The view from the Westin Whistler

Westin Whistler Weekend - Our view

At work, I have a screen saver that cycles through my flickr stream, and this photo popped up the other day when I came back to my desk.

I took this a few months ago when Rebecca and I had a great weekend at the Westin Whistler as their guests. We were able to experience an amazing look behind the scenes in their kitchen while their very talented crew of chefs prepared some amazing food dishes for a local children’s hospital banquet and fundraiser.

I’ve always like how I was able to catch the way the clouds sit over the mountains on the other side of the Sea to Sky Highway from the main Whistler Village. You could stare out the window for hours, watching the clouds hover over the slopes.

Marlboro Scales

WSSF 2010 - Blogger House

I shot this during a weekend in Whistler with our fabulous hosts, Tourism Whistler.

They put us up in a first rate, private residence that you can rent out for periods of time, depending on how deep your pockets are and how long you want to stay. This was on the deck at the back of the house during the 2010 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April.

Scales has become a good friend of mine here in Vancouver and a complete inspiration for my coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. He’s a constant reminder to keep challenging myself to be better at what I do while taking the time to enjoy life off the grid here and there.

Getting a feeling for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler with six days before Opening Ceremonies

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

We made a mad dash this past Sunday to Whistler to snag our media accreditation at the Media Centre near the main village. It was a nice opportunity to get a low level feeling on how things are getting prepared for the beginning of the 2010 games at the end of this week.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

A lot like Vancouver, people are exploring what’s already in place and snapping pics, much like myself.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Signage is everywhere. What to do, where to go to do it, etc.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Lanyards are as in force in Whistler as they are in Vancouver. So far, I’m up to having three that I’ll be taking with me where ever I go.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Ticket sales for events look to be steady. The line here wasn’t too hectic and no one seemed overly disgruntled while waiting in line. That sounds strange, but some prices for tickets are getting way too far out of my range for even consideration. I’ve heard a number of people who are happy to have the tickets but not so much when they talk about how much they paid for them.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

I think it’s safe to say that the fever has started to rise in Whistler. They have all the snow, but getting up there is the tricky part.

Sea to Sky Highway looks great and is ready to handle the people flowing to and from, but we did see an accident on the way up that was enough to raise plenty of concern for anyone I’ve talked to about it. Basically, the road splits into three lanes about five times between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler. Two lanes is for traffic going one way and one lane for the opposite direction.

Speaking to people who live in the area, there is a lot of concern that even locals are getting confused by these temporary barriers and lane changes that the risk of accidents is actually increased by them. Basically it’s the premise of knowing something like the back of your hand, and these alterations, albeit subtle and only for a short period of time, will make driving this road even more treacherous when you combine all the Olympics traffic and people who are even less familiar with how much care you need to take on this road.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

All fears aside, Whistler looks ready for the games. The people will come, but it should also be said that if you get up there to see some events, you can still spend some time skiing and enjoy the slopes while you’re there. Doing the same around Vancouver might be tough because even if you can get up the mountains, you might have a hard time finding some snow. Not so much in Whistler, that’s for sure.

My first bear

As Keira commented, it’s been a little while since I’ve made a post. Work life has been hectic, and the long weekend prompted a kick ass getaway to Osoyoos. Getting back yesterday, I’m right back into the fray. But while doing the work thing last Friday, I saw my first bear in the wild during my first time ever in Whistler.

Photographers in force

He came across the hill and ventured down the worn in pathway, nibbling on weeds or flowers or something.


This woman was asking for it. She stood there with her back to the bear to get a picture with it in the background. Did she stop there? No, she started to yell “Hey, bear! Look here, bear!” over her shoulder to get the bear to look her way just so she could snap that amazing picture. Better yet, she started backing up about ten feet, pulling her picture taker with her, towards the bear.

Bear strolls down the trail

Black bears don’t get very large, but this one seems like it could grow just a little bit more before it’s fully grown. At least that’s what other people were saying. I haven’t a clue.

Closest Bear Ever

I would say that thirty yards is as close as I got, some folks got closer only because the bear came in that far. After reaching the bottom of the trail, he turned around and went back the way he came. Needless to say, I was pretty amazed. My co-workers flipped when I said that I had never seen a bear before, so everyone came running to make sure I caught him about a hundred yards out. Didn’t think I would be getting as close as I did though.