Winter Wonderland: Wandering Whimsically In Whistler

As my alliterative headline would suggest, Mr M and I made it to the beautiful ski town of Whistler for Thanksgiving for the first day of the season.

Trust me, it wasn’t planned that way, it just happened that the day I booked the tour bus up to Whistler and Shannon Falls was also the day that the snow bunnies came out of hiding. I’m also not much of a skier, in that I’ve never actually skied before.

Our bus driver Hermann was a real character. You’re probably picturing a portly older gentleman of the German persuasion. Well this Hermann is none of those things. A tall, lanky Vancouver native who’s into punk rock, skating and beer, Hermann was never short of a joke.

It made the trip to Squamish in the pouring rain much more cheerful. Wild winds the night before had stopped the local ferry from docking and passengers spent seven hours at sea waiting it out. The weather wasn’t much better when we arrived, but we managed to make the most of a break in the rain (but not the wind) for a few quick snaps and a hot chocolate.

Right on schedule, it had been dumping snow at Whistler for a few hours and it was still falling thick and fast when we arrived. I’ve never actually been to a ski village (what a surprise) so I didn’t expect the cluster of beautiful buildings that greeted us. Grocery shops, souvenir stores, ski gear, the library, restaurants and pubs huddled under narrow covered walkways.

One of the real draw cards is the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that takes passengers between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, with views of glaciers and valleys. You can book in advance, which will give you a little discount (something I wish I’d known before). Quite a few of the runs were closed the day we arrived.

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Unfortunately for us, it was snowing pretty hard for the duration of our visit so visibility would have been extremely poor and it wasn’t worth spending the money on the Peak 2 Peak. Instead we kicked back on a pub verandah and ate lunch, watched the snowflakes fall and had an Aussie-spotting competition. It turns out that we’re everywhere and Mr M is getting much better at weeding out the New Zealanders.

A leisurely stroll through snowy streets later, we came across the monument to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Olympic rings stand as a reminder of the games and you can ski or snowboard the courses that Olympians competed on, which is very cool no matter how you look at it.

The bus ride back to Vancouver was less snowy and rainy this time so we got to witness the beautiful views of the Sea to Sky Scenic Highway from the comfort of our heated seats. A quick stop off at Shannon Falls rounded out the day.

The series of falls drop 335 metres into a river that was well and truly running when we arrived. The falls are a short walk from the car park and well worth the stop to stretch your legs, walk through the woods and get some fresh air.

68 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland: Wandering Whimsically In Whistler

  1. What a great experience for the first time in the snow at a resort. I skied (poorly) at Thredbo 3 years in a row when I was 18-20 and was in a ski club with teachers' college. The social side of things was awesome! Then I got sensible, met B and married a non-cold weather 'that was it'. However, I love the snow – the look and the beauty! Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 3/52 Denyse

  2. You've got three up on me Denyse. I have never skied or snow boarded or any other snow activity. How cool that you got to go with friends from teachers' college! I would be the person sitting in the lodge sipping port or hot chocolate though.

  3. We never made it to Whistler when we were in Vancouver but I wanted to! Looks amazing and I love snow so it's my kind of place! I have friends there at the moment posting pics and making me jealous lol! Will definitely get there next time in Vancouver #citytripping ps i told my husband about the ferry he says he feels ill just thinking about it!

  4. I've heard so many great things about this ski resort. It was nice to read a post on it. Now I want to go. The worst part is that I've never been snow skiing before. I guess one is never too old to learn? πŸ™‚

  5. Oh my gosh it looks awesome there! It's my dream to go to a place such as Whistler. Snow is a real novelty to me. I've only seen it once on a trip to Thredbo in NSW. Your post is in stark contrast to mine which is about the tropics of Vanuatu! LOL #TeamLovinLife

  6. Oh yes this takes me back to Whistler about ten years ago now. I could be there right now out of this oppressive heat we are enduring in Australia. Wouldn't that be nice? #TeamLovinLife

  7. I'm not much of a skier either although it sounds like there's plenty to entertain at Whistler as well as the slopes. Especially a game of spot through Kiwi πŸ˜‰ Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  8. I clicked with Vancouver in the very brief time I spent there, but never made the trip to the ski fields. It sounds like a nice day trip (especially with someone else driving).

  9. I've never been to Whistler but I hear it is fantastic. My skiing/snowboarding family would probably love to go and leave me in the village (I'd rather have a coffee than go out on the slopes.)

  10. Ohh… Whistler! It all looks so amazing. I've never been and I'm not much of a skier but it looks like a place I'd be more than happy to spend a few days rugged up and exploring on foot.

    SSG xxx

  11. Beautiful pictures – I love the one of Shannon Falls!!! Before our kidlets came along we would take to the ski fields at Perisher for a week of fun each year. We haven't been back since but keep talking about taking the kids – might have to do it this winter! #lovinlife

  12. Ha me too – there's something about strapping long sticks to my feet and then hurling myself down a hill covered in ice and snow that makes me think it wouldn't end well, as a terminally clumsy person who fell over in a shopping centre toilet last week because they'd mopped the floor.

  13. I spent a lot of time in Whistler many years ago. It was my first ski resort and I remember it feeling rather alien to start with. It's a beautiful part of the world though. Next time you should ski! #citytripping

  14. It's just too bad you couldn't stick around until the sun came out a day or three later. It must have been beautiful after all that snow. Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

  15. I haven't been to Whistler in FOREVER! I went to college in Washington so we used to go up a lot! It really is a winter wonderland! Your photos definitely make me want to go again! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday! xo

  16. You must have some great memories of Whistler then. You can probably ski as well ;). I saw that REI had a Winter Sale this weekend and was so tempted to buy some snow gear in the hopes that it will somehow make me have to learn to ski.

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