Whistler, BC, CA
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Gorgeous, mid 80s

We started the day heading back to town to ride the Whistler/Blackcomb gondolas. The ticket was good for one ride up the Whistler mountain gondola and as many summit chairlift and Peak 2 Peak gondola rides back and forth between the Whistler and Blackcomb peaks that we wanted and, finally, a return to the base via the Whistler gondola. We took the gondola and chair to Whistler's peak. The day was crystal clear and it was an amazing sight! We walked a couple of the trails at the peak.

More Olympic Rings near Top of Whistler Mountain

Posing with Inuksuk at Very Top of Whistler Mountain

We also watched, with incredulity, the bikers who brought their rides to the peak to ride back to the bottom. These folks started with the Top of the World alpine trail. Most ordinary people wouldn't attempt the short, rock-strewn gravel road to the trailhead much less the trail itself. A total descent of 4,946 feet vertical is claimed. Most riders wore full face helmets and body armor to protect against the inevitable falls. Not if, but when!

Riding the lift back down to the gondola area, we had lunch on the patio and headed for a ride on the Peak 2 Peak gondola. With a total straight line length of 2.73 miles, the gondola has only four towers. The straight line distance between the two towers that are furthest apart is 1.88 miles! As to height, the maximum is 1,427 feet above the stream between the peaks. Each of those three dimensions is a world record. It's quite a ride!

Riding Worlds Longest and Highest "Peak 2 Peak" Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb

Afterwards, we stopped at one of the Village Stroll's restaurants for a happy hour featuring half-price appetizers and $4.50 beers. Back at the campground we made due with a fresh green salad with steamed shrimp. Afterwards we entertained Evelyn & Joe, visitors from Holland.

Whistler, BC, CA
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Gorgeous, high 80s

We tried the breakfast at the campground café. We'd recommend it; good food that was fairly priced. Remaining in the café for their WiFi connectivity, we took care of e-mail and a few related chores.

This day's agenda was a tour of Olympic park facilities. We began with the cross country skiing and biathlon facility. Taking advantage of the opportunity to shoot rifles on the biathlon range, Sandy scored 2:5 and Bill managed 4:5. The xc-trail system looked interesting; one we'd certainly like to ski. Interestingly, they've paved some of the close-in trails so people can ride bicycles on them during the summer.

Normal and High Ski Jumps at Whistler Nordic Center

Bill Takes His Turn Shooting at Nordic Center Biathlon Targets

Next was the Sliding Center where luge, bobsled and skeleton events are run. It's quite a place. Technicians were just finishing reshaping some of the troublesome corners sliders complained about during the Olympics. In just a couple of weeks the refrigeration would be turned on and the track iced down so that sliders could begin their training season.

Reshaping of Turns at Olympic Sliding Center is Nearly Complete

The Olympic Athlete's Village has been converted into housing, most of which has been sold to private owners. Some, however, is still made available for rent to clubs and teams on a daily or weekly basis. Facilities include several townhouses and a number of dorm-type rooms. We'll consider the facility for a Kick 'n Gliders trip in 2105. Lunch was at the Fix Café at Nita Lake Lodge, a few miles down the road. And, of course, we just had to tour the lobby and grounds of the Fairmont Frontenac Hotel.

Finally, we stopped at the Nicolas North Golf Course for drinks. It's a very pleasant, upscale place overlooking the golf course as well as a lake where we saw a show of seaplane landings and takeoffs. We decided on an appetizer. Even though we intended to share it, our waitress counseled us to order the small version. Wow! It was the biggest nachos serving we'd ever seen, overflowing a 10 x 13 baking pan. We managed to get through about half of it before requesting a doggie box.

Medium-Size Nacho Platter was well beyond Our Capacity to Consume

Returning to the camper Sandy inventoried the campers in the "small RV" section of the campground, where we were camped. Of about 35 campers in the section, rental rigs far outnumbered privately-woned RVs by about 5:1.

We read until bedtime. There was no need for dinner!