The Whistler Challenge

It’s no secret that Whistler is a mecca for outdoor activities, but what many don’t know is that this town is the prime place to do two or three sports in a day. And the best season to do them all? Spring.

Sure, spring brings an end to those epic blower pow days, but it also brings bluebird days and that rush of excitement over all the things you can do now that the skies are lighter longer and the weather isn’t hammering you with frostbite every other day.

If you’re new to Whistler, we’ll let you in on a little secret: we love being outside. We love it so much that we’ll wake up, go for a quick jaunt up the ski hill, come back and go to work for a few hours and then hit the local crag or zip to the lake for an evening paddle. On our days off we’re either cranking it out hard at the bike park or on an intense cross country trail, or going for a legendary hike and then a wind down paddle on the lake.

Heck, we might even combine that evening paddle with some yoga, just to make those well-used muscles ticky happy.

One thing we’re not is boring, so sometimes we flip the whole routing on its head and start the morning out on the lake with a few kilometer swim, or a yoga paddle board session, then warm up the body with a run, and end the day at Nordic with a great cragging session.

The point is, it’s never dull around here in the spring and we invite you to dive into all the outdoor activities you can find – in one day. We’re showing you the most popular 2- or 3-pack days but feel free to make this your own – then take the Whistler Challenge and do all 6 sports in a weekend.

Your lungs, heart, mind, body, and soul will kiss you for it.

1. The Two-Pack Quickie
Sometimes you’ve got to work to pay for rent so when 8 hours of your day are spent doing the thing you don’t particularly love doing, keep your soul alive with a morning paddle on either a SUP, kayak or canoe around Alta or Green Lake, and a run along the Valley Trail when you’re off shift later on.

2. The Classic

Nothing beats the feeling of getting up and knowing you’re going to be at the top of the world in a few hours. The Classic Whistler spring day gets you on your two planks or board for first chair, then down when the lifts close, and on your bike for the rest of the day. Choose from the bike park, Lost Lake trails, or some good old fashioned road riding.

3. The Pre-Ironman
Swim, bike and run is the Ironman formula for pushing your body as far as it can go, but you don’t have to bike to Pemberton and back to say you’ve done a 3-sport day. Make the swim as fun as you want and the rest will just fall into place.

Bye bye summer

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4. The Zen Master
The world of low-impact but high output is akin to meditating while keeping your muscles perfectly poised. As many zen masters have discovered, climbing and yoga go hand-in-hand – almost literally – as one benefits the other. Get your climb on with a great little crag session in Nordic or Cal-Chek, or for a fun après work jaunt hit up Star Chek. Then bust out a few yoga poses right at the crag or start the day with a yoga session on the dock of your favourite lake.

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5. Sea to Summit
Sometimes you’ve got to get to the top to see it all. Hike one of Whistler’s many trails and the cool down with a swim, or kick off the hike with a swim. Better yet, take a dip in one of the alpine lakes – just do it quickly because temperatures don’t get better just because the weather does.

Cover photo: Mike Crane

WFF17 Announces Adventure Series Lineup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Experience Adventure on Film at Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival
Whistler Film Festival announces Adventure Film Series lineup.

Whistler, B.C. (April 18, 2017): Get ready for adventure and more! The Whistler Film Festival’s 4th annual Adventure Film Series returns May 19 to 21 as part of Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest). The action packed lineup features seven film screenings comprised of 30 films that range from extreme sport to activism through adventure, including 27 shorts and three features from four countries, with five screenings complimented by a speaker series related to the films. Mountain biking, environmentalism, surfing, climbing, running, slacklining, skiing, surfing, rowing, outdoor art, and traveling are among the series’ film themes.

“Whistler is a renowned outdoor adventure destination that attracts thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies,” says WFF’s Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw. “WFF’s Adventure Film Series offers an exciting lineup for outdoor enthusiasts to experience adventure on film, and through personal stories and photography.”

WFF’s Adventure Film Series is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures through the power of the story. Above all else, it is a gathering for like-minded people who get together to celebrate the wonder of wild places and outdoor adventure.

The series kicks off on Friday, May 19 at 4:00pm featuring seven short films themed Adventure Unknown. From the bumpy trails of India to the bitterly cold waves of Iceland, life is full of unexpected excursions. These are the stories of brave wanderers. At 7:00pm, WFF presents the Canadian premiere of Red Bull Media’s latest film BLOOD ROAD, which follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos over 40 years earlier. During this poignant voyage of self discovery, the women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about the historic ‘Blood Road’ and how the Vietnam War shaped their lives in different ways.

