White Rocky Mountains spreading further than the eye can see coupled with breath-taking scenery around every corner that never ceases to surprise and in the middle of this skier’s paradise hundreds of nationalities together ready to join in the fun. Whistler is a place that is on most skiers’ wish list. The resort is only two hours drive from Vancouver and leads you through valleys with towering mountains all around you in national parks that are outstandingly beautiful.
Stepping into the apartments is like stepping into a movie. Large spacious rooms with luxuries you would never have thought of. Large ornate wooden side tables holding wide screen satellite televisions in every room. Subtle decorated bedrooms with the biggest beds you have ever seen it is like a dream come true!
One of the many reasons to come to Whistler is the friendliness of the people; they are happy where ever you go and enjoy the winter experience whether it is just sledging or a massive snowball fight! The whiteness of the snow is often blinding, yet it adds warmth to the day along with the large, open wood fires in the chalets where I stayed. Most people chose to shield their eyes with chunky goggles or the latest sunglasses. However doing this shadowed the whole picture of the place, as though you were seeing it from a different view.
When going up the mountain in the bubbles everything below looks like toy town. The people no bigger than an index finger silently skiing. However when they hit an ice patch the silence is shattered, and replaced with a horrible grating like fingers scratching a black board.
I felt as though I was flying when taking the high-speed chair to the top of the mountain, which helped blank out the thought of the heavy, thick fogs rising from the seas. The weather is always unpredictable. One, minute there maybe not be a cloud in sight with the sun shining brightly in an azure sky over a perfect area, then, out of nowhere snowstorms can wrap around the mountain, blinding you and freezing faces with icy cold winds.
Little messages can always be found on white boards dating from months ago written by parties split by the sheer size of the resort and wanting to reunite. Pine tress cling to mountains sprouting everywhere and weighed down by sparkling blocks of snow. My favourite place when skiing is the secret castle in the trees. The only way you can get there was by a little run with lots of bumps that make you fly over the snow like a plane when it is just about to take off. No grownups know about it because the track is too small for them.
The castle itself is no bigger than a house, brightly coloured with slides running down to the entrance. Although the special clothes for skiing weighed you down it is still fun to go down even though at the end you tend to get pelted with snowballs. The castle is brilliant for snowball fights especially if you were with ski school. Ski school normally can be quite boring but not here! The teacher asks you what you want to do and helps you along the way. The first priority is always to have fun, not ski all day. When I went to ski school I knew no one but ended up meeting lots of new friends and having a great time as well as improving my skiing!
The best time to ski the seven thousand acres of ski terrain is after a fresh fall of snow. Silence as the powder brushes your knees and the fluffiness of this ‘white stuff’ makes it feel so soft that you just want to fall into it and stay there forever. There are millions of runs to choose yet I always find they end in the same places; warm welcoming huts full with exhausted skiers socialising over a well-deserved drink. You can sit there all day listening to the stories of people, about the wildlife that inhabits these mountains.
When skiing down forested runs or taking a stroll there is a chance I might see a black bear. However unfortunately I have not. Often, their appetite draws them to urban areas with rubbish. Tragically, a bear hooked on rubbish is a dead bear. It is difficult to relocate a bear to another habitat once they recognise an easy source of human food. You’ll notice the bear-proof litterbins throughout the Whistler Village. Black bears have been living in Whistler long before any of us and they deserve our respect.
Within Whistler village there are over one hundred shops. These shops sell a variety of goods such as native artwork, locally made jewellery, high fashion apparel and souvenir gifts. However if this does not appeal to you the prices will. Since the pound is so strong against the dollar it is like you are buying your shopping at half the price compared to England!
At the end of the day, tired limbs can be soothed in a hot tub or be pampered in one of the many superb spa facilities before either hitting the bars and nightclubs or simply sampling the excellent and varied cuisine in the resort’s many restaurants. The restaurants will suit everyone as they range form Mac Donald’s to the finest Italian restaurants. I tried the Old spaghetti factory. When you enter this restaurant it is like going into a secret cave as it is underground situated in the middle of the town. The restaurant is candle lit with lots of decor like old skis and objects associated with the local area.
There are a wide variety of dishes from spaghetti and meatballs to steak and chips. If you are on a low budget the old spaghetti house will offer you the best deal as you get your moneys worth and there is a really affable atmosphere around you. However if you have buckets of money to spend then go with Portobello’s it is a good place to celebrate a brilliant holiday with mouth-watering food and the finest wine. The waiters are hospitable and do everything to ensure that you are having the best time possible!