Ok, I know I’m a bit behind – as my friends and family are asking me questions – but this blogging thing is a tad tough when there is so much cool stuff to do 😉.
After a try at the sleeping thing, my first adventure was to the Ice Walls or Snow Walls as they are also known.
Every summer, after the mountain shuts, a path is carved through the several metres of snow left over from the winter, creating a walkable 7km round trip labyrinth experience above Pika’s Traverse on Whistler Mountain. Apparently, it’s rated an ‘easy’ hike and is fine for families, but for someone who isn’t fit (seriously, I’m not) I would say it’s easy to medium and takes about 60-90mins with a few leg-burning, knee-straining sections. It took us a tad longer because I was busy snapping away and standing still to absorb the view a few too many times.
1. A camera of sorts, especially one with a really large depth of field for those landscape shots.
2. Layers or a wind-proof light shell jacket (I’m a south-east QLD girl so I am a bit of a wuss).
3. Bring snacks and visit the toilet at the top of the gondola, unless you want to stain the snow.
4. TAKE YOUR TIME! and use all of your senses.
5. Look for bears on the way up and down the Gondola – We saw 4 on separate accounts!
I would class this as a MUST see; very surreal and a sensory experience that really brought me a lot of gratitude for my ability to be there. But, they are dependent on the weather and your budget.
I am lucky to have friends here in Whistler, with season passes, so I was able to get a small discount – or it’s a solid $60CAD to buy a sight-seeing Gondola Pass!
So for my backpacker budget, it was a bit of a stretch – But worth it!
We rode said gondola right to the top- and then took ‘Peak to Peak’ chair (for time’s sake). It was then I started to understand the ‘fridge with a heating lamp’ description of the temperature up there. A confusing mix of cool 8-12 degrees coming off the snow, with the sun warming my back bringing it up to the 15-degree mark. My senses were on overdrive.
Some of these ‘walls’ reached a good 4 metres. This year has been a bigger season so the walls have stayed intact for longer.
Words don’t really work for describing this, but neither do the photos.
Out of it all – the landscape is what really struck me; so much of the pine forests exposed, multiple shades of green, trickling streams over the path from melting snow, birds whistling and animals rustling in the bushes, the ski-runs in the distance still visible without snow on them, and trying to envision what it may have looked like…. well… white ;).
The mountains are so vast and majestic that not a single photo I have taken in the last 5 days seems to do Whistler any justice!! But hey, here are some more anyway: