The sun was setting as we pulled out of our driveway in Seattle with our Airstream in tow. Our destination was Whistler in beautiful British Columbia. A pleasant five hour drive later we arrived and headed straight for Riverside Resort which would be our Airstream's home for the next few days. Camping here was nothing short of perfect as we enjoyed amenities from the short walking distance to Whistler village to the skiers shuttle service with drop offs and pickups offered throughout the day.
With skis and poles, we began our first day making our way through the village for some epic skiing but not before taking in the exquisite architecture of the luxe hotels, restaurants and boutiques that lined the village stroll.
Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, we were greeted by the Rings standing proud in the village next to the Olympic Plaza where the Victory Ceremonies were held.
As the name implies, there are two majestic mountains named Whistler and Blackcomb. Both mountains are connected to each other via the Peak to Peak gondola, which offers skiers the best of both worlds. Peak to Peak not only offers easy accessibility to either mountain but gorgeous views during the ride in one of the 28 sky cabins.
We arrived at the Blackcomb gondola in the village that took us up to the second base at which point we were met with friends from the Seattle area who joined us. We skied the seemingly bottomless powder until we could ski no more. The kids loved the Jersey Cream chair the best. Our last chair ride was Crystal lift after which time the kids raced down Zig Zag run to the bottom of Excalibur.
From there it was time to head over to the Whistler Sliding Centre to watch the 2012 IBSF (International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation) World Cup races. The Sliding Centre is one of the legacies left behind by the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Here is where you will find the 1,450 metre long ice track with a 152-metre vertical drop over 16 corners where the World Cup Skeleton, Luge and Bobsleigh athletes compete and train regularly. If you want to feel just like one of the athletes racing here you are in luck as the center offers visitors a chance to try their skill at these sports. We weren't too sure how to feel about that since speeds can reach up to 140 KM (almost 90 miles per hour!) but more importantly the disclaimer from the Sliding Center handout read: "Participants should use the washroom before the start of the run (due to gravitational pressure on bladder during runs)" which definitely reinforced our decision to stick to skiing for now, at least.
The races were breathtaking with the Canadians earning four medals in all between the Friday and Saturday races. Luckily for the spectators there were outdoor heating posts, hot chocolate, chili and the can't-be-missed beer garden to keep everyone warm and cozy.
I was time to head down to the village for some après dining. As we downloaded the Blackcomb gondola, we all agreed it was an incredible day and we could hardly wait to do it all again.
This is the first post in a three part series covering some of the finest skiing destinations in the Pacific Northwest. For more outdoor and culinary adventures in the Pacific Northwest, please visit: Just 5 More Minutes
Photography by Monica Bennett
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