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169 days to go – Whistler Round Two!

August 26, 2009

Yes, I was in Whistler not long ago, but as Simon helpfully commented, the Olympic Overlay starts September first and a lot of venues, including the Whistler Olympic Park will be closed to pretty much everyone for a while.  So I took the opportunity to head up on a sunny and quiet sunny day, with my friend David.  Now, normally the drive is alright, but David likes collectibles, so I got to drive us up in his Rolls Royce!  Whistler in style!

Whistler in summer

Whistler in summer

The original plan was to stop at Whistler Olympic Park first, but with construction on the road, I missed the turn, so we headed up to Whistler to start.  The ‘start’ included brunch at Araxi, which was really lovely.  David had a lovely cheese souffle!  So tasty!  Then we strolled through the village and took the Whistler Gondola up for a Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride.  What a treat!  We had a perfect sunny, clear day.  The view from the Peak 2 Peak is gorgeous.  The gondola ride is 4.4 km long and is up to 436 m above the ground over Fitzsimmons Creek.  It travels at 7.5 m/second (or 27 km/hour for those of us that don’t regularly use m/second).  It also boasts three world records! 1) Longest unsupported span (3.024 km), 2) highest lift of its kind (436 m above the valley floor) and 3) it completes the longest continuous lift system in the world.  I’m so glad we went!

After our adventures up Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains we had hoped to make it to the Whistler Olympic Park, but it was already 4pm, and with all the road construction there was no way we were going to make it up to Callaghan Valley on time.  Luckily this meant we had time to stop at Whistler Creekside to see the outrun of the Olympic and Paralympic Alpine Ski Courses.  There is not much to see there right now.  Whistler Creekside’s set up will be mainly built during the Olympic Overlay.  These will be temporary structures, consisting primarily of a 7,600 seat stadium at the Olympic finish line and 6,000 seats for the Paralympics!  Don’t have tickets to the Alpine events (see a list of Alpine events below)?  That’s alright.  There will be six free Live Site locations throughout Whistler Village.

So, I didn’t make it back up to the Whistler Olympic Park to see the Cross-Country stadium or the Biathlon stadium.  Nor did we see the new Medals Plaza or the new Squamish – Lil’wat Cultural Centre.  What we did see though, is Whistler on a beautiful, sunny day.  With time to explore and share this really great village.  I am so happy that we did the Peak 2 Peak, and fully recommend it to visitors and locals alike.  It was pretty spectacular.  We had a good enough time in fact that David and I have already made plans to visit Whistler again when there’s just a bit of snow around, to get a different feeling of the Village (maybe the Overlay will be done by then and we can check out Venues!).

And in case you were wondering, yes, I did take photos, but I can’t find my download cable for my camera.  So when I do, I will update this post and let you know, because really, we took some good photos and I’d like to share them.

Tomorrow?  Well, some of you may know already… but… I’m wingin’ it to Cowtown to see the Olympic Men’s National Team orientation camp Red vs. White game.  Yes, I’m nutty, but what an opportunity for a great post!  So tune in tomorrow night (or Friday morning) for how my adventure turns out!

Thank you and merci!

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