Whistler Olympic Rings
Olympic Rings

After enjoying a pleasant drive into the mountains we arrived quite early at our accommodation in Whistler – HI International.  Having checked in quite early we decided to make the most of the day and hit the slopes straight away.

We organised our hire gear and headed up to the mountains.  Most of our time in Whistler was spent skiing, but the mountains dwarf even those in New Zealand, which I rate as much better than what is available at home locally.  The sights and the views as you are going down the different runs are just breathtaking.

Later in the evening we decided to go on a pub crawl around some of the more popular clubs in Whistler.  This tour was alright, although the Europeans could certainly teach them how to go pub crawling!  I will say that I have never seen anyone skull a beer as quickly as one of the Australian hosts.  I also couldn’t help but chuckle when we were asked to sign liability wavers in case we passed out in the snow and the most important rule was Buffalo!

What a view!

We met a few cool people, several Aussies as well as a couple from the UK and Washington State, and a brother and sister from Germany.  We hit up 4 different bars that night, and we all had a good time meeting new people, doing a limbo competition and dance off…all with the promise of new drinks.  For the enthusiastic there was beer flip, and of course the other drinking games that were the centre of the night, often having the hosts run halfway across the bar to call you out.

I was particularly amused by the fact that we were asked to sign release of liability wavers, and the two rules for the night were both drinking games.  I thought maybe something about the snow and ice, but fortunately I was corrected the most important rule was “Buffalo”
View from the road
On Sunday, after our skiing efforts of Saturday we decided to do a lesson.  This full day lesson helped us better pick up the skills we were lacking to take our skiing to the next level.  We spent the morning re-learning the basics before hitting some of the bigger )and steeper runs in the afternoon.  We enjoyed an expensive lunch at the peak2peak restaurant atop the mountain and enjoyed some breathtaking views of the mountains and valley while we ate.
Fire and Ice show

Monday we noticed that aches that were finding muscles in our legs we had forgotten that they existed.  We pushed through to tackle some of the more difficult runs, at least of the green variety (which were by enthusiasts probably still quite tame).  That is something else that I have noticed – in Canada a green or beginners ski run is comparable to the intermediate runs that we have in Australia.  We did however conquer the mountain and managed to ski from the top to the bottom of the whole run which was an achievement for us as beginners I thought.  Although we were quite pleased when the day was drawing to a close, because I was sceptical about our chances to keep skiing for another few hours.

The Statue of Safe Journey

That night when we returned to our hostel it was New Years Eve.  We had been advised by our travel agent, Bianca, that New Years Eve was a must in Whistler, so we had pretty high expectations, and it did not disappoint.  We started the night with a few drinks in our room, re-living our trip, passing on tips where we could and getting to know the Aussies next door!  When we wandered downstairs we met several other people who were staying in the hostel.  We played pool for a little while, came close to winning the cash, and kicked off New Years Eve in style.

Some British girls thought it would be a good idea to play some beer pong and that is when the night started to get rowdy!  I met some friendly Canadians, from Vancouver, who had made the trip up to Whistler for the New Year, and to do a spot of skiing.  One of the things I learned that night (quickly) is Canadians can drink!  Their game of choice was “On the Bus” and for the uninformed it can get messy quickly.  We had a blast getting to know the Canadians while we were drinking in the lead up until midnight.
The Ski Hils

I also met a few Aussies from Western Australia who were in town for a couple of months skiing!  These guys were living the good life, on break from uni, avoiding the extreme heat, meeting great people on the mountain, that would have been awesome!  We all kept drinking and bringing in the New Year in style with our newest friends in the hostel!  When midnight came we celebrated as we could hear the fireworks going off in style at Whistler Village.  It was a brilliant way to bring in the 2013.

Michelle tearing up the slopes

After continuing the party when people started to wander off to bed, or out and on to the next place, we decided to follow.  We set off in the snow, and ran into two cabs driving to “parties” although they didn’t know where they were.   It was at this point Michael (one of our Perth friends) and I concluded that the cabbies are possibly running an elaborate scam, offering to take would be party goers to a party that doesn’t exist and collecting a 2-way fare!  It was 1am when we saw and asked the cabs so they surely would have known by then…conspiracy theory?….maybe but we’ll never know.

James on the mountain

After our limited luck in finding a party we decided to return to the hostel to continue with what had worked all evening!  We found a quieter part of the hostel to share a few drinks and listen to each other’s sometimes crazy stories and, and seeing some of the videos that they had taken of their tricks that they were pulling on their boards.  I was suitably impressed, and sadly fear that I have a long way to go before I attempt riding a snowboard, let alone try jumps.

The next day we got up and found ourselves some breakfast and headed into Whistler Village.  Today was very much a slow sightseeing day, and a “my blog needs a few photos so I probably should take some” day.  We wandered around the village taking in the amazing views that are on offer of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb.  I am certainly very keen to head back to Whistler to enjoy some more of what is probably among the best skiing in the world.
Our Aussie Friends, Ryan, Ashliegh,
Rihannon, John, Michelle and James

We did a little shopping in the ski village and grabbed a bite to eat before we headed back to our hostel to catch up on the news of our other Aussie friends and how their NYE had progressed.  Did they have a few stories!  We then headed back into the Village to have dinner with them at the famous warehouse.  Meals for only $5 it was great, because they were at the start of their trip about to do all of the things that we had done in the states.  We were able to give a few tips where we could, very much in the same way that we were given some at the very start of our trip in Munich.

Whistler Village

As we headed home it was difficult to believe that our time on holidays was drawing to a close.  After holidaying for more than 3 months we knew it had to come to an end but we would have just liked that little bit more time (and money) to be able to keep going.

The last morning we cleared our room out of our goods and caught the bus back into Vancouver, enjoying an amazing view on the way down. When we got to the airport I was extremely disappointed that our airline wouldn’t check our bags, or us in but we stored our bags and headed out to see a movie while we killed the 10 hours we had between our flights.
Canadians can drink! You’ve been warned!

Whistler has been an unbelievable town to stay in, especially for New Years Eve.  We had a great time skiing the runs – that were awesome, as well as meeting people on our pub crawl, and on New Year’s Eve.  I am already looking forward to returning to spend more time in this town that really is a non-stop party.  They say that your year ahead is reflected by how you celebrate New Year’s Eve, and if this is true, are we in for a good year!

The Road into Whistler

We slowly but surely realised that our travels had to draw to a close and we spent a lot of the day reminiscing about the amazing places we have been, the different things that we have seen and the awesome people that we have met along the way.  The highlight of the trip has undoubtedly been meeting the people that we did and experiencing the culture of the different countries.  We have had a blast getting to know so many new people wherever they are from, the people we met from America who took the time to show us around their cities was just unbelievable.  The people we enjoyed drinks with and shared stories with us was what made the trip.   The people that we met who were from our own country I am looking forward to continue seeing when I get home.

This trip has been one I will never forget, it is a day well spent with a drink in hand and remembering all the different things that we saw, places we have been and people we met.  The experiences we shared on pub crawls, out at dinners, on walking tours were awesome and I am already looking forward to the next trip.
Finally I would like to say a massive thank you to the people who have been reading my blog.  These entries have taken quite a while, as has processing all the photos I have uploaded so thanks for taking the time to read my blog!
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