On Saturday, May 20, the series features a 4:00pm presentation themed ADVENTUROUS INFLUENCERS. Whether they’re setting world records at the age of ten or inspiring change in others, these are the ten stories of courageous athletes and groundbreaking artists. Experience their influential and uplifting tales. The program will be followed by a presentation from John Leslie. Cancer took John’s leg when he was 10 years old. The following winter snowboarding changed his life. The Ottawa native is a snowboard Paralympian preparing to represent Canada in the 2018 games. Experience his inspirational story on screen and in person. At 7:00pm and 9:00pm, the Adventure Film Series proudly presents the Canadian premiere of UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY directed by Chris Burkard, which follows six surfers who set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights. The film will be introduced by an inspiring presentation from Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author, who joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film adventure.

On Sunday, May 21 the series features a 4:00PM presentation themed LIVING ON THE EDGE. This series features 7 films about climbing and the mountains.Nothing can stop these athletes from climbing the biggest cracks and sending it. Whether they’re ice climbing in Michigan or setting world records at the age of nine, these climbing legends are making their way to the top. The series will be followed by a presentation from Kristin Gerhart, co director of GLACIER EXIT. Kristin is the co-director of Glacier Exit which is part of the series. An award-winning editor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, she is a passionate environmental activist. Join her as she discusses how climate change is affecting people both in Seward, Alaska and around the world.

New this year, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine introduces a photography competition to the Adventure Film Series with the winning photo to be featured in the summer issue of Mountain Life Coast Magazine which hits the stands June 1. The top three photos will also be featured online on mountainlifemedia.ca. Photos must be images taken within the Sea to Sky region (Vancouver to Pemberton). The contest is open to all ages and the top ten photos will be determined by an online, social voting system channel through WFF’s Facebook page with the winning photo and runner ups to be selected by a Mountain Life jury. The winner will be announced on the final night of the series on May 21. Submit your photos at: http://whistlerfilmfestival.com/events/adventure-film-series.

There will also be a free adventure photography exhibition to experience in the Maury Young Arts Centre Gallery during GO FEST, featuring a selection of competition photos and photos from the participating films.

All events will take place at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Film and speaker series tickets are $15 per program. WFF Adventure Film Series info and tickets are available online at: www.greatoutdoorsfest.com and www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
WFF’s Adventure Film Series is supported by GO Fest, an initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funded through the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative. GO Fest is part of the RMOW’s Festivals, Events and Animation program, and is one component of the larger May long weekend strategy. WFF’s Adventure Film Series is sponsored by Mountain Life.

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Media inquiries, please contact:
Lindsay Nahmiache | Partner | Jive Communications
e: lindsay@jivecommunications.ca | Toronto: 647.725.3018 | Vancouver: 604.889.7996

The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) is a cultural charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) will celebrate its 16th edition as Canada’s coolest film fest from November 30 to December 4 with fresh films, special guests, lively celebrations, and unique industry initiatives.

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, will take place May 19 to 22, 2017 in Whistler, located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometers (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. GO Fest celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four-season mountain resort. GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival is part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Festivals, Events & Animation (FE&A) program and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative.

Whistler is Canada’s premier, year-round destination located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, and just two hours north of Vancouver. Consistently ranked the number one mountain resort in North America, Whistler features two majestic mountains, epic skiing and snowboarding conditions, four championship golf courses, more than 200 shops, 90 restaurants and bars, accommodations galore, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world. In short, Whistler has everything you will ever need to have the time of your life – and so much more.

WFF ADVENTURE FILM SERIES LINEUP:

Friday, May 19, 4:00PM

Short Films: ADVENTURE UNKNOWN
113 mins | Unrated
Journey into the unknown. From the bumpy trails of India to the bitterly cold waves of Iceland, life is full of unexpected excursions. Experience seven stories of brave wanderers.

India: An Uncertain Road (Canada) Dir. Vince Edmond
Changing Course (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan, Grayson Schaffer
Shift (Canada) Dir. Kelly Milner
The Foodless Odyssey Dir. Anthill Films
The Trail to Kazbegi (USA) Dir. Joey Schusler
The Accord (USA) RC Cone
Dreamride 2 (Canada) Mike Hopkins

Speaker: Scott Secco

The Adventure Unknown program will be followed by a talk from action sport filmmaker Scott Secco. You can find the Victoria, BC native chasing golden light and pristine singletrack, wherever the trails may take him. Scott joins us to talk about shooting Mike Hopkin’s epic short Dreamride 2.

