It feels strange to write about a Winter escape on the West Coast because Winter in Vancouver means rain and Cherry Blossoms in February. That doesn’t really scream Winter escape to me but just 1.5 hours from Vancouver is a Winter Wonderland that tens of thousands flock to every year. I can only be talking about Whistler, BC. Westcoast Winter weather is so mild in comparison to the East Coast, especially the last few years, it means that being outdoors and active is a 365 day possibility. Yet some of us, me included, use Winter as an excuse to stay indoors and hibernate. Well, four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield and Land Rover Canada think we should HiberNOT and are going to help me get off the couch and onto the slopes into the snow. It’s a a road trip to Whistler adventure.
Step 1 Begin. I begin by getting off the couch for a meet and greet with Simon Whitfield here in Vancouver, perhaps some of his athleticism and energy will rub off on me and inspire me to get out. If I had 10% of his energy and drive, well let’s just say I could eat whatever I wanted to.
Ya I’ve got to say I’m inspired.
Step 2 Transportation. To get to Whistler and begin this Hibernot adventure I have to thank my friends at Land Rover for providing the means to get out of the city. I meet the Land Rover team at a local hotel in Downtown Vancouver where I get suited up and handed the keys to the first Land Rover Discovery Sport in Canada. Every Road Trip adventure is better when shared with friends and joining me on this Hibernot adventure are Kate Legresley, Randa Salloum and Joshua Langston. Oh Lord I see some antics on the mountain in my future.
Step 3 Drive. I’ve driven a lot of cars in my life but so far nothing comes close to the feeling of luxury that Land Rover offers. Perhaps it’s because I watch so much British TV but for me Land Rover is the vehicle of the Gentleman Farmer, aka Land Barons and Nobility, and now I’m driving one! Talk about smooth… I’m not sure I can adequately describe what it feels like to drive a Land Rover other than it’s fun. Having all that power at your foot combined with the smoothness of the drive makes you feel like you could conquer any terrain from the parking lot at Walmart to off-roading to reach your weekend cottage in the woods.
In no time we’ve left Vancouver behind and arrive at the first stop, Porteau Cove. I have fond memories of camping here one summer with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins and so when I get the chance I love to show it off especially if the people I’m with have never been here. Did You Know that Porteau Cove is home to a manmade reef and has two sunken vessels that make it an ideal spot for Scuba Divers?
Back on the road we go and in no time at all we are in Whistler. From door to door it was about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Step 4 Get Active. Our first stop in Whistler is the Coca Cola Tube Park, yes we are going snow tubing. Correction, we were supposed to go tubing but something happened and it was not open. Oh well, spontaneity is my middle name so after a quick huddle we decide on Plan B, a ride up to the top of Whistler and then the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Before we leave though I can’t resist attempting to make a snow angel.
A quick switch of our tickets and we are up to the top of Whistler Mountain. I’ve done the Peak 2 Peak many times but it’s always been in the Summer so this is a first for me. Up, up we go. We’ve had such a warm winter there is no snow in Whistler Village but once we start “climbing” the mountain all we see is snow.
At the top of the mountain it’s Winter and there is no escaping it. Through all the skiers and snowboarders we transfer to the Peak 2 Peak Gondola and off we go over Fitzsimmons Creek to Blackcomb Mountain. Visibility is a bit low today but there is no mistaking that it’s Winter in Whistler Village when you travel between the two mountains. As we cross Fitzsimmons Creek we see a couple of Dog Sledding teams racing through the trails. Unfortunately we were too high for a decent photo.
After hanging out at the top of Whistler Mountain for a bit it’s time to return to the Village for some lunch.
Step 5 Nourish. Lunch is a real treat and way beyond what I would normally enjoy when I day trip in Whistler. Today we are dining at one of the Four Season’s Private Residences with our lunch prepared by their very own Exec Chef Tory Martindale. To warm up with it’s a cup of hot cocoa which I enjoyed on the balcony overlooking the Village and Forests. Then it was delicious 4 course lunch that consisted of Heirloom Tomato and Basil Soup, Citrus Poached Pemberton Beet & Arugula Salad, Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Scallion Potato Rosti and a Vanilla Panna Cotta with Citrus and Passion Fruit Salad. Delicious and oh so decadent. Very Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.
Step 6 Return home. It’s time to return to Vancouver but this time I’m taking the Range Rover Evoque back. I think I’m spoiled for driving other vehicles for a while. All in all this day adventure only lasted for 9 hours from start to finish yet it felt like I’d been away for an entire weekend. I feel energized and my cheeks have a little ruddiness to them thanks to all the fresh air. It’s easy to sink into the couch when the weather outside sucks but the rewards for getting out and Hibernotting are many.
Thanks to Land Rover Canada for this great experience and for getting me off the couch for a great day in Whistler.
Full disclosure this adventure was fully funded by Land Rover however the opinions are my own, as are the photos, and I was not paid for this story.