This summer a few of my good friends and I planned on taking a ski trip to Whistler, BC in the winter. We started our nursing careers together in Colorado Springs, but over the past couple of years we have been living in different places around the state and the country. It’s only right that we have a reunion, we thought, and what better place for it than an international world-class ski resort that we’ve never been to?
The excitement for the trip as well as the members of our party increased as our Colorado ski season yielded very little snow while British Columbia was getting dumped on. Whistler was reporting 940 cm (that’s like 30 ft!) of snowfall so far this season by the time we left.
We ended up leaving the Denver airport with 13 people for a long day of travel at 6:00 AM on a Thursday. We got to ride in our own chartered shuttle bus from Vancouver to Whistler, which was a gorgeous drive along the Strait of Georgia and through Squamish, BC, where we stopped to purchase 700 Canadian Dollars in groceries for “family meals” (double that for beer and liquor). By about 5:00pm PST we arrived in Whistler to our AirBnBs, and Joe promptly asked a very important question to the group while cracking open a case of Molson’s: “Wanna shotgun?”
Vacation was underway.
Our ski condo was idyllic, complete with a hot tub, icicles hanging from the edges of the roof, and a panoramic view of the pair of mountains that make up the Whislter-Blackcomb Resort. We met there every night for a group meal and to drink and reminisce about our days of skiing, but we spent most of our time on the mountain and in Whistler Village.
The terrain on the resort was insane. We quickly got above treeline to find couloirs, cliffs, and boulders. Not to mention, the visibility could change in an instant with the seemingly incessant snow the mountains received, even within our 5-day stay. It was a dream discovering new lines, whether they were on exposed mountain faces, through thick evergreens, or on wide groomers. Plus, we usually got to end our day by skiing top-to-bottom for a 45+ minute, nearly 6,000 ft descent.
After long days of skiing, we enjoyed meeting at the bars in the village for après. French for “after-ski”, après has become synonymous with skier’s “happy hour”. Our group of 13 could usually start an afternoon party at a bar, if there wasn’t already one going on. We listened to music, made conversation with the mostly Australian waitstaff, drank Ceasar’s (Canadian Bloody Marys), and ate a lot of poutine. A LOT of poutine.
On Sunday, I ditched the group to go on a long, snowy run circumnavigating the area around the resort to take in some of the trails and lakes and see the beautiful homes of Whistler. It was a great morning, and it was really nice to get some solitude on a weekend morning that would have otherwise been spent among crowds.
Our group had so much fun, and we all left together without anyone dying from a skiing accident (though we had some close calls) or alcohol poisoning, so I would say it was a success.
For me, now it’s back to work and reality. However, being blessed to live on the edge of the Colorado Rockies, it won’t be long before my next mountain adventure.
As for the group, we should probably wait at least a year to do something like this again. If we do, don’t worry, you’ll hear about it.