After another expiring Groupon-type deal that desperately needed to be used, a day trip was born. This time, Zahid and I used a deal from Premier Pacific Coach Lines for a trip to the wonderful Whistler, B.C. Known as an Olympic venue city for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Whistler is known for its beautiful backdrop of the mountains, enjoyed by winter sport enthusiasts.
Because of the dog sledding disaster that was revealed earlier this year, I had to cross dogsledding off my bucket list (at least for a little while). But it worked out since Zahid and I didn’t have that much money saved for this day trip anyways, so we decided to just book a sightseeing Peak2Peak Gondola Tour. Wow, did we really just go to Whistler to ride the gondola, for a 9am-4pm day trip? The honest answer is YES. We thought we’d have the opportunity to go for a hike up in the mountain, but because of the skiing and snowboarding crowd, we were advised not to. NOW WHAT?
First of all, I’ve never actually gone snowboarding or skiing. It’s a shame, living in a province known especially for the winter sports and its mountains. One day I really really will do just that!
The ride up the mountain was quite long actually. It was an experience itself, being elevated slowly and carefully, only relying on thick ropes and a stable gondola. Was it ever blinding to see all that white in one place! The white snow had invaded the greenery and soil, it was almost racist 😛 . Seeing the children learn how to ski below, and eventually see hardcore skiiers demonstrate the actual deed was quite inspirational. Skiing looked like fun, but snowboarding seemed challenging; no wonder there wasn’t a lot of snowboarders.
Eventually, we walked around the soft, powdery snow, regrettably not wearing sunglasses. The clash between the sun and the reflection of the snow was blinding. I can’t believe I still wasn’t as prepared as I thought; I wore my Winter Olympic boots and ski pants. Remember to bring sunglasses!
Finally, it was time to ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, and being the daredevils we are, we waited for the glass-floored gondola option: a much shorter lineup, but a longer wait indeed. The silver special gondola could hold approximately 30 people, and it was packed with tourists. The eleven-minute Peak 2 Peak ride was exciting, though Whistler did a good job of not freaking people out. The glass was in the middle of the gondola, and it was protected by railing, so people cannot step on it, but instead look below. Suspended 436 meters above the snow-covered trees, the Peak 2 Peak gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains together. It also brags to be the highest lift of its kind, and is the longest continuous lift system on Earth. The ride allows you to see the beauty of winter, and provides you a moment to think to yourself, “What A Wonderful World”. Although it was scary to think that a woman spent the night alone on the Peak 2 Peak
After getting down from the mountains, Zahid and I, due to our limited time and budget, decided to join the other folks at the
Treetrek Tour, offered by Ziptrek Eco Tours. It was described to us by an unenthusiastic Tourism Whistler lady as an “educational experience that introduces you to trees”. Sounds too educational for what’s supposedly a relaxing weekend day trip Yet due to a desperate need for an activity, we signed up for it.
For less than $40 per person, this is one of the most economical ways to enjoy the otherwise expensive winter trip. Toured by a young Australian lady, we were also accompanied by five other tree-huggin’ individuals. Driven up to a higher elevation, we were dropped off in the middle of a forested area in Whistler. The walking tour was scheduled for two hours, but lasted for less than that.
We inhaled oxygen straight from our green leafy pals. The tour guide presented the information with enthusiasm, and it was actually interesting to know more about woodpeckers, trees that drop their branches (like self-mutilation), and the importance of sustainability. I thought it was like living in an ad that sold how sustainable Whistler truly is, but this is certainly not a bad thing. One suspension bridge after the other, going up and down the platforms, trying not to be defeated by the slippery trails, it was truly more enjoyable and adventurous of a hike than one would think! Also, it gives you a preview of how your life would be if you were ziplining, as the tour overlooks the Fitzsimmons Creek, where the zipliners scream their lungs off. Good marketing, Ziptrek, real good marketing. How can I not want to zipline after seeing how AWESOME it looked as a watcher? It’s a definite must-do this summer! You also get to see the luge/skeleton/bobsleigh track, where the Olympians won medals from. Overall, lots to see so it was def. not a waste of money/time.
- On-a-budget trip, go to the Ziptrek Treetrek Tour for less than $40 per person, and a wonderful two hours to spend your time. Make sure to take LOTS of pictures, as the view is amazing. Wear boots with good grip. The hike is quite tricky and slippery.
- Eat at Old Spaghetti Factory if you’re on a tight budget like we were this weekend. http://www.oldspaghettifactory.ca/locations/british_columbia/whistler/ You really get your money’s worth, and have a hearty meal that includes appetizer and dessert.
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola is perfect for sightseeing. Bring snacks, you might get hungry. Bring sunglasses too!
Well, well, well, when I do go to Whistler next time, I better have more saved up! And I better get to stay because I would really love to go ziplining, and ATV-ing again! Whistler is quite cool (like literally!).
For more information on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, please check out: http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/p2pg/
For more information on the Treetrek Tour, please visit: http://www.ziptrek.com/whistler-canada/tours/treetrek-tour