One of the most spectacular gondola rides around, the Peak 2 Peak gondola links Blackcomb Mountain with Whistler Mountain. The two are separated by a deep valley and each contains a large and separate skiable domaine. Catch these red Peak 2 Peak gondolas in either direction from Rendezvous Lodge in Blackcomb to Roundhouse Lodge in Whistler Mountain. They travel 4.4 kms in 12 minutes in a U-shaped trip down the valley, from an altitude of 1850 metres and back up to the same altitude at the opposite end. The views are breathtakingly beautiful, so bring a camera! This gondola makes it much easier to ski the two mountains on the same day.
For more photos from this amazing ride, take a look at the travelogue: Peak 2 Peak
Much like other ski resorts, Whistler is graced by magnificent views. They are made even more stunning by majestic peaks and the deep U-shaped valleys between them. Because the climate here is more humid, fog often lingers at lower altitudes, making it even more scenic. Attached are a few photos.
One of the most challenging experiences in Whistler, skiing the Blackcomb Glacier must not be missed. Beware though: not only is it reserved for the experienced skier, but it also requires a fairly onerous hike up from Showcase T-Bar, at an altitude well above 2000 metres! The descent is quite steep at first but then gradually flattens into a bowl surrounded by towering mountains, which leads to a fairly easy trail along a valley with breathtaking views. Altogether, it is also the longest run in Blackcomb Mountain (16 kms?). This is definitely a memorable experience for those who are up for it.
It's called "upper," but it is only 10 metres higher (at 685 metres) than the main Whistler Village. Although a smaller commercial area, Upper Village does have a slightly more exclusive feel to it mainly because it is home to both the Fairmont and the Four Seasons Hotels. It is a bit of a walking distance from the main village, but if you are staying at one of the hotels, there are free shuttle buses around town. The ski slopes of Blackcomb Mountain coverage at the bottom by the Upper Village.
The centre of Whistler, where most of the restaurants, shops, bars and hotels are located, is known as Whistler Village. The main thoroughfare is a pedestrianised zone with a couple of main squares and is also where the Whistler Mountain ski slopes converge, at the low altitude of 675 metres. This area is larger than most ski towns I've been to and it can get quite crowded and noisy during peak season even until late night.
Whistler Mountain rises to an altitude of 2,182 metres and is skiable from its peak to the main Village base at 675 metres. It is connected to Blackcomb Mountain by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola near the top and the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola at the base. Both mountains are of equal size and offer challenging and beginner level skiing. I spent one day on Whistler Mountain in Feb 2012 (and two on Blackcomb), so I did not get to experience the entire mountain. That day I spent mostly in the Harmony and Symphony bowls, which face Blackcomb Mountain and offer excellent skiing in open areas and between trees.
Blackcomb Mountain is the (slightly) higher of the two skiable mountains at Whistler. It rises to an altitude of 2,440 metres, but the highest skiable point is Horstman Hut, at 2,284 metres, while the base, at Blackcomb Daylodge, is at 685m. This mountain lies to the east of Whistler Mountain, and both are roughly the same size in terms of skiing and number of runs and are equally fun and challenging. When I visited in February 2012, I spent two days on Blackcomb Mountain (and only one day on Whistler) only because I was staying in the upper Village (the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain is located in the upper Whistler Village, right next to the Fairmont Hotel). The two mountains are connected by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola up top, and the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola at the base.
The Whistler Village is a collection of sports, clothing and tourist stores, along with restos and bars. The trees are lighted and there is a festive atmosphere. It is enjoyable just to walk through the village.
The ski area has two great mountains to ski on, Whistler and Blackcomb. The two mountains are connected by a "peak to peak" gondola so you can easily stay on the top slopes which had the better skiing and snow. Most of the runs can be readily negotiated by an average skier, but provided a challenge good challenge to the better skiers who wanted who wanted to point the skiis downhill. The best way up the hill is to take either of the two gondolas. We found it was better to take an additional two chairs to get up on the top of the mountain.
