Sea to Sky and tree trekking

Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
Trip End Oct 22, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, September 28, 2009

Back in Vancouver at the hostel - bathroom down the hall this time - but I have a different view.  Yesterday I caught the Moose bus to Whistler.  There were about 15 of us this time, mostly young although there is one couple from Ireland who are even older than me.  But they all seem like friendly kids; I'm enjoying their company although the language barrier is a bit a problem (it sure sounds like English but I don't understand most of it even from the Aussies).

The road from Vancouver to Whistler is called the Sea to Sky Highway and has been voted as one of the most scenic drives in the world.  It's certainly beautiful with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other.  We stopped at Shannon Falls which is only a fairly small waterfall apparently, picked up lunch in Squamish and stopped to eat at Alice Lake.

I saw my first big glacier.  I actually saw a glacier while I was in Bella Coola but it wasn't very big and was so far away that I wasn't sure what it was.  The one yesterday was much easier to identify.

We arrived in Whistler about 1.30pm in brilliant sunshine.  I checked into my hotel - which I'm planning to move into, it was so nice - and got a shuttle bus to the First Nations Museum.  This is a very new museum so it's not quite finished but the displays were very interesting.  This Museum is about the Squamish people who are the indigenous peoples from the Whistler area.  I particularly liked the displays of their clothes and weaving - the patterns are beautiful.  I tried to find a book about this aspect of their culture but no luck.  There are lots of books around about totem poles, customs, some history etc. but there doesn't seem to be much about thinks like basket making and weaving.

This morning I had a look around Whistler Village before going Tree Trekking.  The village is pretty but a bit touristy.  There are lots of designer shops, restaurants and hotels but I think the locals must shop somewhere else a lot.  The guide on the tree trek told us a lot about the  sustainable business and lifestyle philosophy of Whistler and apparently there is an extremely good recycling centre where the locals buy a lot of their stuff, anything from toasters to clothes.

It was also very clean but when you live in bear country you have to have good garbage management or the bears become addicted to garbage and habituated to humans and then you start to have human-bear conflicts.  No one wins in this situation so its best to avoid the problem.  All the garbage bins are bear proofed and no rubbish is left lying around.

I wish I had taken photos yesterday afternoon when the sun was shining - it was a bit grey and cold this morning, not many people out and the village didn't look as pretty.  But you can get an idea and Nikki, I found a cow.

The tree trek was great - an hour and a half walk through the tree tops on suspension bridges suspended between trees.  The guide told us lots about the types of trees in the rainforest (it's a temperate coastal rainforest, similar to Tasmania) and we got a closeup look at the upper levels of the trees.

The Moose bus picked me up at 3pm and we headed back to Vancouver, stopping first to let a few brave souls attempt bungee jumping.  I wasn't one of them, it was scary enough just to watch.  It rained most of the way back to Vancouver so the view wasn't as nice as on the way up.

Tomorrow I'm starting on the trip to the Rockies.  The first day is 600km which only gets us about half way to Banff.  The following day we reach Banff for an overnight before I jump off at Lake Louise for a couple of days.  I'm hoping there will be some people to go hiking with at Lake Louise but if not, I might have a lazy couple of days.  It's not a good idea to go hiking alone in the Rockies, not only because of the bears but also because the weather can change so quickly.

Snow is predicted in the Rockies but our guide expects that we will probably have sunny days  but cold nights and mornings.
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starlagurl on

That treetop trek looks really cool. I've been all around BC, but never to Whistler, so thanks for sharing your trip with me!

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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