The view from our hotel in Whistler towards the mountains was really pretty but never more so than when the sun was setting. A couple of evenings I thought I should get a shot but was either elsewhere or too slow. I did manage to get out there one time though, although I was still a little late. The shadows were creeping up the lower slopes of the mountains but I still had the nice color on the summits. The warm, evening light was really appealing and mountains look good at the best of times so this was a great scene to see.
Lost Lake is a within walking distance of the center of Whistler. The trail from the town takes you along the river. Once you get to the lake you can take a walk around the perimeter. There is a beach area that is at one end of the lake that was a popular spot that day. (You can park there if you don’t feel like a walk from the town.) While the temperatures were not that high, a couple of people were even making use of the clear skies to do some sunbathing!
We too an alternate route around one side of the lake. A trail was named the Upper Panorama Trail so we took it. I think we were justified in assuming that this route would give us an elevated view of the lake. I’m not sure if there were spots that you could see the lake if you went off the trail but, from the trail itself, we were deep in the trees the entire time. There was no view of the lake from up there. It was a good walk though and an opportunity to walk off some of the bakery goods we had been sampling!
I have put together some posts of things we saw during our Whistler trip but not much of the town itself. It is a nice place to hang out. Like a lot of these winter sports resort towns, the center is predominantly restaurants/bars or places to buy clothing/sport gear. However, it isn’t a bad place despite that. The streets are laid out so nothing is too straight which means you feel like you are wandering around an old place, even if it is all relatively recently built.
There are water features and bridges, open spaces, sculptures and other forms of art. No shortage of people, too, even in the shoulder season when we were there. We found so great places to eat and some less inspiring ones. We actually went to a chain place one evening and it proved to be better than some of the supposedly nicer spots. Our favorite by far, though, was a bakery that had every conceivable thing you could want. They even had a cheese sandwich for toasting that looked like it would feed a family of four. We tried many of their treats but that one was left untouched, despite me giving it some serious consideration.
Just outside the center of Whistler is Green Lake. We took a trip out there because I was interested in seeing the floatplane base there. It was also a cool place to have a stroll. There is a golf course alongside the lake which was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Alongside the course are some large houses which I suspect are not too cheap. The lake itself had a nice beach area where the river was running in to it. A bunch of people had come here with their dogs and the dogs seemed happy getting in the water.
The color of the water was a bit odd and so the name is not hard to understand. I actually thought it looked more cloudy than green but I doubt anyone cares to much about the distinction. I thought there might be a difference in color where the river was flowing into the lake but I couldn’t see it. Maybe an aerial view would show a difference where the water was flowing in but I wasn’t flying that day.
On one of our hikes while in Whistler, we came across the Lost Lake PassivHaus. This building was the home of the Austrian Olympic Team during the Winter Games. After the games were over, it was converted for new uses. The interesting thing about the house is that it is designed to have minimal requirements for energy with no heating and cooling. It is aimed at using 90% less energy than a normal building courtesy of building techniques and materials. It sits at the entry to some trails so a lot of people get to see it. I am curious as to how many people stop to read its details.
For some strange reason, the first few days we were in Whistler, I didn’t think about some of the locations that should be there for a Winter Olympics. Then I saw a sign for the Sliding Centre and decided to check it out. This was the home of the bobsled, luge and skeleton events. I don’t know what I had been thinking but the place really surprised me. I knew that the course was down a hill and how fast the competitors go but I hadn’t realized just how steep the descent would be. I figured sliding downhill on ice, it wasn’t hard to go really fast.
In fact, the run drops down some incredibly steep slopes. We were walking alongside the track and it was really steep just going up the road. Sadly, photographs never do justice to steep slopes but believe me when I say this place was steep. The idea of coming down it on a sledge seems insane. No wonder the crashes are so spectacular. Not only that but the end of the course always seems to be on the level when you watch it on TV. In fact, it goes back up the hill very steeply. This was also totally unexpected.
We met a bunch of guys that were using knife like tools to shape the ice. Apparently, they had been running that morning and we had missed it. They were due to run the following afternoon but we were leaving before that. It was a shame to miss the action. As they weren’t running, covers were over the entire course to protect it from the weather but you could still peak between the blinds to see the track itself. A very impressive place and I will have to try and get back there at some point to see the competitors in action.
We spent a few days in Whistler having a break. The town hosted many of the Winter Olympic events when Vancouver was the host city. There is an Olympic Park in the middle of the town and the Olympic rings are on display. No surprise that everyone is taking a picture of them. I was surprised that they were the only really obvious sign of the Olympics having been here. The weather changed a lot while we were there and the rings looked very different in the different lighting conditions.
We took a trip up to Whistler for a long weekend. On the drive up there, we went past Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. The falls themselves were actually pretty close to the highway so this did not involve a particularly strenuous hike. However, after being in the car for a long drive, it was nice to get out and stretch the legs. Besides, it was a lovely day.
I was not anticipating the falls being very full given the time of year but it turns out they must have a reasonably good source of water and they were flowing strongly. The park has built a viewing deck that allows visitors to get out to the edge in safety and get a good view of the falls themselves. The trail continues on for a way as well so you can look back at the falls from a variety of angles. While it was later in the day, the light was still a bit tricky. The falls were in deep shade while the sun was shining on the surrounding forest. The contrast was harsh which meant the exposure was a compromise. Modern sensors do have considerable latitude to accommodate this variation though. It was possible to pull out details from both the highlights and the shadows within Lightroom.