LOVED this!! Expensive, but completely worth the money. We went during the 2010 Winter Olympics and I understand they altered their regular courses a bit during that time. The trip up the mountain even included a ride on a snowcat, which I had never done before.
The tour itself lasted about 3 hours and included 5 ziplines. Two tour guides accompany you and give you a little nature education throughout the tour. But don't worry - its done in a very casual way and never gets preachy. Our guides in particular were fantastic! They had us laughing for most of the tour.
Pretty little Porteau Cove is located on the most southerly fjord in North America.
An old ship has been sunk here for divers, but for us, it was just a stop to stretch the legs and to enjoy the lovely water views.
We parked beside the jetty. The views of Howe sound were good here. We did notice the pebbly beach, and the driftwood, something I love! In Summer, people go swimming here.
Tide,wind and weather conditions can change suddenly in Howe Sound, so be careful if swimming and boating.
Stawmus Chief, mmmm??? is this the name of an Indian Chief, NO!! .....It is a name of sheer granite monolith right alongside Highway 99 at Squamish.
It was located near Shannon Falls, so a chance for us to take a look at both.
The Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world.
No, I didn't climb it, I didn't have time, but I have read there are 180 different routes to reach the summit, where there are views of Howe Sound, Squamish and surrounding mountains. .
The routes all begin from from the base of this monolith, which is estimated to be 93 million years old. The climb is said to be a strenuous 7- to 11-km return hike, depending on which of three summit routes you choose. .
We drove to the base of the Chief, where we could look up at this huge monolith. Mountain climbers were there, putting on their gear.
Even if you don't plan to hike, be sure to stop at the Stawamus Chief Mountain viewpoint, where there are interpretive signs and a good view, it's located on Hwy 99 in Squamish.
WE made a stop at Shannon Waterfalls on our way to Vancouver.
These falls are very easy to reach, as they are located just off Highway 99. There is a large car park, lawns, picnic tables and benches and Toilets.
The walk was on a paved track that took me over a bridge where a creek was running, and to the viewing platform, about 10mins at the most. This part is ok. for wheelchairs. The view was great, the water was flowing fast, plunging 335metres down the mountain side.
These are the 3rd highest falls in British Columbia.
The second viewpoint, was not as easy to reach. Still a short walk, but a steep one, the viewing platform juts out from the cliff. More brilliant views!
Certainly worth a stop.
Since I have been to Whistler, the 2010 Winter Olympics have been held here.
For us, it was a sightseeing Gondola ride to the top of Blackcomb Mountain where a mountain top restaurant was located. Wow! What 360degree views, and even though it was June, and Summer, way up the top here, there still was snow, and skiers and snowboarder's having a wonderful time.
For warmer climate people like us, seeing the Snow ploughs and the Mountain Ambulance, and animals called Marmot's on the Mountain, but no Bears, was quite an experience.
It was quite cold at "the top" so we didn't hang about for long before taking another gondola down.
A word of warning..............
We left from Whistler Village in quite decent, warm weather. The higher we went, the colder it got, and as we were leaving the Mountain top, drizzly rain set in. It was cold!!!
So rug up!!
The views are incredible, and I would say, this is a MUST DO
This wasn't available when I was there, but there is now a world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola that runs 4.4-kilometre between peaks, I imagine this would be spectacular too!
Some facts on that are............
•Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres
•Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor
•Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe
REGULAR SUMMER SEASON: MAY 29 - OCTOBER 11, 2010
10 -5 pm or later when the daylight hours are longer
PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience $43.95 adult or $39.95 if you book online.
The Whistler Village Park is really lovely. I followed the pathway, which took me alongside beautiful water features, and nice sculptures. Lovely views of the small waterfalls, and the gardens were viewed from the bridges.
At Rebagliati Park, there is a covered bridge located over Fitzsimmons Creek.
This park is lawned and has picnic tables.
All of this is located in the main part of Whistler Town, I thought it was very nice!