Whistler – week 1 of 4 (yes, 4!)

So, we’re in Whistler, Canada, for four weeks in March. Hard to believe, and incredibly cool. We’re just getting to the end of week 1, and pictures are appearing on Flickr from us now. We are just about over our jet lag, and getting into things. I was surprised by how much I didn’t enjoy the journey out. I had a cold, and felt pretty rough on the flight, but I used to enjoy travelling far more, and get excited by it. This time, I just wanted it to be over and really suffered. I’m hoping it was just the illness, and isn’t a sign of things to come.

Anyway, we got here on Saturday evening and crashed out immediately. Sunday was spent exploring Whistler village, discovering a multitude of coffee shops and sports shops, and, less predictably, a rock and gem shop and a sex shop (we’ve not been in either, as yet). I bought a Camelbak bag, and an Icebreaker top (having had it highly recommended – and it really is totally amazing). That was all we could cope with, but we did manage to pick up our lift passes, which meant that on Monday, we could hit the slopes.

We went out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but took today off as Sarah hurt herself in a big fall yesterday. The snow conditions have been weird – yesterday we boarded from powder, into ice, down into slush at the bottom of the mountain. It was quite fun and interesting, but very odd. I’ve been suffering a bit with the altitude – we’re staying at about 700 meters, which means that going up to over 2000 meters is a bit of a shock to the system. I’m adjusting, though.

The coolest thing about Whistler is, obviously, the snow. There’s lots of it, and fresh powder is easy to come by. We’re really spoilt for choice, and we’ll certainly get better at riding powder as the days go by. We’re really looking forward to this. The other great thing about Whistler is the Canadians. Friendly, relaxed, welcoming and, just, well, nice. It’s a bit of a shock for us coming from London. It’s partly a result of the way the resort is run, but here’s an example… at the top of one of the main lifts is a hut, outside which stands a person who’s job it is to recommend good runs, and help you out. Brilliant!

The least cool thing about Whistler is the abundance of cat tracks to get around the mountain. Narrow, flat, and very very icy, they are just asking for painful falls, and we’ve had more than our share already. Another thing to practice, I guess.

So, three weeks to go. Our plan is to a: not get injured; b: learn to ride powder; c: learn to do jumps; and d: learn to ride ‘fakie’. I reckon we can do that!