The Natural World Around You

Nature is a source of abundance, rich in biodiversity and the best playground around. There is a lot more happening in Whistler’s seemingly still forest and along the quiet shoreline than meets the eye. Keep these fun nature facts in mind next time you adventure and explore in the natural outdoors:

• Fungal species impressively outnumber plants in the temperate rain forest by ten to one! These species are often hard to see with the majority of their physical structure living underground, but are imperative to the forests survival. Remove them and the forest would not live on.

• Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.

• Lichen are formed based on a unique symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae. These species can only survive when clean air and water are present, and are therefore symbolic of a pollution-free and healthy environment.

• Whistler’s forest is primarily coniferous, meaning the trees have cones. The Douglas-fir known for its fire-resistant bark and the Western Hemlock with its droopy top are some easy to identify local favourites.

• The oldest tree found in Whistler is over 1200 years old.

• Whistler’s many Wetlands are not only beautiful to look at and paddle through, but they also help clean water, prevent flooding, control erosion and are home to a plethora of local species.

These are only a few of the wonders Whistler’s wild backyard holds.

To learn more join expert Naturalists and First Nations Ambassadors on Saturday, May 19th at the GO Green Nature Scavenger Hunt at Florence Petersen Park between 1-4 p.m. A weather proof BINGO sheet will guide you around the park at your own pace and into conversations with our talented adventure leaders. From the cultural significance of the cedar tree to learning about umbrella species like grizzly bears, there will be something for everyone to learn as we explore the outdoors.

Whistler Film Festival Announces 2018 Adventure Film Series Lineup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Whistler Film Festival Announces Adventure Film Series Lineup
Experience Great Outdoor Stories at Whistler’s Go Fest on the May Long Weekend.

Whistler, B.C. (May 3, 2018) : Get ready for adventure and more! The Whistler Film Festival’s 5th annual Adventure Film Series returns May 18 to 20 as part of Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest), featuring a solid lineup of great outdoor stories. The action packed program features seven screenings comprised of 13 films that range from extreme sport to activism through adventure, including 10 shorts and three features from three countries, complimented by an adventure photo competition . Mountain biking, ice biking, environmentalism, surfing, climbing, kayaking, aerial photography, and traveling are among the series’ film themes.

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.

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

The series kicks off on Friday, May 18 at 7:00pm with the announcement of the winner of WFF’s Adventure Photo Competition followed by a screening of Mathieu Le Lay’s IN THE STARLIGHT . During the darkest hours of the night, while the rest of the world is sleeping, outdoor photographer Paul Zizka ventures out into the wilderness in search of the world’s starriest skies. His journey to photograph the celestial wonders takes him from his home amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the wild, desertdunes of Namibia and remote ice caps of Greenland. Ever the adventurer, he must balance his work and passion for photography with his equal devotion as a family man. The film will be preceded by the short film THE ALCHEMISTS directed by Whistler local and action sport photographer , Blake Jorgenson. The film follows Jorgenson through his home mountains of British Columbia as he talks about photography and creativity in the ever changing digital world that we live in.

Following will be a 9:00pm screening of Nate Laverty’s latest film TRANSITION, which follows Tofino based surfer Noah Cohen who struggles to overcome and injury that threatens to take away all he’s ever known. TRANSITION will be followed by SIAN JOURNALS directed by Dustin Humphrey from Deus Ex Machina, which is a collection of never before seen stories documenting the people, places and adventures that occurred during the two years making the 2016 film “South To Sian.” The film addresses the challenges, the surfers, riders, bike builders, filmmakers and photographers who helped to shape the iconic surf film.

On Saturday May 19, the day will begin with a 5:00pm Short Film Series screening. This series is comprised of seven short films featuring a range of different sports and stories from some of the world’s finest athletes with several films from WFF Adventure Film Series alumni including Chris Burkard, Mike Hopkins and David. I Strasser. At 7:00pm and 9:00pm, the Adventure Film Series proudly presents the Whistler Premiere of DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY directed by Dave O’Leske, which tells the passionate tale of world renowned dirtbag climber Fred Beckey who is hailed as one of the most influential climbers of all time.

