The scenery on the road trip was awesome but little did I know that it would become more spectacular as we arrived in the resort town of Whistler, nestled in the coast mountain range, under the shadow of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. This all season resort town was bustling with tourists, many like me who prefer the mountains in the summertime ( I will leave winter sports to another crowd) With a two day pass for the gondolas and chairlifts we maximized our time riding, hiking, and gazing at the vast beauty spread before us.
The Pan Pacific Mountainside Hotel where we enjoyed three nights in a lovely studio suite.
The view from our room. From the pool deck on the opposite side we could watch the mountain bikers careening down the slopes to the base of the lifts.
Riding up on the Whistler gondola
From the top of the gondola lift we embarked on a strenuous hike up Pika's Traverse road which after about 2 hours of steady climbing took us to Whistler's summit.
Whistler Mountain is named after the marmots who whistle warnings to their clan.
We made this 1000 foot elevation climb with lots of stops to look, rest, and to encourage one another to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The view was worth the effort.
This is Illanaaq, the official mascot of the 2010 Olympics.
The Inuksuks on both mountains appear to be a human form with outstretched arms, symbolizing hospitality and friendship.
The Peak To Peak Gondola joins the side by side mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb. It is the world's longest and highest lift, 4.4 Km long and 436 Meters high. We had a 24 passenger gondola all to ourselves for the 11 minute ride.
The Peak to Peak was just a taste of more heights as we then rode the 7th Heaven Express chair to the top of Blackcomb Mountain for more grandeur as we saw glaciers and looked back to the other mountain where we had hiked.
Illanaaq waving across the valley to his friend.
Blackcomb was still busy with skiers.
To end our day's adventure we rode down the Blackcomb chair to the village below, weary and ready for a soak in the hot tub, and just for fun we repeated all these lifts the next day. Just couldn't get enough of these majestic mountains!
|One of 5 bears we sighted from the lifts, a safe place to be.|
|My Gold Medal Forever Friend|