The road trip to Canada had been the highlight of our winter calendars since its conception several months prior. Our Airbnb was booked, the podcast for the journey selected and all travel companions were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Presidents’ Day Weekend to commence the epic ski vacation. Nothing could stop us now – or so we thought.
We decided Shawn’s infamous truck would be the best caravan option for our excursion; so on the morning of February 16th Jarred and I climbed into the 4Runner with intentions of meeting Kelsey and Shawn at their apartment. If you read my Valentine’s Day post you understand my apprehension and the need to say a quick prayer for safety before we began. My prayer was warranted, and answered; as the 4Runner designated the eastbound Mt. Baker Tunnel as the location to yet again prematurely end our journey. I have never been more thankful for gore zones, or even knew they existed, before last week. After sitting in a frigid, dark tunnel for over an hour we were safely towed by a nice gentleman named Jessie (we knew we’d already exasperated Shawn’s benevolence) to a Toyota dealership in Bellevue.
After a necessary donut stop and several hours later than our originally planned departure, all four Witts were northbound on I-5 engrossed in the ‘Dirty John’ podcast. Not long after vacating Seattle the clouds parted and it turned into a beautiful, chilly day. Besides lingering in a lengthy line at the boarder for over an hour, our trip to Whistler was swift and scenic. We checked into our quaint Airbnb, grocery shopped and stuffed our faces at a hibachi grill all before deciding to call it an early Friday night. #wildWitts
As we awoke Saturday morning eager to hit the slopes we were greeted with a picturesque winter wonderland. While the snowy scene looked Christmas worthy, it also indicated freezing temperatures. Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly cold – my fingers and toes are on the verge of perpetual frostbite. While my family members dressed absurdly in minimal layers under their gear, I covered every inch with as many layers as humanly possible. At last Jarred, Shawn, Kelsey and the Michelin Man were ready to dominate Whistler in a blizzard.
Domination was far from immediate. The first hour of our morning involved waiting in lines – for tickets, for the gondola, for a ski lift to the next gondola, and lastly for the second gondola. When we finally reached the summit of Blackcomb we enthusiastically hit the slopes. However, everyone (minus Jbabe) battled equipment malfunction in the form of fogged goggles for the first three runs, which required continually stopping to dry our goggles. At the obvious request of the boys, we may have also used said breaks to stage a photo op or two. Needless to say, we weren’t off to a brisk or successful start.
We made the decision to forgo lunch and spent the afternoon shredding actual fresh powpow. The skiing was unbelievable, but unfortunately [for my picture loving soul] due to the whiteout the views were nonexistent. We made a day of it nonetheless and strategically planned our final ride minutes before the last lift to the top closed.
As we began our descent on the aptly named, 7-mile ‘Peak to Creek Run’ we had every intention of sticking together. However, when Jarred and I accidently ventured down the side of an unmarked cliff Kelsey and Shawn wisely refused to follow. I’ve been skiing since I was two and I can confidently say I have never skied through thicker powder in my entire life. At one point when Jarred and I couldn’t see our skis/snowboard through to the inches of fresh snow, there were no other skiers in sight and we couldn’t locate any single trail sign I was more than a little nervous that we would never find the way to our intended destination.
Thankfully all four party members successfully made it down North America’s longest consistent run and reconvened at the base. The snow continued to fall as we trekked back to our lodging and I did what any mature thirty year old would do – take advantage of the opportunity to make a snow angel. Little did I know I was being sabotaged when Kelsey asked me to continue for a boomerang video; in actuality my sweet family was setting the stage for Shawn to cream me in the face with a mound of snow. After I plastered my revenge snowball in Shawn’s face our foursome rewarded our long day on the mountain with a little après ski.
We had every intention of making Saturday our most adventurous night, but following a lengthy nap and an extended wait time for the local cab service we concluded our evening with a round or two at an Irish pub after dinner. Sometimes it’s best to leave the late night activities to the younger crowd. Considering 18 is the legal drinking age in Canada that crowd would have been significantly younger and undoubtedly more energetic. We made the best choice going home to our beds.
Everyone agreed to exclude skiing from the day’s agenda when Sunday turned out to be a brilliant, but windy, sunny day with a high of only 19 degrees. After breakfast at home we called a cab to chauffer us to the village with shopping as the main objective (for at least Kelsey and I). The only complaint I have about Whistler is the absence of Uber. Their cab drivers were lovely, but with such a limited amount waiting for your taxi could take close to an hour. So if you’re reading this Uber, set up shop in Whistler, thanks.
Our envisioned leisurely stroll around the village center turned into a mad dash into any shop available to escape the 13-degree temperatures. Our beautiful day of shopping turned into hiding out in one food establishment after the other – which definitely wasn’t the worst way to spend an afternoon. One of stops was the Longhorn Saloon we’d heard a lot about. I’m not exactly sure what I anticipated, but after having to show two forms of identification to gain entrance I definitely didn’t expect to find a casual sports bar. My only guess would be the random flaming bottles of champagne that were occasionally requested required the added security measures.
Overall our weekend in was phenomenal. If you ever get the chance to visit I’d highly recommend it. However, I would suggest packing plenty of warm clothing if exploring Whistler in the winter. By the end of Sunday evening when the 0 degree temperatures felt like -14 due to the wind chill and I was pretty confident hypothermia was inevitable. Thankfully I made it home with all ten fingers and toes.