Whistler and the road to the Rockies

Trip Start Oct 08, 2005
Trip End Oct 06, 2006

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Where I stayed
Alta Lake Lodge

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I have done so much since my last entry that I am struggling to remember everything and which is why I'm fairly behind on things. So sorry if these next entries are a bit crap.

I took a 3-day trip to Whistler from Vancouver with a local tour company, not that its particularly difficult to get to from VC (only about 90km) but I got to see more stuff along the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway that way, like Shannon Falls, and The Chief - the second biggest granite rock in the world (after the Rock of Gibraltar, in case that ever comes up in a quiz...) I stayed in a beautiful place in Whistler, an Alpine chalet type place right on Alta Lake that used to be someone's home but is now a lovely hostel. Whistler is the biggest ski resort in North America, touristy as hell even in the summer, but a surprisingly charming place, with all the buildings designed in sympathy to the surroundings. Also a very big place for stag and hen parties from Vancouver, so also a cracking night out.

I took the 45 minute ski-lift ride up Blackcomb Mountain (Whistler Mountain had a whole load of nutter mountain bikers hurtling down it, not recommended for walkers!) and was incredibly excited to find there was loads of snow still on the top, and that there was still skiing and boarding going on. I can't do either, and have no interest either, but it was good to watch, and quite weird considering down at the bottom of the mountain it was a glorious summer's day, but up there I was able to chuck snowballs at people. And the ride down on the ski-lift gave awesome views over Whistler and the surrounding mountains. Beautiful.

Also in Whistler I did a couple of walks, mainly to try and spot bears, but without success. There are thousands of black bears there apparently, but I've seen none. Rubbish.

After a quick stop back in Vancouver, I headed out towards the Rockies, taking a two day trip out to see the scenery on the way to Banff, about 500km away. Stops on the first day included Hope - "famed" for being John Rambo's home town - Lytton (Canada's Hottest Place, officially), Bridal Veil Falls - and well, that was about it, it wasn't the most exciting day. And England only managed a crap draw with Sweden. Stayed a night at Shuswap Lake, a beautiful huge holidayers lake in the middle of nowhere, then continued on the journey the next day into the Rockies, where the scenery became a bit more interesting and mountainous. Had a kayaking lesson on one of the lakes on the way - quite useful considering I've been kayaking about 3 times now, and learnt stuff that would have stopped me toppling in last time. Still, if there's a next time, I'll know what I'm doing. Finally, at the end of day 2, we arrived in Banff. If it sounded like I had a rubbish time these two days, I really didn't, its just that there was a LOT of driving, and it got kind of boring. Things improved.
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