Tuesday, August 9, 2005

British Columbia: Part 4

Here are some more shots from the ferry back to the mainland.

Our second last stop was in Squamish. It's a pretty small city, but seems to be well-known for it climbing.

We took a short hike to the Shannon Falls. Well, this sign wasn't exactly encouraging of hiking the entire way up "The Chief".

The hike we did led us through some beautiful trees and vegetation.

And then to the falls...

We spent the rest of our time in Squamish with some friends that live there.

After Squamish, we made our way to our last stop...Whistler.

Whistler, or Whistler Village, where we spent most of our time, is a cute pedestrian-friendly area that is designed to separate you from your money. There are tonnes of adventure activities to take part in, but be prepared to fork out a fair bit of dough for it. Also, as somewhat expected, most people that work in Whistler are from England or Australia.

It found it difficult to take a picture that actually captured the feel of
the village. Everything is designed to look cottagy and natural...even still - there's no denying how commercial it all is. Like Banff, it's great to go, but be prepared to spend money or to feel like you wish you had more money...or both, mind you. There are a tonne of outdoor gear shops. Any clothing/gear lines that you would find at a place like MEC have individual stores in Whistler.

The day after arriving we went Ziptrecking with Ecotours. Click on the yellow tab on the left of the link where it says "watch video" for an idea of what this is like...minus the snow for us. Of course, Coldplay makes everything a little bit cooler. Oh shit...just as I was searching for Ziptrecking, I found this story. Conveniently, not mentioned during our trip.

Of course...the obligatory foot shot!

Here's the guide showing us how to hang upside down. I was too much of a wimp to do it...plus I wanted to get a foot shot.

There are two tours...one where you can hang upside down (on one of the lines) and one tour that goes faster, with longer lines...that end in the village. Our tour has better views...but it would have been cool to go faster too.

The big thing to do in Whistler, in the summer, is mountain biking... I don't have a full understanding of what this includes...but young kids seemed to be doing it too - so it can't be that difficult. Actually, there are four difference levels from easy-expert. So, I guess it depends on experience and how crazy you are. But, believe me, this is expensive too.

The next day we took the gondola up to the top of Whistler Mountain. Another expensive, but worth it, thing to do. The gondola takes about 25 minutes to get to the top. From there you take a chair lift the the real top.

Sorry...had to put that one in...

The views are unbelievably beautiful and there are some trails to hike at the very top.

Ack...I keep scrolling through my mountain shots and no one picture gives justice to the views. I guess you'll just have to go yourself.

The impression you get about BC is that people are smoking pot everywhere. This is not true. I only smelled it once in Whistler. In my impression, it was much more prevalent in Montreal. I also heard a report that Quebec has surpassed BC in its grow operations.

Since the rest of the trip just includes driving back to Vancouver (on a highway that will be under construction for the next 3 years), I'll end my trip report here.

One last thought..Of this entire map of BC, all I saw was a small portion of the South-West tip of the province.


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