On Sunday, May 20, the Short Film program repeats and the series concludes with a 7:00pm screening of legendary filmmaker Taylor Steele’s latest surf film PROXIMITY. Produced by Teton Gravity Research the film explores the delicate relationship between people, time, and place, showcasing surfing icons from different generations in diverse locations around the world.

Returning this year, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine presents the Adventure Photography Competition as part of the 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. 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 deadline to submit was May 1. The winner will be announced on the opening night of the series on May 18. Details are available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/events/adventure-film-series/.

All events will take place at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Filmtickets are $15 per program. WFF Adventure Film Series info and tickets are available online at: 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:
Jacki St. Thomas, Account Executive, Jive Communications
jacki@jiveprdigital.com • 310.625.7799

The Whistler Film Festival Society is a charitable cultural 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 18th Whistler Film Festival returns November 28 to December 2. www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, will take place May 18 to 21, 2018 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 Festivals, Events & Animation (FE&A) program and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative.

Whistler Film Festival Society • Charitable Registration #: 856677844RR001
208-1200 Alpha Lake Road, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B1 • 1-877-838-FILM (3456) • whistlerfilmfestival.com


WFF 2018 ADVENTURE FILM SERIES LINEUP:

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 7:00PM
Film: IN THE STARLIGHT directed by Mathieu Le Lay preceded by THE ALCHEMISTS
Canadian Premiere
2017 | 51 mins | Unrated | France | Dir. Mathieu Le Lay
During the darkest hours of the night, while the rest of the world is sleeping, outdoor photographer Paul Zizka ventures out into the wilderness in search of the world’s starriest skies. His journey to photograph the celestial wonders takes him from his home amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the wild, desert dunes of Namibia and remote ice caps of Greenland. Ever the adventurer, he must balance his work and passion for photography with his equal devotion as a family man. IN THE STARLIGHT is an intimate portrayal of Paul’s quest to capture the night skies, and what his time spent under the stars has taught him about life, love, adventure, and our place in the universe.

THE ALCHEMISTS
BC Premiere
2017 | 8 Mins | Unrated | Canada | Dir. Blake Jorgenson
THE ALCHEMISTS follows action sport photographer Blake Jorgenson through his home mountains of British Columbia as he talks about photography and creativity in the ever changing digital world that we live in.

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 9:00PM

Films: TRANSITION & SIAN JOURNALS

TRANSITION
World Premiere
2018 | 31 mins | Unrated | Canada | Dir. Nate Laverty
Follow the story of Noah Cohen, a professional surfer from a small town on Vancouver Island. When an injury threatens to take away all he’s ever known, he’s forced to consider a life without surfing and find the strength to overcome.

SIAN JOURNALS
World Premiere
49 mins | Unrated | Canada | Dir. Dustin Humphrey

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 5:00PM

Short Film Series
97 minutes | Unrated
Against the Grain (Canada) Dir. David I. Strasser
No Quarter (Canada) Dir. Max Berkowitz & Kevin Landry
In Constant Motion (Canada) Dir. Cameron Sylvester
Shots From Above (USA) Dir. Chris Burkard & Renan Ozturk
Escape (Canada) Dir. Anjali Nayar
Motive (Canada) Dir. Mind Spark Cinema
Dreamride 3 (Canada) Dir. Scott Secco

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 7:00PM & 9:00PM

Film: DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY
Whistler Premiere
2017 | 96 mins | Unrated | USA | Dir. by Dave O’Leske
Hailed as one of the most influential climbers of all time, Fred Beckey is the original American “Dirtbag”–one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle. This rebel athlete’s lifetime of accomplishments set the bar for the entire sport. He shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable. Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and stayed unencumbered so his only obligation would remain conquering the next summit. He kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his romantic life, to the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not seen by anyone else on Earth. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. He defiantly continued climbing until passing away in October 2017 at 94.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 5:00PM