Friday, May 19 7:00PM

Film: BLOOD ROAD
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 96 mins
Directed by Nicholas Schrunk/Red Bull Media House | Unrated

BLOOD ROAD follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos over 40 years earlier. During this poignant voyage of self discovery, the women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about the historic ‘Blood Road’ and the impact the Vietnam War shaped their lives in different ways.

Saturday May 20 4:00PM

Short Films: ADVENTUROUS INFLUENCERS
105 mins | Unrated

Whether they’re setting world records at the age of ten or inspiring change in others, these are the stories of courageous athletes and groundbreaking artists. Experience their influential and uplifting tales.

The Canoe (Canada) Dir. Goh Iromoto
Flow (Germany) Dir. Joachim Hellinger, Christian Schmidt
What If You Fly (USA) Dir. Renan Ozturk and Taylor Rees
Digging for Galena (Canada) Dir. Brian Goertzen
Doing It Scared (New Zealand) Dir. Matthew Newton
70 Some Years (USA) Dir. Riley Hooper
Douglas Tompkins: Wild Legacy (USA) Dir. James Q Martin & Chris Cresci
In Current (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan
Light Cycles (Canada) Dir. Mike Gamble
John Leslie Story (Canada) Dir. Crispin Cannon

Speaker: John Leslie

The Adventurous Influencers program will be followed by a presentation by John Leslie. Cancer took John’s leg when he was 10 years old. The following winter snowboarding changed his life. The Ottawa native is a snowboard Paralympian preparing to represent Canada in the 2018 games. Experience his inspirational story on screen and in person.

Saturday May 20 7:00PM

Film: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 40 mins + Presentation
Directed by Chris Burkard | Unrated

Six surfers set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights.

Speaker: Chris Burkard

UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY will be introduced by an inspiring presentation from Chris Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author. Chris joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film adventure.

Saturday May 20 9:00PM

Film: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 40 mins + Presentation
Directed by Chris Burkard | Unrated

Six surfers set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights.

Speaker: Chris Burkard

UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY will be introduced by a presentation from Chris Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author. Chris joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film. Come early to meet the filmmaker!

Sunday, May 21 4:00pm

Short Films: LIVING ON THE EDGE
109 mins | Unrated

Climb. Sleep. Repeat. Nothing can stop these athletes from climbing the biggest cracks and sending it. Whether they’re ice climbing in Michigan or setting world records at the age of nine, these climbing legends are making their way to the top.

Haywire (USA) Dir. Cheyne Lempe
Fallen Feather (USA) Dir. Aaron Peterson
Young Guns (USA) Dir. Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell
Biggs Crack (Canada) Dir. Z Griffler
A Song for Tomorrow (Germany) Franz Walter
Brette (USA) Dir. Peter Mortimer, Josh Lowell, Nick Rosen
Glacier Exit (USA) Dir. Kristin Gerhart, Paul Rennick, Raphael Rogers

Speaker: Kristin Gerhart

The Living On The Edge program will be followed by a presentation by Kristin Gerhart, who is the co-director Glacier Exit. An award-winning editor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Kristin is a passionate environmental activist. Join her for an insightful conversation about how climate change is affecting people both in Seward, Alaska and around the world.

Sunday May 21 7:00PM

Short Films: WILD AT HEART
65 mins mins | Unrated

Some people just can’t be tamed. Meet the wildest adventure personalities in the series. Whether they’re climbing the narrowest cracks or walking the tightest lines, these lunatics have no limits.

Boys In the Bugs (USA) DIr. Peter Mortimer, Zachary Barr, Nick Rosen
John Shocklee (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan & Grayson Schaffer
Untethered (Canada) Dir. Levi Allen

Speaker: Spencer Seabrooke

The Wild At Heart program will be followed by a presentation by Spencer Seabrooke. A Pro Slackliner and the Co-Founder and leader of SlacklifeBC, Spencer is always going big and hard, dreaming up and making the epic missions possible. He continues to train hard and push himself, but is also a motivator to so many people around him. Join Spencer as he talks about cracking the world record for high lining set at the Squamish Chief.

