Whistler Day Trip

I owed my friend Dane a trip to Whistler.  Well, sort of.  He had never been there, and somehow that turned into me taking him there when he graduated high school, which was a few years back.  Somehow, because I do remember him bringing that up but don't remember me agreeing to it... Anyway, after a few summers of getting pestered about it, I thought it was time for me to fulfill this "obligation".  And hey, we all know I love Whistler and will take any excuse to go there, so why I hadn't taken Dane yet, I couldn't quite answer.

Up at 4:30 am (you know I must really want to do something if I agree to a dark-thirty wake up call) and caught the first ferry off the island.  Absolutely beautiful day, hottest one of the year so far, so perfect excuse to spend the day there.  Dane was off to rip in the bike park, and I decided on the Peak 2 Peak since I hadn't done that yet and it opened in 2008.  Normally I love to ride the trails, but my legs were still smashed from Sunday's race so I was happy with a mellow day.

The Peak 2 Peak is a gondola that connects the summits of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, so skiers don't have to ski down one and up the other to access the terrain.  It's also got the longest span between towers of any gondola in the world (over 3 km), total length is 4.4 km, and is over 1,400 feet above the ground.  

I took the regular ole' gondola up Whistler mountain, the Peak 2 Peak across, and then a couple of chairlifts down Blackcomb.  Saw one black bear on the way down.  I can't say there are many trips I've had to Whistler where I didn't see at least one black bear.  I didn't get a picture of this one though, as I was on the chairlift and my camera was in my pocket at the time... by the time I fished it out we'd moved past the bear.

33 degrees Celcius at the bottom, but snow at the top of Whistler Mountain!

On the Peak 2 Peak, looking across to Blackcomb Mountain. 
Riding the chairlift down Blackcomb, back to the village.

It was killer hot out, so we decided a swim was in order.  Dane requested the coldest and clearest water around, so I took him to the River of Golden Dreams.  It's snow and glacier meltwater, and usually by summer the water levels are pretty low, but this year it was still flowing high and fast.   We got in (Dane jumped in and I entered gingerly... I'm not sure when I turned into an 80-year-old grandma) and both screamed in pain as it was completely frigid. Seriously, probably 1/1000th of a degree above freezing; it actually physically hurt!  We challenged each other to actually sit down in the water but that was it, and we jumped out.  Our skin was bright pink and toes stinging.  It was definitely the coldest and clearest water around!

After shredding the bike park.
Despite our hyperboreal swim, we were nicely warmed up again by the time we got back to the car.  Back on the Sea to Sky highway, a quick stop at Whole Foods in West Van to pick up food for dinner, and to the ferry.  We both slept the whole trip home, which makes the 90 minute trip go quickly!  An 18-hour extravaganza from door to door, but so much fun and totally worth it!  Happy (very) belated graduation, Dane!

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