Short Film Series
97 minutes | Unrated
Against the Grain (Canada) Dir. David I. Strasser
No Quarter (Canada) Dir. Max Berkowitz & Kevin Landry
In Constant Motion (Canada) Dir. Cameron Sylvester
Shots From Above (USA) Dir. Chris Burkard & Renan Ozturk
Escape (Canada) Dir. Anjali Nayar
Motive (Canada) Dir. Mind Spark Cinema
Dreamride 3 (Canada) Dir. Scott Secco

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 7:00PM

PROXIMITY
Western Canadian Premiere
2017| 50 mins | Unrated | USA | Dir. by Taylor Steele
Proximity is a film that pairs surfing’s living legends with today’s most progressive young surfers. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Taylor Steele and produced by Teton Gravity Research (TGR) in association with Garage Productions. Proximity explores the delicate relationship between people, time, and place, showcasing surfing icons from different generations in diverse locations around the world.

GO Fest announces free concert lineup May 18 to 21, 2018

For immediate release…

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, announces free concert lineup May 18-21, 2018

The Philosopher Kings, Current Swell and The Funk Hunters will perform free outdoor shows in Whistler during the May Long Weekend

April 17, 2018: Whistler, B.C. – The Philosopher Kings launch the free concert series at GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoor Festival, with a show on Friday, May 18. The concert sets the stage for two more days and nights of free, live acts, including Carmanah, Current Swell, Coco Jafro and The Funk Hunters. 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.

Juno-winning artists, The Philosopher Kings, start the weekend with a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18. The Canadian pop and alternative rock group is known for taking the music scene by storm in the 90s with their gold single “Charms” and their platinum album Famous, Rich and Beautiful. In 2017, they reunited after an 11-year hiatus to bring new material to their fans.

On Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m., Carmanah will be laying down their unique west coast soul sound. The Victoria-based indie band are renowned for their thought-provoking lyrics about the environment and political issues.

Later on Saturday, roots rock quartet Current Swell take the stage at 7:30 p.m. The Victoria-based group has toured North America several times, bringing their music to thousands of fans. They have two number 1 singles on iTunes and their album Ulysses reached Canada’s rock top 10.

On Sunday, May 20, Coco Jafro will get the crowd dancing from 3 p.m. with worldly funk fusion and musical rhythms from Africa to the Americas. The group was acclaimed by CBC Searchlight, Breakout West and were nominated for Best Live Act at the Van Isle Music Awards. Their influences include Santana, Chaka Kahn and Stevie Wonder.

The Funk Hunters continue the party onstage at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night. The DJ duo have cultivated their signature sound by creating forward-thinking electronic music that is influenced by
old-school soul, funk and hip-hop. Known for their live performances, they’ve performed over 750 times in 16 countries. Their performance closes the May Long weekend free concert series.

“This incredible lineup of Canadian artists is brought to Whistler thanks to the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative contributions which invests in programs and projects that support and help grow tourism. I hope you join us for GO Fest’s live music concert series, as part of a full weekend of outdoor activities,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

GO Fest Main Stage in Village Square Concert Schedule
Friday, May 18
7:30 p.m. The Philosopher Kings

Saturday, May 19
3 p.m. Carmanah
7:30 p.m. Current Swell

Sunday, May 20
3 p.m. Coco Jafro
7:30 p.m. The Funk Hunters

The fifth annual GO Fest celebrates the May intersection of winter and summer activities where Whistler’s visitors and residents can experience the best of all seasons, with 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 entertainment and activities taking place in Whistler Village, including music and street entertainment. Over the course of four days, GO Fest attendees 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.

Media Notes: Additional photography or promotional materials from the musical lineup for any of the artists performing at GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, are available upon request.

Social Tags: @GOFestWhistler, @RMWhistler

About GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival
GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, takes place May 18 to 21, 2018 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.

