Angus and I did a quick trip to Whistler to stay with Garry and Lorna and their new baby daughter Abigail who were holidaying there for a month.
Garry had arranged for his sons to come over as well and as it turned out Kael would be there at the same time that we were, which worked out perfectly for us as the boys were good company for each other and Garry and I could go skiing harder stuff on the days that the boys were in ski school.
A tired Angus eating Burger King at Vancouver airport
We were waiting for Garry to pick us up as he had to drop off his son Elijah who was flying back to Sydney to go to school.
It was convenient I must add that the airport had FREE WiFi – not like Sydney airport
By this stage we had been travelling for 18 hours 30 mins, waiting around airports etc for 8 hours and awake for 1 day, 2hours and 30 mins.
We still had about 3 hours to wait for Garry and a 2-3 hour drive
Needless to say, I needed a beer and it was Australia Day, so when we arrived Angus had a quick toasted sandwich and went to bed, Garry and I went to the Brew House, drank some pale ale and had some pulled beef sliders (mini burgers) with horseradish cream.
Some more beers and tapas styled food then back to the condo.
The place we stayed at was called Arrowhead Pointe in the upper village of Blackcomb, with a short walk to the main run it was only minutes for us to get to the lift.
There was a bus service to Blackcomb and Whistler Village which was handy for getting to and from the shops. You could actually walk down the ski run to Blackcomb if you want and then its only a short walk thru a park to Whistler Village.
On the Friday, our first day of skiing the four of us did a bit of a tour of the mountains.
The boys were pretty well matched for skiing ability and and they had fun skiing around with us.
On the Saturday Angus and I did a bit of skiing on our own and managed to find our way back to the condo via the home trail which took us to the back door.
The 3 major mountain lodges Rendezvous, Glacier Creek and Roundhouse all had execellent WiFi where i could upload photos to Face-Tube or call people on Skype.
The Rendezvous Lodge even had a NIntendo lounge with Wii connected to large LCDs
Something that would never happen in Australian ski resorts.
We decided that due to the jet lag, the crowds, and the weather(raining in the village) that we would have a day off skiing on Sunday and do something touristy so Garry suggested a zip lining tour.
Zip lining is like a flying fox where you are connected to a cable and go from tree to tree across valleys and creeks etc.
There is an extensive network setup with tree platforms etc and the tour we did included a run that was almost 1 kilometre. Infact it was dubious whether or not Angus would make it across as you had to be a certain weight to do this tour. In the end we had to go over to the office the night before and get Angus weighed, he came in 2 kgs under the 34kg/70lb minimum for the tour but they said it would be OK.
It was a great day and something that we had not done before
Sunday night is the Fire and Ice show and after some sight seeing and shopping in the village we grabbed a hot dog and chips from Zoggs (which would become our favourite junk food place) and watched the show from the bottom of the lifts.
On Monday Garry and I did some skiing as the boys were in ski school and there was some fresh snow to be had. We skiied over at the Symphony bowl and did some tree skiing which was cool.
I got to try my new powder skis but found out (after forward fliping) that they are too short!!!
Great for trees or tight chutes but no good on big alpine bowls – oh well forget AK
That night we went to Dubh Linn Gate Irish pub for a few beers and a meal
I had a few beers “in” my meal – Steak and Guiness Pie plus some extra Guiness
On Tuesday Angus did not want to go into ski school so we went for a tour together.
Kael had boot problems and wasn’t sure how he would go so we arranged to meet him and Garry at Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler for lunch then we went for a ski.
Garry suggested that we ski the Peak to Creek run and end up at Whister Creekside.
We skied the face of Whistler Peak and headed down the west ridge and ended up in some very steep glades that we heaps of fun
It was great family fun for about $10 each, another thing that Australian ski resorts have forgotten about…FUN !!!!
Just add FUN to the long list of things missing from Australians ski resorts like
SERVICE, VALUE, VARIETY, ENTERTAINMENT, CREATIVITY, INTEGRITY
Thursday was Kaels last day, so after saying good byes we headed off skiing and left Garry and Kael to do father and son stuff.
We had some breaky at Glacier Creek Lodge and since the weather was good we decided to do a run up the Glacier
We caught the Glacier Chair up to the Tbar and entered the glacier
After lunch at the Roundhouse on Whistler we took some photos and headed up the Peak Chair
We then Skied the Glacier Bowl and all the way back to Whistler Village
Garry and I went for a last ski together and it was a great day for photo ops
We took a run down the Glacier as it was foggy last time and the views were worth it
Friday night saw us doing some last minute shopping for presents.
Most of the shops are open til about 9pm and the village has a great atmosphere
We stopped off at our favourite haunt Zogs Dogs, for some dinner
It was a good chance to take some photos around the village at night
We did some packing and then headed into town on foot since it was such a lovely day.
We walked down the ski run to Blackcomb and the thru the park to Whistler Village.
We went to an Authentic French Creperie called Crepe Montange and Angus had enormous pancakes and I had the best Eggs Benedict I have ever had.
After breakfast we went ice skating at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Again, something for the Aussie tourist industry to learn – You dont need to rip everyone off
FREE skating, $5 skate hire….nuff said !!!
So that was it for Whistler, the rest of Saturday night was spent packing and we left early Sunday morning for our bus trip back to Vancouver.
The views along the way were interesting as its strange to see snow and sea in the same photo
We made it to the airport at Vancouver with just enough time to check in and get some lunch
Our Flight to Dallas got us there at about dinner time but all I wanted was a beer
There was an Irish Pub where I had a Guiness and Angus skoalled a Shirley Temple
When we got on board I was pretty worn out and didn’t look at the boarding passes.
I kept saying to Angus “just keep going down the back”.
I looked up and we were at row 65 and when I checked the boarding passes I thought
“somethings wrong here…its says row 38” and we turned around and went back up the front
Turns out we were upgraded to Premium Economy which Angus thought was cool.
Teddy liked the upgrade too
After some movies, “The Ides of March”, “The Big Year” and “Tower Heist” we arrived home in Sydney after a sunrise stop at muggy Brisbane.
The majority of the stills and videos were taken using an iPhone 4s.
Some were taken on a iPhone 4 and Canon G10.
There were about 500 photos taken, which explains why it took 2 weeks to put together teh videos, slideshows and edit this blog, so after a break and another look I may add some more and embelish the story a bit more.
I put together a few videos / slide shows of the different things we did on the trip
Whistler 2012 – Skiing 1
Whistler 2012 – Two Glaciers
Whistler 2012 – Zip Lining
Whistler 2012- Bobsled
Whistler 2012 – Angus at Ski School
Whistler 2012 – Ski School Adventure Camp – DVD
Whistler 2012 – Peak 2 Peak