20 WHISTLER TRAVELLER
STORY BY DAVID BURKE I IMAGES BY JOERN ROHDE
Welcome to Sea to Sky Country
Ah, summer in the mountains: afternoons by the lake, hiking in the alpine, a barbecue and drinks on the patio … what could top that? And what place could be better than Whistler to enjoy it all — less than 90 minutes from
Vancouver, with more options for dining, shopping, arts and culture, and outdoor
adventure than any other mountain town in North America?
Whistler is better known for its skiing and snowboarding and as the Host Mountain
Resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, but many have opined that
summer is their favourite time of year in the resort. Given that it’s home to the world-leading Whistler Mountain Bike Park, an extensive and well-maintained trail network
for biking, hiking and running, its vibrant arts scene, the record-setting Peak 2 Peak
Gondola and incomparable golf courses, that’s not at all surprising. Even if you’re
not an adrenaline junkie, there’s so much here: from four top-ranked golf courses to
outdoor summertime concerts to people watching in the Village to world-class dining
to top-flight museums and galleries.
For centuries, the Whistler Valley was hunting and berry-picking territory for the
Squamish and Lil’wat peoples. The first European fur trappers, loggers and miners
arrived in the late 1800s; and in 1914, the same year the Pacific Great Eastern Railway
arrived, Myrtle and Alex Philip put the community (then known as Alta Lake) on the
tourism map when they opened Rainbow Lodge, a summertime fishing establishment
that quickly caught on with visitors from across Canada.