Marmot Mountain

I was meant to write this sooner but being a tourist got in the way. I’m trying to remember the second week, walked round Stanley park and went on the seabus (its just a ferry, not sure why they don’t have that word here…) among other things, but the week has kind of been overwritten by Whistler.

Dragged my suitcase on the train to get the Greyhound bus. There were three people sitting in front of me who were asleep before we even got to downtown Vancouver. The roadbus must be comfy for them. Winding up the sea to sky highway, got to see some big mountains. I started getting impressed way to early.

You kind of loose the scale of everything in and around Whistler. Only on the way down did I find out the gondola on the mountain is about a 30 min ride, that’s not even to the peak… there’s a chairlift to the peak and that’s about 10 mins. I’m getting a little excited again just writing it.

Anyway, when I arrived it was 31 degrees and was surrounded by snow topped mountains, dropped my stuff and went back in town to get food and see where mountain biking movies are born. They were setting up for crankworks, a lot of diggers making ridiculously large jumps and ramps. Tempting to come back for it.

This place has the feel of Queenstown but  on a massive scale, like huge, non small x12.

Day two was my first trip up Whistler mountain, I was planning to have a good look around then I started chatting to some locals in the gondola, an Aussie and French couple, then ended up spending the day hanging out with them. Sweated through the ice walls, it was 22 degrees, then we went to the hardware store, picked me up a inflatable boat and some liquids, heading for the river of golden dreams. It was really nice drifting along the calm river… then it joined a larger river fed from the glacier. Freezing water time, we got further down and had to go bush bashing as the river was too high to get under the rail bridge. Our group ended up rescuing people as the headed for the bridge. We got past all of that then froze the rest of the way to where the truck was parked at the end of the river.

After that we defrosted and had a BBQ. It was really nice, the local bear agreed and came round for a sniff, we didn’t see him but heard him. Food inside we got in the spa and relived the days adventure, even included some reenactments with the jets coming on without warning.

Next day was the ATV tour. Two Australians and a kiwi (me) on this ride. I assume there are Canadians somewhere in Whistler. The ride was awesome, ATVs are way more stable than I thought. Some of the single track was a bit dicey but within limits I would guess as they do it three times a day. The guides were cool and they were right when they said we needed dust masks. I would be keen to do the next tour, goes up in time and price though.

Last full day in Whistler and time to do the Peak 2 Peak. On the way up in the gondola I got talking to an Australian couple (sounds familiar?) and I spent the day with them. On the walk to the chair lift we saw a Marmot, he was just hanging out on his house, then he went off to play in the snow. Then I showed them the snow walls and we had lunch. After we did the Peak 2 Peak and a chair lift down Blackcomb. We even met a rare kiwi working on the chairlifts. The best part of my first trip up was meeting Lisa and Ralph so if I could do the same for someone else I know it will pay forward again.

Peak 2 Peak just fits in with the scale of everything. It has three world records, details included in the photo, and does not fail to impress. 3km unsupported span, I mean come on! Once you get to the middle you really get the feeling of why they did it, hanging in the middle of the valley looking at an uninterrupted view, well apart from the glass and steel holding you aloft.

Had another BBQ with the local crew then the next day got up and got back on the bus. Writing this on the bus enjoying my last view of snow and mountains.

At this point, they have half convinced me to move to Whistler for work. I got 4 hugs from locals after a 4 day visit… I can see why so many kiwis do it, the place just has the feel that’s hard to explain and hard to leave.

I’ll add some photos to Facebook… though there may be a few. If I’m lucky enough I’ll get to take some more there soon.

If anyone can tell me how the blog got its name they get extra points.

Enjoy you day and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe, you know what time it is.

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