Film: GIVEN

Whistler Premiere
2017 | USA | 54 mins
Directed by Jess Bianchi | Unrated

Given is the simple yet powerfully contemplative story of a unique family legacy come full circle. Told through the visceral experience of a 6 yr. old. Given follows legendary surfers Aamion and Daize Goodwin from their island home of Kauai through 15 different countries in the quest for surf and to fulfill a calling handed down through generations.

Go Fest Announces Free Concert Lineup

For Immediate Release…

GO FEST, WHISTLER’S GREAT OUTDOORS FESTIVAL, ANNOUNCES FREE CONCERT LINE-UP MAY 19-21, 2017

Hall of Fame Inductee 54•40, The Zolas and Dear Rouge will perform outdoor shows in Whistler on May Long Weekend

WHISTLER, BC April 18, 2017 – Iconic Canadian rockers 54•40 will launch the free concert series planned for GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoor Festival, May 19-21 with a show on Friday, May 19. The concert will set the stage for two more days and nights of free, live acts including JUNO-nominated “Breakthrough Group of the Year”, The Zolas, on Saturday, and Vancouver-based, alternative dance-rock and JUNO award-winning duo Dear Rouge on Sunday. GO Fest’s outdoor concerts will fill Village Square with free music every night with opening acts playing at 3 p.m., and headliners at 7:30 p.m., on the Main Stage.

The band 54•40 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at both the 17th Annual Independent Music Awards (The INDIES) and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards this year. With more than three decades of performing and recording behind them, they are no strangers to Whistler, and their distinct vibe and energy always connect to locals and guests alike. 54•40 will take the GO Fest Main Stage in Village Square at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, May 19, to perform from their incredible catalogue of hit songs.

On Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m., MAZACOTE, a hard-hitting West Coast Latin dance band will lay down some world dance party vibes and heat up the stage with horn-driven New York salsa dura and beats from Colombia, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico.

The breakout indie band The Zolas, fresh off a JUNO nomination, will follow later that night at 7:30 p.m. The band’s vibrant experimental pop combines influences including Queens of the Stone Age, Dr Dre and The Pixies. The Zolas will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night, May 20 and keep the crowd dancing as they stir modern production into their memories of the influences that surrounded them as kids growing up in the 90’s.

Sunday, May 21 at GO Fest will see up and comers //AMISTAD// play at 3 p.m. with the relentless energy that makes it clear why everyone is buzzing about them.  The Vernon, BC alt five-piece band kicks off the day, with their poignant, catchy, go-home-and-listen-to-them-on-repeat songs.

Dear Rouge’s instantly recognizable sound will get the crowd going on the last night of the GO Fest live music series as they send out punchy guitar hooks, uplifting synth layers and sincerely powerful vocals. The duo’s synth rock jams will wind up Whistler’s May Long weekend free concert series in Village Square at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, May 21.

“The Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative contributions to the Resort Municipality of Whistler have allowed us to help drive a wide range of programs to grow tourism. Live music in the spring and summer seasons has been an integral component of the activation’s we have undertaken to help us achieve record visitation year over year,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

GO Fest Main Stage in Village Square Concert Schedule

Friday, May 19

  • 7:30 p.m. – 54•40

Saturday, May 20

  • 3 p.m. – MAZACOTE
  • 7:30 p.m. – The Zolas

Sunday, May 21

  • 3 p.m. – //AMISTAD//
  • 7:30 p.m. – Dear Rouge

Now in its fourth year, GO Fest celebrates May’s intersection of winter and summer activities where Whistler’s visitors and residents can experience the best of all seasons, in all manner of outdoor pursuits from skiing and snowboarding to sailing, golfing, fishing, tennis, paddling, running and biking.

Produced by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and funded through the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative, this year’s festival will see more entertainment and activities taking place in Whistler Village, including music and street entertainment. Over the course of four days, GO Fest attendees will get a chance to sample a host of outdoor activities and products in a high-energy, family-friendly outdoor setting.

Stay up to date on this year’s GO Fest, Whistler Great Outdoors Festival, by visiting www.greatoutdoorsfest.com or following www.facebook.com/greatoutdoorsfest, @GOFestWhistler on Instagram and @GOFestWhistler on Twitter.

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Media Notes: Photo for 54•40 is attached, additional photography or promotional materials from the musical line-up for any of the artists performing at GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, are available upon request.

