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What to See Whistler

Hit the Bullseye at Forged Axe Throwing

By SHERI RADFORD
Jan. 2018

Suit up in your favourite flannel and take a shot at this Canuck sport. (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

As Monty Python sang, many years ago, “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay.” Release your own inner lumberjack at Forged Axe Throwing, where a one-hour drop-in session lets you practise this quintessentially Canadian sport. It’s so popular that locals have started a competitive league—beard and plaid shirt not required (but definitely encouraged).

Unlock the Adventure at Escape! Whistler

By SHERI RADFORD
Jan. 2017

Break free from reality for a fun afternoon of puzzling and code-cracking at Escape! Whistler.

Karen Mizukami and Kori Klusmeier first noticed the trend of escape rooms while travelling around Europe. They then spent ages planning one of their own, developing a challenge of just the right level of difficulty—or so they thought. During test runs, participants were never able to complete more than a third of the scenario before time ran out. The couple have clearly perfected their craft now, and their four escape rooms are constantly busy. Locals who solved all four clamoured for a new challenge, so Mizukami and Klusmeier recently dismantled their very first room and set up a brand-new one. Each room is as elaborate as a small film set—complete with dramatic lighting and a soundtrack—and its secrets are more closely guarded than a Game of Thrones script. Are you smart enough to follow the clues and crack the codes? Find out at Escape! Whistler.

 

Scenic Serenity at Scandinave Spa

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Dec. 2017

Scandinave Spa takes hydrotherapy to new heights. (Photo: Joern Rohde)

Maybe it’s the Nordic-style baths or the forested surroundings, but a trip to Scandinave Spa is truly transportive. The spa-goers’ mantra here: sweat, shiver, repeat. First, raise your temperature in a eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna or outdoor saltwater pool. Then, make a splash in a cold plunge pool to flush toxins and release endorphins. The final step is spent in a tranquil relaxation room or by an outdoor fireplace, before repeating the ahhhh-inspiring process again—and again. Additional indulgences include massage treatments and bites at the on-site cafe. It’s the kind of place where you’ll want to soak and stay awhile.

All-Out Alpine Adventures

Explore the mountains by dogsled, zipline and more

By CHLOË LAI

Ice cave tours reveal the beauty beneath the ice cap. (Photo: Head-Line Mountain Holidays)

When it comes to winter, Whistler isn’t just a wonderland—it’s a veritable outdoor playground. Ever dream of carving your name into the side of a mountain? With ski and snowboard runs up to 11 km (7 mi) long, there’s plenty of room to leave your mark. If perfectly groomed trails just won’t cut it, venture off the beaten path by way of private catski or helicopter to find spectacular glacier runs stacked with pristine powder. Looking for other ways to test the theory of gravity? Take a deep breath and bungee jump off a bridge over the glacial Cheakamus River, or hurtle gleefully down the hill at the Coca-Cola Tube Park. Motorheads also love revving up a snowmobile—miniature versions are available for pint-sized adrenaline junkies—to roar through frozen backcountry trails. There’s no age limit for squeal-at-the-top-of-your-lungs fun. (more…)

Art: Whimsical World

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"The Wind and the Water", by Dana Irving.

“The Wind and the Water”, by Dana Irving.

The wild West Coast gets a dash of whimsy in the hands of landscape artist Dana Irving. The artist’s playful, minimalist world has been described as a blend of Emily Carr and Dr. Seuss, and includes works such as “The Wind and the Water” (pictured). Irving captures the Pacific Northwest’s towering peaks and treetops—and everything in-between—in bold, stylized pieces that celebrate a spiritual connection with nature. Explore her great outdoors at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery.

On a High Note

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Treetop Adventure Course is not your average walk in the woods.

The Treetop Adventure Course is not your average walk in the woods.

Trekking through the treetops isn’t just for Tarzan anymore. Now, regular Joes and Janes can have a ball in the branches as they swing, scamper, climb and zip through 70 different aerial obstacles, some as high as 18 m (60 ft). Even little canopy climbers can test their balance on the kids’ course. Learn the ropes—and maybe even thump your chest a little—on the Treetop Adventure Course.

Take a Hike

By SHERI RADFORD

Spectacular scenery awaits you in Whistler, BC. (Photo: Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler Blackcomb)

Spectacular scenery awaits you in Whistler, BC. (Photo: Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler Blackcomb)

Whether you’re a rambling rambler or a hard-core hiker or somewhere in-between, you’ll find the right route here. The 40-km (25-mi) Valley Trail, which is paved but non-motorized, connects all of Whistler’s parks, lakes and neighbourhoods, from Cheakamus River to Creekside to Green Lake. The trails around Lost Lake are ideal for a leisurely stroll, even with a baby stroller in tow. Seeking more adventure? Head for the hills—Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, that is, where the lift-accessed alpine hiking trails range from the easy Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk to the advanced Alpine Walk to Overlord Trail to Decker Loop on Blackcomb. Lace up those hiking boots and get moving.

The Green Scene

By SHERI RADFORD

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Want to experience the great outdoors? There’s a lot of it to choose from here. Rainbow Park (pictured) and Lost Lake Park are two popular summertime destinations for sunbathing, swimming, picnics, alfresco yoga and impromptu wedding proposals. Located on Alta Lake, which looks especially magnificent at sunrise, Rainbow Park has beach volleyball nets and an off-leash area for dogs. Lost Lake Park, on tranquil and secluded Lost Lake, has a sandy beach and extensive hiking and biking trails. This summer, there’s one more reason to plan an outing: every day from Jul. 1 to Sep. 4, a food truck is visiting each of the two parks. The great outdoors just got a little greater.

Golfer’s Paradise: Time for Tee

By SHERI RADFORD

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

If you’re keen to hit the greens, Whistler is happy to oblige. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and carved into the side of Blackcomb Mountain, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club boasts breathtaking views of the valley. On the picturesque shores of Green Lake, Nicklaus North Golf Course is one of just a few courses in the world that bears Jack Nicklaus’s name. A few minutes’ walk from the Village, the Arnold Palmer–designed Whistler Golf Club (pictured) has nine lakes, two creeks, stunning mountain views—and the occasional bear sighting. Further afield, Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, Big Sky Golf and Country Club and Squamish Valley Golf Club all offer carefully crafted courses with unparalleled West Coast views. Fore!

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…)

All in a Day

Pack a lifetime of memories into 24 hours

By CHLOË LAI

MitchWinton_CoastMountainPhotography_RendezvousLodge

Rendezvous Lodge photo ©Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography

Hit the Rendezvous Lodge for snacks with a side of gorgeous valley scenery.

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Peak 2 Peak Gondola photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Blow your mind with 360-degree views from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (more…)

On a High Note

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Want that top-of-the-world feeling? At the Sea to Sky Gondola, it’s just a 10-minute ride away. Perched 885 m (2,900 ft) above sea level, the summit lodge is a jumping-off point for further adventures, with pristine trails perfect for hiking and snowshoeing. The young—and young at heart—slide at the tube park, while experienced skiers glide into the backcountry. Others simply settle in for the breathtaking views of Howe Sound. Paradise, found.