TRAVELLER I LOCAL VIBE
SPEARHEADING THE FUTURE
STORY BY DAVID BURKE
Those who love to recreate in Whistler’s backcountry rejoiced
last winter at the news that B.C. Parks approved a Park
Use Permit for three backcountry huts known collectively
as the Spearhead Huts Project. Once completed, the huts
— at Russet Lake, Mount Pattison and Mount Macbeth —
will make completing the 35-kilometre route known as the
Spearhead Traverse in Garibaldi Provincial Park safer and
easier. They will also help reduce the environmental impact
of recreational activity in winter and summer.
First completed in 1964, The Spearhead Traverse currently
attracts about 5,000 visitors annually. The first hut, at Russet
Lake, will replace aging Himmelsbach Hut. New huts will be
built at Mount Pattison and Mount Macbeth, with all funding
raised through donations. Site investigations have been done
at Russet Lake and construction is planned for summer 2017,
with completion by the spring of 2018, says Jayson Faulkner,
chair of the Spearhead Huts Committee. The plan is for the
Alpine Club of Canada’s Whistler and Vancouver section to
oversee operation and maintenance of the huts.
The term “Whistler Village” is sometimes used by visitors to
refer to the entire resort community. But once you’re here, it’s
important to narrow things down a bit, as different terms refer
to different places.
Whistler Village, or just The Village, refers to the area along
the main Village Stroll, from the base of Whistler Mountain
to Whistler’s Marketplace. It’s divided into the Village Centre
(south of the pedestrian bridge over Village Gate Boulevard)
and Village North (north of the bridge).
The Upper Village is the smaller pedestrian commercial stroll
linking the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Blackcomb
Daylodge, at the base of the Wizard chairlift. It’s accessed
from Whistler Village via the Fitzsimmons Trail that passes
between Day Skier Lots 1 and 2 and over Fitzsimmons
Initially called Franz’s Trail (named for Whistler Mountain
founder Franz Wilhelmsen), the commercial area at
Creekside, four kilometres south of Whistler Village, is now
more commonly referred to as Creekside Village, and has a
unique blend of shops and eateries.
In 2016, municipal officials launched a wayfinding program
with some 200 new directional signs. “The signage will help
people get around Whistler and find some of the hidden
gems, as well as the many popular sites throughout the
community,” Mayor Nancy Wilhelm Morden said.
Where do old skis and snowboards go to die?
Are they buried in your garage? Dumped in the
landfill? Next time you retire your planks, show the
mountains some enviro-love and send them to Ski
Heaven. Local entrepreneur Randi Kruse, owner of
Ski Heaven, works with a team of Whistler artists
to re-purpose discarded skis and snowboards into
unique, original art.
“Skis will never decompose because the materials are so densely
manufactured,” says Kruse. “Recycling isn’t possible, so instead we ‘upcycle’
and create something entirely new from the skis.” Ski Heaven also gives you a
chance to celebrate precious mountain memories by bringing those stories into
your home. Seasons of glorious turns can live again in a functional wine rack,
snowflake wall art, mountain-themed coat rack, custom artwork, corporate
memento and much more.
PHOTO SKI HEAVEN
WHICH ‘VILLAGE’ IS WHICH?
STORY BY DAVID BURKE
TAKES ON NEW MEANING
STORY BY REBECCA WOOD BARRETT
About $3 million still needs to be raised for the Mount Pattison and Mount
Macbeth huts, Faulkner says. “Our goal was always to build them in
subsequent order.” He continues, “Volunteers have put in thousands of hours
over the years to make this happen.”