Social Tags: @GOFestWhistler, @RMWhistler, @5440, @TheZolas, @DearRouge, @MazacoteBand, @AmistadMusic

About GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, takes place May 19-22, 2017 and celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four-season mountain resort. GO Fest is an initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative. Part of the Festivals, Events and Animation Program, GO Fest is one component of the larger May Long Weekend Initiative. Learn more at www.greatoutdoorsfest.com.

About the Resort Municipality of Whistler

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is a destination resort community, local government organization and leader in providing municipal programs, services, progressive planning and infrastructure for almost 12,000 residents and three million annual visitors. Situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our vision: to be the premier mountain resort community as we move towards sustainability.

Back vs. Slack. Or is it all just whacked?

No one forgets their first time. You’re skiing or riding along your favorites run – maybe it’s big and wide and blue with epic views, or maybe it’s steep and bumped out so your knees rattle a bit – and suddenly you look off to the side. What’s that? Some untouched white gold that looks as fluffy as cloud essence?

And then you see it: the endless amount of virgin pow just waiting to be ridden. You cast a backward glance only once at the beautiful run you’re leaving, and then you duck into the darkness of the trees.

At the bottom you’re breathless with exhilaration. You’ve just gone where no one else has gone before, and it was the best ride of your life.

You’ve just tasted the world of off piste. It’s beautiful and glorious and full of risk because in the blink of an eye you could sail off a cliff, fall into Whistler Creek, or end up at Cheakamus and hitching back to the Village.

Off piste is where the groomers don’t go and the maps get vague. It’s where pow exists when there’s nothing great on the runs, and it’s where you get to know every tree, every fallen log, and all the turns of the creek in a way you’ve never thought possible.

It’s everyone’s first taste of a face shot.

@therichardtopp plunging into the deep end . #keepittubes

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So you ski off piste for a while until one day you notice some hard core looking guys and gals hopping on the chair with large packs, and bindings that look much smaller than yours. You follow them and see they’re walking – walking up to the top of Flute.

You don’t have the gear but you strap on your skis or board and start up. There’s enough of them to make you realize they know something you don’t, and it’s got to be good.

Earning my turns #whistlerblackcomb #bluebirdday #hiking

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The long way up • @ioandavies

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You’re sweating up a storm at the top and your heart hasn’t pumped that fast since you’re first date, but you see where everyone is going. And the down is viciously sweet.

 Welcome to slackcountry, where just a short jaunt uphill from the ski lifts gives you access to even more fresh pow – a veritable blank canvas that is waiting for you to float and drift on the most heavenly white gold you’ve ever experienced. It’s so smooth and buttery that you want to bottle it up and take it with you.

Out here, you earn your turns and walk up to get the best rides down.

Perfect day for a walk! #musicalbumps #oboe

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You soon realize you’ve got to get better gear, so you invest in an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course, buy a beacon, shovel and probe, and find yourself out on Decker, Corona Bowl, or the Musical Bumps every time you’re out.

And then the epic stories start trickling in – ones of people sleeping out overnight on the Spearhead, or shredding Heartstrings up on the Duffey.

So you tag along, and suddenly you’re pack is a lot bigger than it was and you’re not walking for only an hour. You’re walking for a few hours, and you’re almost deadbeat exhausted, but the ride down is the most incredible you’ve ever experienced.

And the views. Nothing beats those views.

Now you’re in the real backcountry, where understatements reign supreme when someone suggests you “go for a walk” and “just pop over that ridge”. The walks are long and the lifts are far away. Cell service is unavailable and if things go sideways, it’s up to you and your buds to get you out.

In other words, you’re in the heart of nature.

Just above Matier Glacier icefall enjoying the fat coastal snowpack.

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And for some, this is the best place to be. Your days are long and you carry your own food, water, and tent, and somehow you are more connected to the land than you’ve ever been.

But when you return home and tell others about what you’ve done, they raise their eyebrows and say “You walked? Up a hill?” and give you the look that says you’re whacked.

And maybe you are.

But there’s a whole lot of you out there, exploring the backcountry.

And for those that don’t ride the backcountry, there is no shame – no shame at all, in playing it safe and riding the lifts. After all, a blue bird day is a blue bird day no matter where you are.

Or how whacked you can be.

Cover photo: Mike Crane

 

The Art of the Après

There are about a thousand reasons to come to Whistler but only one reason to stay once the lifts close: après ski.

