Friday, March 17, 2017

Whistler Instead of Work

Wendy, Christina, and I did this same trip (Whistler, snowboard/ski camp, spa) four years ago, and had a great time so when Wendy suggested we go again this year, Christina and I were in. We couldn't find a hotel room in the Village under... well, more than we wanted to pay, so Wendy booked us into the Whistler Lodge Hostel - bunks in dorm-style rooms, shared bathrooms... but also people from all over the world (South Africa, Mauritius, Denmark, as well as from all over the U.S. and Canada), a great hot-tub (which we got to by walking down a path in the snow in bare feet), a big kitchen, a very comfortable common room with a pool table and comfy chairs, and an over-all awesome vibe. And the price was definitely right.

cabin built in 1965 by UBC students turned 42-bunk hostel

strict no shoes policy in the hostel
Wendy and Christina are both skiing at a very high level these days, so we left ridiculously early last Friday so they could get an extra day in on the slopes. I on the other hand, wasn't even sure I wanted to snowboard for two days, so I declined the extra day going downhill, and instead booked a snowmobile tour through the woods. Officially, I don't really love the idea of snowmobiles, they are loud (although the ones we rode were quieter than I expected), and pollution-generating (although the ones we rode-weren't as smelly as I expected), but unofficially, that attitude is overlooked if I actually have the opportunity to ride one, which I did, and it was pretty fun. Harder than it looks as there's no 'power steering' so it take a bit of strength to maneuver the things, and it was a fun and easy way to explore some backcountry.

the lovely Bea, and her two student (reflected in her goggles)
And snowboard camp was good this year too. I had an instructor who was just lovely - a slip of a girl from Montreal whose teaching ability was far beyond her years. There was only one other woman in my group, so we both got a lot of individual instruction, and Beatrice, our instructor, had a lot of good drills, tips, feedback, and encouragement, but jeez, I was tired after half a day. Conditions on the mountain weren't ideal (wet and foggy) and even though my class lasted all day, I was done by lunch time, so after eating, I found a comfy hotel lobby in which to hang out and read. Then back to the hostel each night with the girls, hot tub, shower, change, go back to the Village for dinner, hang out a bit in the common room, and done. Scandinave Spa on the way out for massages and a last soak on Monday, and home. Great long-weekend; great friends.