Thursday morning brought a good amount of snow and made for some beautiful scenery. After breakfast I got dressed to go snowshoe hiking and Carrie stayed back to pack for the journey home.
I headed off to Whistler Mountain, riding halfway up the gondola to pick up the snowshoes, and quickly learned of the challenge ahead of me. Not from the tour guide, but from the fact that I was already out of breath from just climbing up this little hill. Thoughts of “what was I THINKING?” were going through my head. But peer pressure makes people do crazy things, and I wasn’t about to be the person who chickened out before we even got to the beginning of the journey, so I pressed on.
Once we got our snow shoes from the storage area, we got back on the gondola and finished our journey up Whistler Mountain. Once at the top, we put on our snow shoes (all right, I received help), had our group picture taken (evidence of which will STAY in Whistler), and started on our way.
Let me just point out here that the first thing our tour guide did after she taught us how to correctly use the snow shoes was to shout out, “Ok everyone, let’s do a quick warm-up!” This consisted of jogging uphill on our toes for a while, ostensibly to, I guess, “warm up!” I was not warmed up. I was huffing and puffing. This was a signal of things to come, and I knew it! I was questioning if what I was about to see was beautiful enough to risk days of sore muscles and sheer exhaustion. Apparently it was, because I continued on.
We went on our way to our trail, and it seemed rather odd to me that, no matter which direction we were going, it seemed it was always uphill. Well, it FELT like we were always going up hill! Then I noticed with each step that my feet were going deeper and deeper into the snow. As I mentioned earlier, it had snowed quite a bit the night before, and being 7160 feet above sea level (probably 5000 feet above Whistler Village), snow doesn’t have as far to travel to reach the ground.
Yes, there was a lot of snow.
Not-yet-groomed DEEEEEEEP snow!
Talk about being a trail blazer! We were it! I, of course, was in the back of the line of the 6 of us, so as to further pack down the trail. Let me tell you, hiking through new, deep snow and having to lift your feet up high with each step is hard. Snow is heavy. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t keep up. I was exhausted! Remember fresh, new, knee-deep snow? A LOT of it?
Fortunately, we had 2 tour guides for the 4 of us, so I received my own personal tour guide with my own personal tour (an abbreviated one, at that) and the 3 in-shape show shoe hikers continued on the normal tour with the other guide.
We met back up near the end of the hike for some hot chocolate and homemade granola bars and then headed to the gondola. Fortunately we took the groomed ski trails (again uphill) back to the gondola. Then we rode down, brought our snowshoes back, and finished the ride down.
When I got back, Carrie was in the lobby waiting for me. We went back up to the room, changed, and went directly to the hot tub. After that, we went back into Whistler Village to go shopping. We found some good bargains at the Olympic Store and got Carrie a necklace with an Ammolite stone. These stones can only be found in Canada, so Carrie was thrilled to come across it.
We headed back and got dressed for dinner. The 4 areas had dinner in Whistler Village at 4 different restaurants. We went with the Midwest Area group to a restaurant called Quattro. We got to meet some couples from Michigan and Indiana. We had a very nice time at dinner. Then we were bussed back to the hotel for an after dinner party. Once all 4 groups were back, Dan Mead spoke briefly and then they showed a video of the week’s events and people. It was a very enjoyable time. We headed up to our room, and there were 2 framed photos on our bed. One was of Carrie and I that was taken on Tuesday night before the awards ceremony, and one was of the 50 Midwest Area winners, also taken before Tuesday’s awards ceremony. It was a great way to end a great week!
More next time,