Four days wasn’t long enough last fall, and a week wasn’t long enough this trip. Whistler is one of those cities that keeps getting better. The adventures, unforgettable. The food, delectable. The riding, EPIC.
We spent most of our time in the bike park, which is accessible right now from the Fitzsimmons chair in Whistler Village. This system of trails is ridiculously fun, supplemented by lift-access, which means little to no climbing, which means more runs!! My favorite trail is probably Ninja Cougar, a tight, rooty section rounded out with nice berms and some technical rock sections. You can link up to Karate Monkey which runs along a creek and is super snug in a few places. There were definitaly some near misses with trees up there. I also really enjoyed the Ho Chi Minh trail, again, tight and rooty, but if you keep your speed up, it is a breeze. This also runs you out near where some of the bears (my favorite wildlife) were hanging out.
|Don't go in the pump track!|
B-Line, Crank It Up, and A-Line were also really fun, but I like a slower paced trail, my poor hands get tired from holding on for dear life! I did improve my jumping and dropping skills on this trip, but Whistler has a tendency to make you step it up in all aspects of riding.
|Hey everyone,come see how awesome I am!!|
We also rode the Lost Lakes trails, which are quite near the Upper Village where we stayed. This system is awesome, incredible views, lots of technical ups and downs, pretty much classic Whistler, or even BC XC aka, you will be pushing your bike even when its flat. Some of the roots are so tight, slick, off-camber, loaded with rocks etc. it is almost impossible to stay on your bike!
|Hub killing it as usual|
|Me, trying to kill it|
At one point I joked, “I hope Minxy (my bike) is enjoying her walk today.” It seemed I was spending more time pushing then pedaling. But it always gets better, and we found lots of fun slickrock areas to practice on, encountered some absolutely breathtaking views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and didn’t run into any bears.
|My Kona Minxy, enjoying the view|
My favorite portion of Lost Lake was the Zappa Trails, more specifically Pinnoccio’s (sp?) Furniture. We made the mistake of trying to climb this trail the first time, it is full of awesome wood work, and has amazing flow!! When we reached the top, James turned to me with that face I can never say no to and said, “Well that was fun, I guess we better go back down now, we can take the fire road back up.” Me, being the one who wanted to climb fire road in the first place, couldn’t say no. It was soooo fun, I could have lapped that trail all day.
On the fire road climb back up, we encountered an incredible viewpoint with a nice bench for resting, and also a monument to a man who had passed away out on that trail in 2005. It said he took his last breath and pedal stroke at this exact point, and I couldn’t help but think, wouldn’t that be the way to go? Doing what you love, in this place of unbelievable beauty, most likely surrounded by people you enjoy. Definitely makes you appreciate this wonderful sport we do, the places it takes us, and this life we are given.
We also took a fun day hike to give our sore legs a rest at Brandywine Falls, which is between Squamish and Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. On a wheelchair accessible 'trail', you can reach this waterfall in about 5 seconds.
|Before the adventure began, at the Brandywine Falls viewpoint|
|Doesn't everyone bring beer on their hikes? No? Oh well.|
|Catching some air on the trail|
It was an awesome afternoon for sure.
Being restaurant kids, of course we went out to eat almost every night. On our last visit, we discovered Elements Urban Tapas Bar and The Brewhouse, which is part of a chain of breweries based in Vancouver. Those are now staples of our drinking and dining experiences here, and we will continue to visit them. They appeal to us most because they feel comfortable. Whistler is a town full of places that cater to people who are just visiting, therefore feel fake and unwelcoming. We get locals price beers at the Brewhouse, I’ll just leave it at that. Elements also does breakfast, which is by far the best and most affordable in Whistler. It even beats the Vic in Bend in my opinion. They serve a “shot” of smoothie with your meal, which is a nice treat when you’ve finished eating.
We also discovered an awesome new place that we loved, 21 Steps Kitchen. It is located in the Sundial Boutique Hotel, and is you guessed it, 21 Steps above the Village. I read mixed reviews on this place, but I have to say it far surpassed our expectations. Since we visited during a slower part of the summer season, many restaurants offered 3 for $30 appetizers or other discounts to drum up business. We did that and got the 21 salad, mussels, and some bacon wrapped filet mignon bites. All were AMAZING, served quickly, and with appropriate utensils. I was full after that round, but James was feeling motivated so we ordered Morrocan Chicken and Pasta with Meatballs. I never eat pasta, but I could have downed the whole portion if I was hungrier. A simple, but well done pasta is a beautiful thing. We drank Okanagan Pinot Noir, which was pretty big for a Pinot, but very satisfying, and the awesome staff hooked us up with dessert, which we didn’t need but ate anyway. Amazing. We will definitely be going back there.
We also tried the Tandoori Grill, which is above 7-11. It was DEAD in there, so our food arrived quickly, smoking hot, and was awesome. The flavors were rich and satisfying, and the server was quick to offer suggestions and absolutely spot-on in his descriptions of menu items. I was really tired at this meal and can’t recall the name of what I ate, but it was delicious, and the leftovers were still awesome two days later. Definitely recommended, and a nice change from standard resort town dinners.
We also hit Sachi Sushi on my 25th birthday. Our Sake was from Oregon, and really good. We love their mango roll, actually we love everything we eat there. Its fun to sit at the sushi bar, and watch the chefs create edible masterpieces. They are hilarious too, always joking around and playing tricks on each other. Our server was very professional and attentive as well. The Strawberry Sake Margarita is really popular at all the sushi places in Whistler, but I passed on it this time. Too sweet to pair with fish.
Our friends Kinna and Marc also came up for a few days, and we cooked a feast in our condo. Having a chef for a boyfriend doesn't suck...
|Me and Kinna posing with food. Typical.|
|Obligatory 'cheers' photo|
|DUN done! So tasty.|
As always, the end came too quickly but we will be heading back in a few months for some more riding, this time on the upper mountain. Riding the gondola to the top with your bike, reveling in the breathtaking views, then bombing down trails with your best friend… I love this place.