Bottom to Top in Whistler

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Several miles – straight up…

Good morning, Whistler!

Today is my last full day in Whistler.  I have a 9:30 tee time again and am not sure if I will play a second round (remember, there is “unlimited” golf here and I hate not to take full advantage).  I will think about it during my first round.  After yesterday’s pitiful showing I only hope I have enough balls (literally and figuratively) to finish the round today.  But first breakfast in the Grill Room. Then off to the course.

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Looks like a perfect day for golf

Today I am paired up with a couple from Switzerland.  They speak French and a tiny bit of English.  I think this may be good for my game because I can concentrate.  I plan to play “within myself” today – don’t try to be a hero and go for shots I don’t have.  Let’s see if I can finish with a shred of dignity.

Right off the first tee I hit a beautiful drive.  Then the woman gets up with a 3 wood and cracks it at least 75 yards more than my driver.  I am deflated.  I suck it up and lay up to the huge hazard crossing the fairway.  She sails over it.  That is where her game ends and I settle down realizing this will not be a competition.  I took a bogey on the hole and she had an 8.

The rest of the round was great.  I was calm and playing smart golf.  I ended the front nine with a respectable 42 and my original ball.  The back nine started with 3 pars in a row.  After a birdie and a bogey I was even par going into #16.  I ended the round 3 over with 2 strokes adding up on the brutal #18.  So happy with an 84 and still my original ball!  Shaved 10 strokes off yesterday’s round!!

So, with a great round under my belt I decided it was best to stop right there and not play a second round – make sure to leave on a good note…  I went back to the hotel and hit up the fitness room for a quick workout – feels great!

Then, I asked the Concierge for suggestions for the afternoon.  He immediately told me that I should go up the mountain in the ski lift! Sounds interesting – I am in.

The lift(s) here are right out the back door of the Fairmont.  I have only had bad experiences with chair lifts when I attempted to ski in my younger days (ask my Dad about being my “ski instructor”). I know getting on is not really a problem – it is the disembarking that is troubling.  I have never exited a chair lift without falling, ending up flat on my face with skis crossed behind me and others exiting towards me.  Without snow or skis, hopefully it will prove to be easier.

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Once I calm down, the ride is amazing.  First ride up is the Wizard lift, then I move on to the Solar Eclipse to go up higher. When you get to the end of that lift there is an entire complex with restaurants, shops, tours, etc.

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Next step is the “Peak to Peak” Goldola which spans the two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. Some facts:

World’s longest unsupported span for a lift of this kind at 3.024km/1.88miles

World’s highest lift of its kind at 436m/1,427ft above the valley floor.

World’s longest continuous lift system: Connecting 2 high speed chair lifts and 1 gondola.

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Ready to launch
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Views are incredible – see the two lakes?

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When the gondola finally reaches the other peak you will find another restaurant and lots of hiking and mountain bike trails (yes, people actually carry their bikes aboard the lifts in the summer!)

The final step is to hike about a mile and then board the “Peak Chair” to get up to the highest point.  I have made it this far – I have to do it.

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Made it!

The entire trip up takes almost an hour. I suppose it would be faster going down if you were skiing instead of riding the lift.  I think I prefer the lift.

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Almost back to earth.  Notice the Chateau Fairmont in the background.
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lift map – there are tons!

Wow.  I am so glad that I did that! It would have almost been a shame to be in Whistler and not get to the top of the mountain.

All of this activity has made me hungry and it is getting to be dinnertime.  I am going to follow another suggestion from the couple I met at Nicklaus North.  Dinner will be in the village at the Trattoria. I head out on foot with my trusty map and find it easily.

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Once again, I choose to sit at the bar looking into the open kitchen.  Reminds me of one of our favorite restaurants in Palm Beach – Buccan.  The chefs are buzzing around and I have a front seat for all the action. A Negroni is ordered and I sit back to watch.

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My server is awesome and makes spot on suggestions from the menu for me.  I choose the Carpaccio for a starter:

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Pairs great with a glass of Cremant from the Alsace

Then I move on to a half Caesar Salad:

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Finally a highly-recommended Indian inspired pasta dish with curry and Indian spices that is awesome:

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Such a great last full day in Whistler.  Tomorrow is my long, long driving day.  I will be heading back to reality and the states.  Only two more nights before Rich and I are re-united (“and it feels so good” – Peaches & Herb for those of you who can remember back then).

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