Monday, November 7, 2011

Whistler Ski Season Opens November 26th


A little off the topic of wine tasting this week, but a shout out to all you skiers out there waiting for this.

The autumnal equinox has passed, the frost is on the pumpkin, and the cold rains of winter are falling on the city of Vancouver. But high on the slopes of British Columbia’s Olympic playground, the snow will soon fly, and excitement is in the air. Mark your calendars; the 2011/12 ski season is scheduled to begin on November 26th.

Whistler, B.C. is a gorgeous little village nestled at the bottom of two world-class ski mountains. In the valley around Whistler Village, there is no end of accommodations. Anything from delightful Bed and Breakfasts, to luxury resorts such as the beautiful Four Seasons Whistler, one of North America’s top year-round mountain resorts.

Down in the village, from early spring to the end of summer, there’s always the chance of a bear sighting. On an early morning walk, you’re quite likely to run into one or two feasting from the resort garbage cans. Even though these receptacles are made of metal and have self-closing locks, the bears have figured out how to get what they want. Recently the diners at one village pizza parlour, were surprised and delighted to find their dinner companion was a black bear who sauntered in through the front door, stood up over the counter, grabbed a pizza off the display and started eating it. The crowd laughed as one of the customers yelled “you better give a good tip, bud.”  The noise evidently scared the bear away.

Two things to bear in mind, (no pun intended) never purposely feed them, and never get between a mother bear and her cub.

Of course, it goes without saying that the skiing is great here. After all, Whistler did host the 2010 Winter Olympics, but the number one attraction at the moment is the absolutely, breathtaking ride on the “Peak to Peak” Gondola. Suspended over fourteen  hundred feet above the valley floor, this ride swings between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, allowing skiers to change from one ski area to the other without the hassle of descending and ascending the slopes. The views of the surrounding mountain range and the delightful valley are out-of-this world lovely, and something you’ll remember the rest of your life.

(Next week: More wine on B.C.s Golden Wine Trail)

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