After three steady months of biking in Vancouver, around the Sea Wall and on the limited trails in Stanley Park we decided we were in need of some serious mountain bike trail riding. When we were in Squamish for the Cancer Society Relay for Life a couple of months ago, we purchased a two night stay in the Whistler Residence Inn by Marriott so we loaded the bikes in the car and headed off to Whistler.
It was a great drive up and the new improvements on the Sea to Sky highway are fantastic, making it a much easier drive. There are still a few small stretches to complete, but on a sunny morning we didn’t mind a couple of short delays. After parking at the hotel, we grabbed our bikes and headed downhill to the Lost Lake Park where we got on the Valley Trail until we hit Lost Lake. Once there we began the short uphill climb on the Molly Hogan trail North around the lake high above the Chateau Whistler Golf Course. We then rode across the Elephant Bridge above the Old Mill Road and got on the Donkey Puncher trail. This time we were headed South with views of the Spruce Grove and White Gold neighborhoods. After a short ride on Donkey Puncher we jumped onto the Tin Pants trail and began a nice windy decent back to the Valley Trail which we followed along Blackcomb Way to Painted Cliff Road to head up to the hotel. What we didn’t realize when we booked this particular accommodation was how far up Blackcomb Mountain the hotel actually was. So after a good 1.5 hour ride we had a 20 minute climb up the very steep road still to go. All in all, a great first day biking in Whistler! After a short nap we met up with some friends for Après drinks and dinner at Monk’s which was very good, better then we remembered. After dinner we strolled down from Upper to Lower Village and ended up in the Attic at 21 Steps for some desert.
Day two was a bit overcast and a few drops of rain were falling but we were determined to have another great day biking. We did the Molly Hogan and Tin Pants trails again, this time coming down at Fitzsimmons Creek. We decided to take the Valley Trail to Mons road and check out the new route that runs along the driving range at Nicklaus North. We crossed at the new crossing by the first tee and took the Valley Trail around Green Lake and across the River of Golden Dreams to Whistler Golf Club where we stopped for an Arnold Palmer Ice-T. By this time it had been another 2 hours and we decided lunch was in order, so after riding back to the Upper Village we stopped at Merlin’s for a bite and a cold brew. We were too tired to make the long uphill ride along the road up to the Marriott so the decision was made to walk the bikes the shorter route right up Blackcomb Mountain. It may have been shorter but it was just as hard, you really don’t get an appreciation of how steep the mountain is in the winter.
We finished the day with dinner at our favourite restaurant La Rua – you can check the Blog tomorrow for Tara’s full review of the restaurant.
After a bit of a sleep-in on our final day in Whistler we decided to check out the newly completed sliding center for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Unfortunately the visitor center was closed to tourists that day, but what parts of the track that we were able to see looked expansive and impressive. We’re looking forward to seeing it on T.V. in February. Not being snow people we didn’t really enjoy the winter when we lived in Whistler, but this trip reminded us of what a great summer destination it is! We are already thinking about going back for some more biking later in the summer or early fall.
Also, check out a previous Blog: Summer in the City – Vancouver