Why Don't You
Photo: Whistler Sport Legacies - Adam Taber
TEST YOUR AIM
Do you know biathlon — a competition that combines cross- country skiing with target shooting — is the most-watched winter sport on television in Europe? It even rivals soccer (football) as the most popular sport watched by Europeans on TV. Having hosted biathlon and other Nordic sports (cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined) during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Olympic Park offers summertime visitors a unique opportunity to shoot a real, .22-calibre biathlon rifle and learn more about biathlon.
The park, located in the Callaghan Valley, a 25-minute drive south of Whistler, is open from June 24 to early September, for the summer biathlon experience, trail running, mountain biking and sightseeing. You can enter the park for a nominal fee, rent electric-assist bikes and take a ride to the top of the ski jumps or to other points of interest along the park’s 75-odd kilometres of trails. At the biathlon range trained park staff are available to talk about the sport, offer a briefing on the safety features of the rifles used by biathletes, then provide guests eight years and older with the chance to test their skills in the shooting range, which is still used for competitions several times a year. You might even see biathletes during one of their summertime “dryland” training sessions, when they shoot in the range and rollerski along the park’s paved summer trails.
TAKE IN AN OUTDOOR CONCERT
Whistler Village comes alive in the summer with a series of summer festivals and outdoor musical performances that has something for everyone. Whistler Olympic Plaza, where the medals were awarded during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, comes alive every summer with the Whistler Presents: Outdoor Concert Series. Take your picnic basket, a blanket and relax, rock out or dance away the evening. The 2017 series kicks off with a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, with back-to-back performances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on July 1 (Canada Day) and July 2. The full schedule for the Whistler Presents series is set for release in June. Visit whistler.ca.
Photo: Joern Rohde
The Whistler Children’s Festival, July 7 to 9, is a long- running local event that features face painting, balloon hats and origami-making workshops, as well as kid-centered performances on the Whistler Olympic Plaza stage. Visit whistler.com.
As part of the four-day Wanderlust Whistler festival, on Aug. 3, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Elijah Ray takes the stage for a double bill that also includes Quixotic. Other Wanderlust concerts at the stage include Con Brio and Charlotte Cardin (Aug. 4), and Ron Artis + The Truth, followed by Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires (Aug. 5). Visit wanderlust.com/festivals/whistler.
The GranFondo Whistler, a 122-kilometre (75-mile) road bike ride/race from Vancouver, finishes at the plaza on Sept. 9. Finish-line festivities include a rocking musical lineup. Visit granfondowhistler.com.
SAVOUR A MOUNTAIN TOP FEAST
Looking for a terrific way to cap your day in North America’s top four- season resort? Starting Saturday, June 17, Whistler Blackcomb (WB) Executive Chef Wolfgang Sterr invites you to enjoy a multi-course, buffet-style dinner at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain. The meals, adapted from the Mountain Top Barbecues from past summers, combine hearty cuisine with breathtaking views (at 1,800 metres or 6,000 feet) and live music.
“The Mountain Top Summer Feasts attract a wide range of guests, from families from the Lower Mainland to groups of local friends,” said Lauren Roy, WB public relations specialist. “The vibe is very relaxed, with live music and glowing sunsets to appreciate while you enjoy your food and a beer.”
Photo: Joern Rohde
The dress code is casual to fit the “mountain top” mood. The menu, which is set by Sterr and his WB culinary team, includes selections from the grill, a salad and bakery station, side dishes, “sweet tooth” desserts, coffee and tea. The entrées include slow-roasted prime rib of beef, dry-rub barbecue roasted chicken, ocean- wise fillet of salmon with maple butter glaze and Memphis-style pork ribs with hickory barbecue sauce. “This year’s Mountain Top Summer Feasts will combine the best of what we’ve done in the past into one inclusive menu,” Chef Sterr said. “The feasts will cater to a broad spectrum of palates in a high-quality, buffet-style setting with something to offer for everyone.”
The Mountain Top Summer Feasts take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 23 to Sept. 3, and Saturdays only on June 17 and from Sept. 9 to Oct. 7. There are seatings at 5:30 and 7 p.m. each night. Visit whistlerblackcomb.com.
You don’t have to be terror on two wheels or even an ATV aficionado to make tracks on a motorized, off-road Whistler adventure. Canadian Wilderness Adventures’ (CWA) “The Odyssey” tour puts you in the driver’s seat of a 4X4 all-terrain vehicle that’s as easy as it is fun to drive. The three-hour tour starts on wide gravel roads, where you can learn to drive the vehicles in a matter of minutes, said CWA co-owner Allan Crawford. The off-road “buggies” have steering wheels and pedals (and no clutch), which makes operating them no more difficult than driving a car. “They are very simple to drive,” Crawford said of the Honda 4X4 vehicles, which also come equipped with roll cages for safety. “They’re a little like a dune buggy — the technology has come a long way in recent years.”
The Odyssey tours take place in the beautiful Callaghan Valley, which is home to all manner of wildlife. After beginning on logging roads, guests will venture into the forest on narrower doubletrack trails as the tour ascends the slopes of Mount Sproatt. A visit to an old gold mine is included as well as small, secluded alpine lakes and breathtaking views of the Callaghan and Whistler valleys far below. “It’s mostly a wilderness experience … nature, trees, and sometimes there’s bears and deer,” Crawford said.
Photo: CWA - Blake Jorgenson
Drivers of the vehicles must be at least 19 years old; younger guests are allowed as passengers. Visit canadianwilderness.com.