I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to spend the first days of 2019 in Vancouver and then drive out to Whistler for 4 incredible days! Before I share the wonderful details of my four day adventure in Whistler, I’d like to take a minute to share a new place I visited in the greater Vancouver area, Pitt Meadows.
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Pitt Meadows is a small community approximately 20 minute drive from Burnaby and a 40 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. My manager JP lives here with his wife Jess and was kind enough to have my team and I over on Friday night.
Start at Sushi Tengu Restaurant. Order the Fire Roll.
A short walk away is Foamers Folly Brewery with delicious craft beer. I thoroughly enjoyed the Raspberry Honey Hefeweizen.
End at the Jolly Coachman pub. Maybe buy your coworker a muff diver for their birthday.
If you’re looking for something a little different than the downtown core of Vancouver, take a drive out to Pitt Meadows for something alternative to the typical options.
Day 1 – Drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler
Derek, Susan and I hopped in our rental SUV and hit the road. The Sea to Sky highway is the main highway that takes you from Vancouver to Whistler. On a clear day, this drive will offer you some incredible views of lakes and mountains on the 2.5 hour drive up (weather permitting). Along the way, there are a few notable stops we made that I would highly recommend.
A quick pull off the highway close to Darrell Bay was our first stop. There is a small parking lot that is easy to park in and enter the park. It’s a nice middle way break to get some fresh air and do a loop in the park to see a massive waterfall stream down into rapids.
The Brandywine Falls are a short 10 minute walk from the roadside parking area right off the highway. When we arrived, the snow was at about hip height, so make sure you are wearing your good snow boots with some tread. The path was easily marked and if you follow the trees, after 10 minutes you’ll hear the power of the falls. There is a viewing deck to checkout the falls and take some pictures and also check out the views of the other side of the valley.
Whistler Brewing Company
Located south of the village, this is a good stop to make if you plan on not driving around too much when you make it to your Whistler destination. Setup like a cabin inside, have a flight to checkout which beers you like, and then buy your favourite flavors to bring back with you!
Day 2 - Skating and the Village
Since we arrived on one of the busier weekends of the season before the kids go back to school, we decided to ski on Monday instead of the weekend. Plan B was a wonderful day of skating in the village at Olympic Park and then spending the afternoon strolling through the village and window shopping.
We ended the day at Longhorns so we could people watch during the après ski. This bar doesn’t mess around!
For dinner we went to 21 Steps Kitchen and enjoyed cocktails and Katie and I split the Winter Salad and Bolognese Pasta.
Day 3 - Skiing Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain
This was the day I had been waiting for! The last time I skied was three years ago when Sean and I went to visit my friend Devan in Kelowna and skied Big White with some very cold and windy conditions, so I was a tad anxious before getting on the gondola to get up the mountain. Luckily, I had the right warm clothing, properly fitted equipment (thanks Steph!), and my colleagues were patient coaches who helped remind me how to cut and I was good to go! We decided to start on Blackcomb and ski a few blue runs as a warm up.
- Excalibur Gondola –> Excelerator Express
- Excelerator Express
- Excelerator Express –> Jersey Crème Express
- 7th Avenue
- 7th Heaven Express
- Peak to Peak
- Harmony 6 Express
- Harmony Ridge
- Harmony 6 Express
- Burnt Stew Trail
- Symphony Express
- Jeff’s Ode to Joy
- Symphony Express (caught the last ride up at 2:45pm!)
- Return Route from Symphony to Harmony
- Burnt Stew Trail down to Side Winder to Upper Olympic to Upper Fantastic to Lower Olympic (down down down to the village for après)
If you are only skiing one day, I’d recommend taking the Peak to Peak gondola during your day, because the views are incredible of the entire mountain range. The Peak to Peak ticket is included in your ski ticket. This was also what allowed us to ski both Blackcomb and Whistler mountain on the same day!
My favourite run of the day was Harmony on Whistler where you literally can weave in and out of snow-covered trees like you’re in magical forest. I couldn’t believe where we were at some moments.
This day was unbelievable. I was proud of myself for being able to keep up with my colleagues and my body for not failing me. Our conditions couldn’t have been better with sunny and blue skies, light powder, and all the tree tops were covered with snow. We were above the clouds, looking out on the peaks, skiing down the incredible runs. I’m grateful for the perfect ski day!
Day 4 - Scandinave Spa
As you can probably imagine, after that crazy day of skiing that may have completely changed the way I think about winter, my body was sore. Whistler provides the perfect cure for a sore body – Scandinave Spa. A 5 minute drive from Whistler Village, this water circuit spa offers a number of hot bath, cold bath, and relaxation spaces nestled in the forest, along with massages at an additional cost.
I opted for the water circuit and spent the day rotating between the hot baths, a quick dip in the cold, and napping in the relaxation spaces. The best thing about the property is that silence is key (no talking allowed). I spent 30 minutes sitting out by a fire staring at the trees while it was snowing. Definitely spend some time in the hot waterfall bath where the water beats down on your neck and shoulders, which was exactly what I needed. All-in-all, I feel so incredibly lucky and grateful for the time to spend a day silently relaxing.
My time in Vancouver and Whistler was an amazing time for me. I got to see my uncle Brad and Grandma in Vancouver, see my friends Kelly and David, and spend time with coworkers skiing down mountains and enjoying the spa. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for 2019!