Media Inquiries
Resort Municipality of Whistler Communications | 604-967-3030 | communications@whistler.ca
Website www.whistler.ca
Facebook RMOW
Twitter @RMWhistler
Instagram @RMWhistler

Get Your Hook In Whistler: Fishing On The Fly

Here’s a little known secret about Whistler: while it’s renowned for being an epic ski and bike mecca, it wasn’t the mountains that brought the first settlers (aka developers) to our incredible resort: it was the fish.

That’s right. Fish. Not snow, fish. Whistler might not even exist if it weren’t for Alex and Myrtle Philip who, with the help of the Tapleys, built the Rainbow Fishing Lodge Resort in 1914.

So while many of us charge hard to bag summits or chase downhill runs, there’s a whole lesser known but equally passionate group of Whistlerites who chase a different type of rush: the tug.

Whistler is surrounded by three lakes brimming with fish and those who confess that the “tug is the drug” will reluctantly share that now that the ice has melted, fishing season is officially on.

Just can't get enough > #steelhead @cortneybrown

A post shared by Trout Country Fishing Guides (@troutcountry) on

The best part about fishing is it’s something everyone can enjoy, including the munchkins. Locals who grow up in Whistler have many a fond memory of packing a picnic and casting a line with mom and dad while the sun floats high in the sky and the good times roll.

So where should you go and what should you bring? With the heavy runoff creating a veritable thunderstorm in the rivers, you’ll want to stick to the lakes until July. Around here, fly fishing is what we do, mostly because the trout love bugs.

And before you cast anything, make sure you’ve checked the fishing regulations, and have your fishing license.

Green Lake

You can’t miss the bright green lake north of Whistler. Three major creeks feed into the lake and are great spots to catch Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden Char: 19 Mile Creek, Fitzsimmons Creek, and the River of Golden Dreams. Occasionally you can fine Kokanee and some Cutthroat Trout


Alta Lake

An easy lake to access from many of the Whistler neighbourhoods, Alta Lake holds a robust number of Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout that can be found along the shoreline

I found Canadian Dory, or is it Canadian Nemo? I dunno, I don't speak whale…

A post shared by Broderick Thompson (@brodthompson) on


Nita Lake

Steps off the Valley Trail and of course, Nita Lake Lodge, is Whistler’s smallest fishing lake, yet it teams with Rainbow Trout thanks to an annual stocking of some five hundred to a thousand fish around Father’s Day. One of the best spots is where Whistler Creek comes into the lake, though success can be found in boats as well.

#rainbows at #sundown #nitalake #whistlerbc #flyfishing #capturethemoment

A post shared by RenaJL (@rena_joy_) on

Chillin 🐟🌞👌#flyfishing #nitalake #whistlermountain #creeklife

A post shared by Mára Ducháč (@maraduchy) on

Of course, if you’re new to it all and a nymph is more of a woodland creature to you than a fly you’ll want to hire a guide. Trout Country Fishing Guides and Whistler Fishing Guides will show you the ropes – or rather, lines – and take you to their secret spots that we couldn’t share here. They’ll also provide the gear so if you don’t want to bring it to Whistler with you – or have forgotten it, hiring a guide is a great way to feel that first tug.

And from there, you’ll be hooked.

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

A post shared by Sam Nicholas (@samanthanicholas) on

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.

A post shared by Josephine Jacob (@yoga_mami) on

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

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

A post shared by Greg Lum (@gregorylum) on

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

A post shared by Jennifer Bernhard (@jburnhard) on

 

The long way up • @ioandavies

A post shared by James Brightmore (@jamesbrightmore) on

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

A post shared by Hannah Kitchin (@kitchinh2) on

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.

A post shared by Mike Blarowski (@mikeblarowski) on

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

A post shared by Peter Corbett (@pete_corbett1983) on

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

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

A post shared by Dustys Bar & BBQ (@dustyswhistler) on

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.

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

A post shared by mfisher2010 (@mfisher2010) on

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

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

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