Unofficially starting at 3:30 p.m. but officially starting whenever your legs turn to rubber, your hands are so cold you can’t hold onto your poles or crank your bindings, or your stomach is growling so loud that the person next to you on the lift wonders if you’ve got an angry cat stowed in your jacket, après ski (known more commonly to the cool kids as just “après”) is the backbone of mountain culture. It is the essence of every ski town, the raison d’être for not crawling into your bed, hot tub, or couch at 3:50 p.m. with quivering legs because you shredded Peak to Creek one last time (and death before download), and ignoring the world.

Après is where the world comes to you – or rather, the world is around you and you get to choose how you want to see it.

Whistler is no exception to the grand scale of the après life, offering a veritable Choose Your Own Adventure of options, from rowdy boot-stomping, beer-sloshing bar-top dancing venues to wide-open patios that give you unparalleled views of mountains and the hundreds of people walking by, to darker quiet places by firesides that allow you to refuel and gather your zen for your next day of epic pow.

But before you drag your weary body into the first place who’ll seat you and your dozen friends and gnosh on the first item on the menu, there’s a few things you should know.

1.We likes our poutine. And beer. We’ve got many varieties of both.

2. Nachos here are like cowboys: they’re bigger, badder, and more legendary than the ones next door. Everyone will judge you if you don’t share your order. Or your beer.

Nachos anyone? #apres #whistlerblackcomb #nachos

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3. Butt rub mayo. Get some and order extra. Trust us.

Feed your cravings! Burgers + Butt Rub | #SkiEatDrink #Lunch #Creekside #AprerSki

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4. We love our local bands and musicians. Like, really love them.

5. This is the only time you get to dance in ski or snowboard boots. Bonus marks if you can clamber onto a bar top with either still done up.

6. If you leave Whistler without doing a shot ski, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Bragging rights if you get it with a fireball.

Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi #whistlerstyle

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7. Patio, people, patio. That’s the best place to soak up the sun, gawk at everyone else walking by, pick tomorrow’s lines, and keep an eye on your gear.

Nothing is better than Apres ski. #longhornsaloon

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8. You can order a peppermint patty once. After that, you will be judged.

Can’t help myself.🤷‍♀️

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9. Don’t forget to tip. We all have to pay rent.

10. Après doesn’t end when the mountains close. You can après after that epic spring hike, that blistering summer bike ride, or that grueling fall run. Whistler is open year round, and so are your choices for après.

Cover photo: Mike Crane

Whistler’s Winter Wildlife

The Wonder of Whistler’s Night Skies

The Wonder of Whistler’s Night Skies: What you need to know to capture them for yourself

Whistler’s known for its incredible views, bolstered by bluebird days and stunning peaks. But once the sun goes down there’s nothing like the quiet of a myriad of twinkling stars peeking through treetops or the shimmering beauty of the Aurora Borealis as it dances in the sky. Throw in a backdrop like the Black Tusk, a glacier, or an ancient Douglas Fir and you may never want to see daylight again.

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Before you strap on a pack and head out for the night with your camera, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Check the weather and moon phases. The last thing you want is to be on top of a mountain in a lightning storm or taking pictures of the Milky Way during a full moon. You’ll want a clear sky with no cloud cover if you’re taking pictures of the stars.
  2. Dress for the cold. It gets cold, very cold in the alpine. Bring warm gloves, a headlamp, and a toque plus an extra layer. A warm thermos of tea or hot chocolate will keep your insides warm while you sit and wait for the ideal picture.
  3. Bring food. You’ll probably be hiking or bushwacking to get that perfect shot. All that work will build up an appetite, especially since you’ll be carrying all that gear.
  4. Speaking of gear, make sure you have it all. You’ll want a tripod to get that crisp image since there is less light and your hands won’t stay still enough for your slow shutter speeds. Bring all your lenses, many empty memory cards, and a shutter release cable so you aren’t touching the camera and making it jiggle.
  5. Scout your area during the day. This is a great time saver since you can look for ways around objects like trees, houses, mountains, boulders or chairlifts – or the best angle to include them.
  6. Download a star app. This will help you know which stars or planets you’re looking at, and help you find the ones you want.
  7. Don’t forget to tell others where you’re going. Even if you’re walking up the hill at the back of your house, let someone know where you are and when you’ll return. The smallest rock or root can be invisible at night and leave you susceptible to tripping – especially if you’re looking up. Plus it’s easy to get lost in the dark. See tip #5 to avoid this.
  8. Memorize where infinity is on each of your lenses. Focusing is one of the greatest frustrations in night photography. While each lens has an infinity mark, it may not be accurate. Take the time to memorize where it is on each of your lenses and you’ll be significantly less frustrated in the dark when it’s cold out.
  9. Be prepared to wait. Night photography is all about slow shutter speeds and long exposures. Don’t expect to snap a shot in five minutes. Commit to the night and you’ll be rewarded with the vibrant, dramatic shot that your imagination envisioned.
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    Cover image: Mike Crane

