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Destination: Whistler, BC

My wife and I at the top of Whistler

My wife and I at the top of Whistler

Finally getting a chance to write about my recent trip to Whistler.  It was an amazing vacation.  I’d go back in a heartbeat.

We flew out on Wednesday March 6th and returned on the 13th.  8 days in the mountains.  What a perfect place in the world.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wondering what it would take to move out there on several occasions.

Our drive out took us from Vancouver to Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway, which I remember from a previous visit in my youth as a rather sketchy stretch of road, but I had heard it was improved for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  It was actually pretty good.

Hwy 99 from Vancouver to Whistler

Hwy 99 from Vancouver to Whistler

What impressed me the most about this highway was the presence of a bicycle lane on both sides, the whole way.  We past several road cyclists getting a workout in the Rocky Mountains as we drove up – the road a constant series of hills and turns as the highway hugs the mountain edges along the waterway.  How amazing would it be to have that road to bike train along?  Great climbs to work the legs, constant turns to work on technical riding, and views you wouldn’t ever get tired of.  I could live out there.

The skiing was pretty good.  The first day the light was so flat we couldn’t see anything – did a few runs, then got ourselves down to the pub at the base.  This is vacation after all!

The next few days though were beautifully sunny, with temperatures around freezing at the peak, and 10ºC at the base.  Perfect!

Most of the crew at Whistler Peak

Most of the crew at Whistler Peak

On the sunny days, you could see for miles.  It felt like the top of the world.  I could live out there.

My wife and I broke off from our group one day to meet up with a Guide on the hill who took us down the longest run in on the mountain: the Peak To Creak run – 11km (6.8 miles) long.  On the way down she pointed out to us a lake around the village at the bottom of the hill, Alta Lake.  Surrounded by Rocky Mountains and trees, it was nature at it’s most beautiful.  Our guide told us that the Whistler area originally appealed to visitors because of Alta Lake as a fishing destination, not for the mountain.  The lake looked so perfect – I could imagine swimming there in the summer, practicing my open water swim at the base of the mountains.  I could live out there.

I brought my running shoes with me, but never got a chance to use them.  Between the 8 hour days on the ski hill (and the workout that was on my legs) and the beers waiting for me at the base of the hill each night, running never seemed to be a priority.  The village would have been great for running though – looking at maps, it seemed to have cross country trails running all throughout.  Next time I visit I’ll have to make sure I set aside time to run some of those trails.  Probably much more interesting than running along Main Street here in town.

The trip was fantastic – great skiing, great place, and a fantastic visit with my uncles and cousins.  I will be back someday – hopefully soon.

That being said, the trip was a bit bitter-sweet.  I’m back from Whistler 3 days now, and 8 days away from The Bay.  I read a Facebook post from a friend of mine who’s also running The Bay next weekend – she shared a photo of the finish area being set up (possibly from a previous year, I’m not sure…) and stated excitedly that she’s starting her taper week.  I should be starting my taper week too, except I don’t know how to taper when I haven’t run in the past week?  Seriously – who takes a vacation 2 weeks before race day?!

Just gotta make it to that finish line...

Just gotta make it to that finish line…

I’m back from vacation.  Back to work.  Back to reality.  And I have a lot of work to do this week to get ready for Race Day.  But my head is still at Whistler I think.  Someday, I’ll be back…

I could live here...

I could live out there…

If you could live somewhere else in the world, where would you live?



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