Whistler is best known as a wintertime destination, renowned for its skiing and snowboarding and as the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. That fact is impossible to dispute, as it consistently ranks as North America’s top-ranked winter resort. But for decades, the consensus among many locals was that summer was their favourite time of year; and when you look at the opportunities for outdoor recreation — in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, on the resort community’s world-class trail network, along the lakes, in the coastal rainforest and in the alpine — that’s not at all surprising.
This summer, scarred landscapes are coming to Whistler. From June 10 to Oct. 16, the Audain Art Museum will feature a thought-provoking special exhibition, Edward Burtynsky: The Scarred Earth. One of Canada’s most respected photographers, Burtynsky creates large-scale photographs that show the effects of human activity on the natural world. In particular, his aerial photographs of industry reflect the impact humankind is having on the surface of the planet.
Golf course design is a combination of art, craftsmanship and engineering that melds form with function. A good golf course should be enjoyable, memorable and challenging for all levels of players. The course design should take in and use as much of the natural surroundings as possible; and the design should offer the player strategic options on various shots throughout the round. Based on these criteria, four of the courses in the Whistler area check all the boxes.
Looking for a spa experience with a unique twist? Whistler has options to revive both body and soul. Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa provides a range of treatments based on traditional East Asian practice. The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge offers a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Village. Visiting the Scandinave Spa is a Whistler experience not to be missed. he Spa at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences has recently brought in the HydraFacial MD — a customizable treatment. Head to Vida Spa at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for a three- or five- day Ayurveda Cleanse.
Whistler has a reputation as one of the world’s premier destinations for mountain biking. As the popularity of the Whistler Bike Park began to explode, the town’s status as a mountain biking mecca was secured. This year, Whistler Blackcomb has ambitious plans to add more new trails to the Bike Park, putting more shovels in the dirt than ever. In 2017, downhill mountain bikers will see roughly 12 kilometres of new trails under construction in the recently opened Creekside Zone, not to mention some key additions in existing areas of the park, says Brian Finestone, Whistler Bike Park manager.
It’s amazing how enjoyable a simple walk through the woods can be, let alone the experience of exploring the unique terrain found high in the mountains. With more than 50 kilometres of hiking trails on the two mountains, Whistler Blackcomb (WB) invites guests of all abilities to immerse themselves in the wilderness.
While people tend to hear about professional riders performing adrenaline-pumping feats, for many people the sport of mountain biking is mostly about getting out and enjoying the wilderness. With the recent development of motor-driven, electricassist bikes, recreational mountain biking has become more accessible than ever. While some physical fitness is still required, suddenly riders can enjoy the sensation of superhuman strength, tackling longer distances and uphill trails with relative ease.
Trail lovers owe a big debt of gratitude to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and to the local mountain biking community for the abundance of riches that is Whistler’s trail network. Talented trail builders have fashioned a network mostly with two-wheeled travel in mind, but also a tremendous resource to those seeking fitness and solitude on two feet.
The final few turns of the Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC) bobsleigh track are called the Gold Rush Trail for a reason: It’s where world-class bobsleigh, skeleton and luge athletes, competing on the world’s fastest track, win gold — or lose it. And almost invariably, those who have taken rides down the track, in winter or summer, exclaim afterward that it certainly is a rush.