Respecting Whistler’s Great Outdoors and #GOGreen

Earn your time outside by interacting with planet Earth more mindfully in your daily life. Learn how from Whistler’s environmental experts at the GO Green @ GO Fest Environmental Expo on Saturday, May 21st from Noon-5:00 p.m. in Whistler’s Town Plaza. In the meantime, here are some wise ways to adventure in and interact with our planet:

Be Bear Smart –To avoid a dangerous encounter with black bears and grizzlies always remember to carry bear spray, makes lots of noise, travel together, avoid animal carcasses, keep your distance, never feed a bear (even if unintentionally) and pack in what you pack out. To learn about our furry friends, visit the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative or the RMOW Bear Smart Program at the GO Fest Environmental Expo.

Love This Place, Reduce Your Waste – Recyclables and organics are valuable resources that don’t belong trapped in our landfills. Improve your recycling knowledge at the GO Fest Environmental Expo with the AWARE Zero Waste Station, BC Recycles and ElectroRecycle. Be remembered by the memories you leave behind, not the trash!

Plant Wisely – Green your knowledge as you green your thumb by educating yourself on native, drought resistant species, and the invasive plants to avoid. Invasive species threaten our environment, economy and health. Learn how to identify and control invasive species with the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council at the GO Fest Environmental Expo.

Adopt a Plant Based Diet – While it’s hard for many to swallow, the simple truth is reducing meat consumption is one of the most impactful environmentally conscious acts an individual can take. Learn more about stats and facts with Earthsave Whistler at the GO Fest Environmental Expo. Don’t feel like jumping into the deep end of the veganism pool? Dip your toe in instead by signing up for Meatless Mondays and see what it’s all about.

To find out more about the bountiful work Whistler is doing for the health of our planet talk to the RMOW Environmental Technician or Whistler’s environmental charity since 1989, AWARE. Get outside and play, a little more mindfully today. #GOGreen

 

#GOFest2016 Invites Everyone To Come Out and Play

If your 8-year-old isn’t interested in the iBubble Soccer Demo in Rebagliati Park on Sunday, May 22 you should probably check their pulse. GO Fest is going all out for family fun this May Long Weekend in Whistler, May 20-23 and the iBubble Soccer Demo (for ages 7+) is just the tip of the iceberg.

Parents will love the entertainment and immersive learning on offer all weekend. Kids can start the day stand-up paddle boarding at Lakeside Park with Backroads Whistler before swinging through the forest during The Treetop Adventure Race with the Adventure Group.

Roving characters and local musicians will animate Whistler Village, while stories from the Whistler Library Book Bike, LEGO building with the Whistler Museum, encounters with Radical Raptors’ real-life owl, eagle and falcon, and interactive entertainment for kids by Ira Pettle keep boredom at bay and the screens away.

For families that want to golf together, Nicklaus North Golf Clinics will teach participants of all ages the art of chipping and putting. Tiny aspiring snowboarders will love the Burton Kids Riglet Snowboard Park in Village Square courtesy of Showcase Snowboard, Surf and Skate Shop where kids ages three to six years old can get a taste of park life in Village Square on Saturday and Sunday.

Every adventurer will find their path for adventure at GO Fest’s Base Camp in Mountain Square. Base Camp will be hub of activity and information for all of the festival events and activities. Fly fishing clinics, including one just for women, a King of the Beach format beach volleyball tournament at Rainbow Park, yoga, the Whistler Film Festival Adventure Film Series, sailing, golfing, a digital photography clinic and art experiences are some of the many events and activities available in Whistler on May Long weekend.

Play and stay in Whistler during GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival. Book by June 30 and save up to 40 per cent by staying longer through Whistler.com www.whistler.com/events/gofest/.