So I may be
24 hrs away from my flight to Iceland – Nope, I’m about 24hrs SINCE….Whilst I have written about the things I was lucky enough to be part of thanks to the people I knew/met living in Whistler. This is a selection of other adventures I did and I think are well worth a look (specifically in the Summer). Next posts will be all about the road trip I went on through the unbelievable Rocky Mountains and my time in Calgary and Toronto. I hope to get them done before I reach Iceland!! And nup, again; I am currently in Iceland.
Hiking in Canada is probably the most popular and easily accessible thing to do. That said…
We hired a car for a day but some people access these via bike, if you are really keen and very fit, go for it! But we were on a time limit and needed to get them checked off in one day apparently. I had also been unwell that morning, so was far slower than the other two.
1. WATER – even being an Aussie I didn’t bring a big enough water bottle according to my friends.
2. Good walking shoes, regardless of how hard or easy these hikes are – just wear them in case you want to choose the harder trails.
3. Bug Repellant & sensible clothing: the mozzies (mosquitoes) here haven’t eaten for 5 months and are ruthless. I have been lucky as I think my skin is offputting to them.
4. Smartphone/Camera; this is at your discretion, my friend had a Samsung and I think for landscape pics, they ace it.
5. DON’T LITTER ANYWHERE – bears are shot/killed when they become too familiar with humans and that they can get food from us – don’t contribute to their decline.
6. An open mind, heart, and respect for nature, take your time, the moment I slowed down and fell behind I saw birds, other wildlife and bugs… oh and locked eyes with a stunning black bear – no biggie.
Stop #1 Alexander Falls on Madeley Creek in Callaghan Valley: a 25min NW drive out of Whistler.
Plenty of water was still rushing over this and it’s a super easy ‘park and pic’ (meaning you can just hop out of the car to get this shot – or hike to get some better ones (we opted for the former because I was unwell and we were on a time limit).
Stop #2 Brandywine Falls:20min drive SW from Whistler.
My friends actually climbed down to the bottom of the falls but I would not recommend this at all unless you
1. want to risk a fine or
2. are a seriously seasoned hiker,
3. know someone who has done the path before and ready for a non-existent path, sheer drops, loose gravel, and whatnot.
I try to follow what the park officials suggest and stay on the paths as I not only understand the dangers presented to us as humans, but also the damage we can do in return by being in places that aren’t meant for our footprints.
Even if their photo from below was rather amazing –
I was more than happy to stay and listen to the water rushing from up high, and grab these few photos.
Stop #3 Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Park: 20-25 min SW of Whistler.
My Favourite of the day and a MUST see. I would put this as an easy hike for sure. I am not particularly fit – seriously though, I think I’ve mentioned it. It’s easy because it’s all flat- but I struggled because I had been sick that morning – possible jet lag, altitude, or pure exhaustion – I was even vomiting and I still managed this. I was a bit slow according to my friends, but it was my first time engulfed in the forest so I was overwhelmed, stopping to smell, see and take photos…. like these:
The forest is lush and green – at least it was for me – with the perfect weather I manifested back home and totally brought with me ;). Birdsong and the rustling of the tall pine (and other) trees broken by the trickling or often rushing of creeks and waterways or the river on the way.
When I passed these creeks the temperature on my legs or body dropped immediately by a good couple of degrees! It was as if the glacier-fed water was stroking me and communicating with me to remind me where all this life comes from.
As we reached the main ‘attraction’ view of the Lake the clearing in the trees didn’t really open, but rather just stopped at the edge and I was greeted by blue-green, frigid, glacier-fed, crystal-clear water framed by pine-covered and snow-capped mountains; the perfect mix of seasons and personalities of Whistler.
A couple of days later, whilst the rest of the house nursed hangovers, I splurged on myself by going Zip Lining 🙂
Even as a backpacker I would say – spend the money – it was so worth the $60CAD to fly through the treetops and valleys, seeing it all from above. It’s the perfect “eagle eye’s view” (one of my favourite animals and a metaphor for many times in my life).
1.Wear layers (again I am a bit of a sook, but for the dust, and chilly rush of mountain air, I was glad I did)
2.The shuttle takes you to the base (but you can also drive yourself) Once you have been through the ‘initialisation and instructions’ you are taken up the mountian in an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle a buggy) and it is very, very, dusty… as in don’t-wash-your-hair-layer-of-dust-kind of dusty.
3.Good activity for kids – the lighter you are the slower you go and more you get to see.
4.There is a pocket in the back of your harness for extras, but a wrist strap on any camera is best.
5.Release your fear of heights as you are well secured and even have a handle for good measure.
6.Pretend you’re a bird (optional, but awesome).
I went with Superfly Adventures, they are in the Village and easy to find (almost opposite the Whistler Gondola) They run each hour, and Emma is probably one of the nicest tour guides there is. Plus she has a charming British accent to boot – if you like yoga, she also teaches in Whistler. Check out her Instagram
I didn’t take many shots as I was busy enjoying myself too much. Not sure I reached the expected 100km/hr because of my tiny weight – but I sure experienced the buzz.
As I mentioned: NEXT post is about my road trip Calgary where I was to meet an old friend who I used to work with in Brisbane. A couple of the housemates and I decided to take a few days camping and stopping along the way. My mind has never had such an overload of visual stimuli impossible to photograph or explain adequately.