Friday, March 14, 2014

Whistler Never-Ever Days - Snowboarding Lessons

One of the joys of living in Vancouver is that we are so close to the mountains, it's never more than a few hours drive to go up. Yet I never go, though I have always wanted to try skiing or snowboarding. The opportunity came when Whistler offered a special rate for Never Ever Days a week ago for people who wanted to learn how to snowboard. An instructor, rentals, lift tickets and a beer was included in the package for a mere $25! J and I jumped at the chance, as we were planning to head up to Whistler soon anyways. We packed our bags and took the Greyhound up to Whistler on Friday night and settled in at the Cascade Lodge.

The Inukshuk right outside Whistler Village.

We had an early 8:30 start on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty terrible, with rain and wet snow throughout the day. With 100 people per day, everyone was split into groups of four with one instructor. Our instructor's name was Andy, who came from the UK to work (and snowboard) in Whistler. After we grabbed our gear, we took the lift up to the learning area, where we learned how to put the bindings on our snowboarding boots and practiced shuffling around with the board strapped to one foot. It was hard work! We finally got to practice runs down the little hill, and boy was I terrible!! I couldn't stand up once my bindings were on. :(

Trying to stay upright!
A successful day of lessons with instructor, Andy.
We took a lunch break at the Garibaldi Lift Co before having to don our cold and wet gear again and head back up the mountain. We all practiced runs again for a little bit. The lesson ended at 2 when J and I took the lift down the mountain with Andy to get our free beer at the GLC. We chatted for a bit and finally headed back to the hotel to peel off our wet clothes and take a hot shower!   

Pulled pork and pineapple flatbread. A nice hot meal to warm up!

We went to Earls for dinner and went to Cows for dessert. I've been wanting to go to Cows since I went on a Whistler trip with band when I was in grade 9 and missed out! It didn't disappoint! I chose two flavours: Messie Bessie (chocolate ice cream, moo crunch, oreo cookie, english toffee) and Brownie Explosion (vanilla ice cream, chocolate marble and brownie pieces).

The next day we headed out and walked around the village for a bit, since it was a gorgeous day. We decided to try cross-country skiing. The scenery on the walk to the Lost Lake was  beautiful!

I have only been cross-country skiing once when I was in grade 5, and I don't remember it being so hard! I was definitely just shuffling along like an old grandma. I stayed in the tracks and managed not to fall until the end where I tumbled down a hill! Luckily there was someone coming the other way to help me up! It was a beautiful area and made me want to stay up at Whistler.

J and I grabbed some coffee afterwards, when it started raining. Perfect timing! We got some food afterwards and the BG Grill and then we explored the village. There were still signs of the 2010 Winter Olympics that happened in Whistler with the Olympic and Paralympic rings displayed at the edge of the village.

We chilled out at McD's and Starbucks until 7:30 when the Fire and Ice Show was happening. Every Sunday night, they build a snow ramp and light a ring of fire. Then some of the staff at work at Whistler will do tricks on their snowboards and skis. It was pretty amazing to watch and made me want to try snowboarding again. Unfortunately we could not stay for the entire show since we had to catch our bus back into Vancouver, but we did see some of the fireworks on our way out!

It was definitely a very strenuous but fun weekend getaway at Whistler. I definitely would want to go back and take more snowboarding lessons. It just looks so cool! Maybe next season. Be on the look out for Never Ever Days yourself next year!

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