International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: British Columbia
Making Tracks to Whistler
is definitely the place for making tracks and though we dont
plan on cruising from heavenly peaks during this spring visit, we
do manage this task in another way by getting there and back
on The Whistler Mountaineer.
Its just after eight in the morning when three attendants,
decked out in classic pin stripes, proudly call out the command,
"All Aboard!" This signature welcome has been around all
of our lives, and its one that immediately conjures up images
of another era when train travel was classic and people had
familiar whistle blows and we gently rumble along the shoreline
of North Vancouver, slink beneath Lions Gate Bridge and
rim Amblesides strip of greenery. The citys cosmopolitan
skyline is an energized backdrop to the still waters of English
Bay, and while chugging by multi-million dollar homes, were
privy to the scenic panorama and a glimpse into a few prosperous
Sound is next on our roving picture show and while skirting this
majestic fjord the train feels like a land cruise. Today, just a
few wispy clouds drape this islet-laced setting. Backed by glacial
peaks and topped by a sky blue dome, the Tony Onley-like landscape
is nothing short of spectacular.
We carve our way through older growth forest, snake past campers
at Porteau Cove and parallel the Sea to Sky highway. Sections along
this thoroughfare are being re-constructed to ease the drive to
Whistlers world-class wonderland. For us, this trip is a breeze.
It couldnt be improved. Its already a memorable part
of our destination.
some choose to view the moving picture show on the traditional
Coast Classic option, weve upgraded to the Glacier Dome
Experience. Accompanying the scenic landscapes are cushy interiors
and impeccable service. Jessica and Valerie, our faultless attendants,
not only deliver an ongoing commentary on the passing geography,
but dish up classic cuisine that would appease any palate: cheesy
omelets, roasted tomatoes and rosemary potatoes are topped off
with OJ champagne and an open bar service, after which, in spite
of the incredibly smooth ride, we have to work a little harder
at steadying our gait.
The about face
excursion features a quartet of finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire
cream, lemon tarts, chocolate strawberries and éclairs have
one, or have all your choice its high tea while riding
low on the rails. While dining in decadence, the views continue to roll
on by: historical Britannia and its once-thriving copper mine, cascading
torrents of Shannon Falls and the snowy 2,678 meter summit of Mount
Garibaldi. With every scenic "wow" we jockey with other passengers
for that prime photo opp. Regardless of whether its in the comfort
of our domed interior or the breezy Heritage Observation Car, its
an impossible task to capture.
"Get your cameras ready once again," Jessica announces, as
we enter Cheakamus Canyon. The screeching sound from metal on metal
echoes within the steep cavernous gorge and as we creep over the trestle
bridge that spans the chasm a collection of oohs can be heard. For a
few moments it feels like were hanging in the air not a
simple task for several tons of cargo. And while white water roils 60
meters below, our shutters go non-stop. No sooner do we bridge this
amazing gap when other photo moments come into view: the volcanic monolith
of Black Tusk, steep precipice of Brandywine Falls and shimmering Alpha
our three-hour expedition, we reach the resort town of Whistler
and are quickly transported to our temporary refuge, the Pan Pacific
Whistler Mountainside. From the balcony of our suite retreat the
panorama is stunning, spanning both mountains from ground surface
to summit. Although these dusty trails currently host bikers, hikers,
and the occasional black bear, when the snow flies, theyll
transform to powder pathways.
With over two hundred
glorious runs, 8,171 acres of ski-able terrain, and thirty-eight lifts,
including the revolutionary PEAK 2 PEAK, an unforgettable 2010 Olympic
winter experience is assured. And though its a destination where
tracks will always be created, well make ours in a different way,
when taking the Whistler Mountaineer back home.
IF YOU GO:
Toll Free: 1-888-687-7245
Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
Toll Free: 1-888-905-9995
Jane is co-owner of Travel Writers Tales, an independent travel
article syndicate that offers professionally written travel articles
to editors and publishers. To check out more, visit www.travelwriterstales.com
© Jane Cassie March 2009
janecassie at telus.net
Personal View Of Whistler
a Vancouverite, Ive always had a soft spot for North Americas
A Peak Experience
Were standing with other skiers at the top of Sunburst Express.
In spite of the chilly mountain breeze, both of my hands feel hot &
clammy.This is clearly fear factor.
BC's Sunshine Coast
An Eco Adventure whatever the weather -
reported that this lush 180 kilometer (110 mi) strip of shoreline, sandwiched
between Pacific waves and coastal peaks, receives around 2,400 hours
of annual sun.
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