes by Mark Richards. Pieces such as “Fall in Whistler Village” (pictured) feature snaps that explore the beautiful West Coast, and are fine-tuned with paint for eye-catching pieces that blur the line between realism and impressionism. For more of the artist’s creations, visit Mark Richards Gallery.

Rest & Relaxation

By SHERI RADFORD

After (or even instead of) a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing like a little R&R

Stretch it out at YYoga

Stretch it out at YYoga

Say “Om”
Students of yoga are drawn to Whistler by the laid-back vibe and stunning natural beauty, but practising outdoors isn’t very appealing amidst the snowdrifts at this time of year. Instead, head inside to get your downward dog on—or just skip straight to savasana. YYoga, Yama Yoga and Yogacara all offer an assortment of styles to suit every taste, everything from intense power to sweaty hot to meditative yin, and the Lululemon store here regularly offers free classes.

Enjoy the outdoors at Scandinave Spa (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy outdoor luxury at Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Get Pampered
Who doesn’t love to get cosseted like a queen? Vida Spa, The Spa, The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge and Avello Spa all offer massages, facials and other indulgences. To get treated like royalty—quite literally—head to Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, which specializes in treatments inspired by the ancient royal court traditions of Java and Bali. If outdoor luxury is more your style, Scandinave Spa obliges with alfresco Scandinavian baths, waterfalls and saunas.

Enjoy pure relaxation in a sensory deprivation pod

Pure relaxation can be found in a sensory deprivation pod

Do Nothing
Reduced gravity plus sensory deprivation plus a whole lot of Epsom salt equals unparalleled relaxation. Imagine floating peacefully in warm, heavily salted water for 90 minutes, with no sights, no sounds, no smells. That’s what West Coast Float has to offer, and Whistler’s only floatation therapy centre has been proving immensely popular with locals and visitors alike who want to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and recover from injuries. Who’d have guessed nothingness could be so enriching?

Take a Trip to Mexican Corner

By LAURA DENNIS

Delicious and elevated guacamole at The Mexican Corner

Delicious and elevated guacamole at The Mexican Corner

Step out of the cold and be whisked away to a warmer corner of the world at The Mexican Corner. Everything inside—copper furniture, handmade tile floor, Aztec and Mayan artwork—is imported from Mexico, taking you on a tasty tour south of the border. Sip inventive margaritas for all palates and try the gussied-up guacamole with pomegranate and truffle oil. It’s cheaper than a plane ticket.

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.

Crystal Hut: Tippy-Top Trek

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoy Crystal Hut waffles. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy Crystal Hut waffles. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Stellar skiing, breathtaking views—and waffles. Just a few reasons locals and visitors alike trek 1,845 m (6,053 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain. Find the irresistible Belgian-style temptations at Crystal Hut, a cozy cabin nestled into a mountain ridge. The famed treats are served all day, and come loaded with tasty toppings, including whipped cream, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Take the sweet treat or a wood-oven-baked specialty out on the patio and enjoy the view. After all, you came all this way.

Icebreaker’s Wonderful Wool

By SHERI RADFORD

Icebreaker uses merino wool

Icebreaker’s merino wool garments are Whistler Blackcomb’s official base layer

If the thought of wool brings up memories of scratchy, heavy sweaters that took forever to dry, think again. Icebreaker uses soft merino wool to create all of its lightweight and highly breathable garments. Recently named the official base layer of Whistler Blackcomb, Icebreaker makes cute-as-can-be clothes that also regulate temperature, resist odours and dry quickly, thanks to the strong, pure merino fibres from New Zealand sheep. Outfit yourself from head to toe at Can-Ski or Escape Route.

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.