WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

It was on June 21, 2008 when our host Peter Lingbanan (a member of the Baguio Web International Mailing List) took Nena and I to Whistler which is some two hours from Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99). We left Vancouver just before noon and it was already about 9:00 pm when we got back.

Whistler is a resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Vancouver. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of almost 10,000, plus a larger but rotating "transient" population of workers, typically younger people from British Columbia.

The resort destination of Whistler is nestled below the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in the Whistler Valley. In recognition of its world-class status as a ski resort, the cosmopolitan Village of Whistler will co-host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games with Vancouver. Whistler continues to be the fastest-growing municipality in British Columbia, and has been recognized as the Top Ski Resort in North America for the past decade.

Winter in Whistler, with downhill skiing at Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, is what has made the area world famous. In addition to the downhill ski facilities, winter visitors enjoy cross-country skiing, heli-skiing, ice skating, snowmobiling, sleigh-riding, dog-sledding and a host of other winter recreational pursuits. I wish I were into skiing, however, at my age now I might just end up breaking my bones.

Summer in Whistler is just as spectacular as winter. Mountaintop sightseeing, world-class golf, mountain biking (Whistler is considered "one of the top bike towns in North America"), hiking, in-line skating, horseback riding, sightseeing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and even glacier skiing are but of the few of the opportunities the area provides in the summer months.

At least I can still go for sightseeing, fishing, and a little of canoeing. Horseback riding seems fun and I enjoyed it a lot when I was still a teenager. We were then residents of Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio) and I spent a lot of time taking equitation lessons with the Philippine Army cavalry unit that had their stable just close to where we were staying. However, I still could not forget a horseback riding incident that happened to me when I was with the academic faculty of the Philippine Military Academy. The horse I rode to a gallop (A natural three-beat gait of a horse, faster than a canter, in which all four feet are off the ground at the same time during each stride.) around Borromeo Field (the parade ground of the academy) suddenly stopped and I was thrown out of my saddle and landed face down on the ground. Luckily, I just had some minor bruises but with no bones broken. Since that time, I have not attempted to go horseback riding again.

Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and mountain biking at Whistler-Blackcomb. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. From the accompanying photographs you will see how beautiful the buildings are in Whistler.

It was during our short visit to Whistler that Nena, Peter, and I tried riding the gondola up to the mountains. We were only able to make it to 3 stations and missed going further up since it was very windy and not safe to be riding on the gondola. On our way up we did see a few black bears that didn't seem to be bothered at all by the people riding on the gondola. They were just probably looking for food along the slopes of the mountain.

After our gondola ride we just wandered around the village checking out what was going on. I also found time to take pictures of the different buildings as well as the visitors and tourists.

The accompanying photographs will give you a good idea as to what the resort town of Whistler is really like. To view the photographs, just click on the link shown below:

Whistler, British Columbia

Enjoy your cyberspace tour of the resort town of Whistler, British Columbia.



junylaputt@yahoo.com