Last night I tried sleeping on top of the blanket accommodation provided and used my throw as a blanket and it was a marked improvement for sleeping. Definitely what I’ll do until I get the mattress protector.
Today I decided to head up Blackcomb to check out the Rendezvous Restaurant I’ll be working in, and then hop on the Peak to Peak Gondola to check out Whistler. However, when I make my way down to Blackcomb’s village, I’m surprised at the sight of a market.
It’s a farmer’s market that runs every Sunday in the summer (at least, I assume it’s summer only), but as it’s a resort town, this is an expensive farmer’s market. Everything looks good, but the clothes and jewellery carry hefty price tags, and the food is a little more gourmet than I’d expect to see. Did spot the Cannoli King stand that I saw at Italian Drive too, so finally managed to get a cannoli.
Once I’d given it a once over, I headed over to the chairlifts. There are multiple ways to get up both mountains, but in the summer only a handful are open. For Blackcomb, the Magic Wizard chairlift is the only option, so I scan my pass and hop on my first chairlift of the season.
It’s a little bit terrifying. I’ve never really done a lot of chairlifts, but the safety bar is only held down by your feet (and I saw quite a few people on my way down the hill who had just let it bounce back up) so it’s kind of nerve wracking when you start getting higher.
It takes some time to make it to the midway stop, where you have to hop onto the next chairlift up to the top of Blackcomb. This lift is a lot steeper, and for today, a lot less picturesque. The cloud is extremely heavy, and it’s hard to see anything. The snow haze is so bad my eyes start burning and I wish I’d remembered to bring my sunglasses. I have to look away to avoid the headache.
However, within ten minutes, I’m looking up at my first sight of the Rendezvous Restaurant on the mountaintop. It’s difficult to see in the haze, but it’s a big building.
I check inside, and I’m really happy to see it’s fairly simplistic inside. I knew it wasn’t fine dining, but the setup looks like it’ll be easy enough to pick up even if I have to swap around stations. I’ll be on the Mexican stand for the first few days, and pretty confident I can pick it up quickly.
There are some things you can see up here, including a glacier, but the weather’s so bad I don’t bother, and instead hop on the Peak to Peak Gondola to go check out Whistler.
The Peak to Peak Gondola is the World Record holder for the highest and longest above ground cable car in the world. It’s also one of the longest and comes with a handful of glass bottomed ones so you can see the land below. I’m not in one of those since I didn’t want to wait and the weather is so bad, the gondola is basically running through cloud. Right up until you get to the valley between the mountains…
This is like being in the worlds weirdest airplane. The clouds are just above your head and the ground below is crystal clear. You can see the forest and the river, and the village in the distance. It’s such a strange place to be.
Then it’s back into the clouds, and five minutes later I arrive on the top of Whistler mountain.
This is the more famous of the two mountains, and you can tell from the top – there’s a lot more to do. There’s hiking, a free tube hill, and the Roundhouse, another restaurant where I’ll be doing some of my training. It’s similar to the Rendezvous, only a lot bigger and with a slightly different menu. I end up having lunch here and using the Wi-Fi, which is ridiculously good for how high we are, before wandering out to check out the tubing.
This is just a small hill still covered in snow with a bunch of inflatable tubes for people to slide down in. It’s completely free and unsupervised, so basic etiquette is involved.
However, as I’m there, I find there are two groups who keep hogging the tubes. I’ve had one shot and handed my tube to a kid whose been waiting, but you’ve got a lot of kids just hanging around trying to have a shot only to be told ‘their friend needs it’ or ‘one more go.’ I end up slipping into the line and asking for a tube to give them to the kids waiting. Inadvertently, I end up starting a line and people start coming up to me asking if I’m responsible for the area. I’m not wearing anything that could look official, but apparently me trying to get people to share tubes makes me the supervisor. I admit I don’t make it any easier when I start yelling at people to ‘move to the left’ when they keep hanging around the bottom and holding up the next lot of tubers.
I get about 4-5 shots before I decide to head on down the mountain. I’ll need to come up when the weather’s nicer to try out the hiking, but for now I’ll just grab the gondola straight down to Whistler village. It does technically stop mid-way, but you’re told just to stay inside and head to the next stop. Again, the weather is pretty miserable and what I can see is lacking, but unlike the chairlift, I’m safe from the elements. Not looking forward to the chairlift in miserable weather.