Whistler, Canada Year 2: Faster, Better, Stronger

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but… what the heck. I’m damn proud of my improved snowboarding skills, and this year’s trip to Whistler (one year apart from the first trip) proved it.

I pushed myself to ride faster, and I was able to do it with more control and ease. I took fewer breaks on the mountain too, which put me in the zone.

Last year vs. This year

Taking a break before embarking on a massive run.

Last year, my mission was simple. Hang on and don’t die. The mountain is tricky, it has hilly areas that flatten out without warning, and those pesky and sometimes icy narrow trails really scared the shit out of me.

The narrow trails made it hard to slow down, especially when other skiers and boarders whizzed past you. Let’s not forget my S-turn capabilities were quite limited, and I caught many an edge.

Me n’ Gina. Blackcomb in the background!

So, when you’re hyper-focused on survival and your goal is to make it down the mountain in one piece, it’s hard to stop and smell the flowers along the way. Besides the gorgeous, snow-capped views that smack you in the face (in a good way of course), I wasn’t paying attention to trails and what the runs looked like.

This year was different. I soaked it all in. I was more mindful of the runs and the landscape. Which ones I liked, which ones I didn’t, stuff like that. It’s something that advanced riders probably take for granted. Since I’m not as familiar with Whistler, it was fun to explore.

Northstar, I know like the back of my hand! (Toot toot.)

Whistler weather in January

Most days sort of looked like this. Where’s the sun?!

This year’s Canadian trip was five days long. We rode every day except for the last day, which was the only time when the weather was actually sunny.

Whistler is one of my favorite places to snowboard, but my only gripe is that I wish it was just a little sunnier. Each day started off pretty gloomy, but it snowed almost every day, which meant fresh powder!

We did a pretty good job of sticking together on the mountain.

The weather was definitely more dramatic than Tahoe (maybe in the 20s-30s), but warmer than Breck. The lack of sun made it feel colder. I doubled up on my inner layers.

Enjoying the village, after eating a $30 monster plate of nachos!

Even though it was rainy, we took advantage of the village and walked, shopped and ate. The food was so delicious. From the fast-food style taco joints to their sushi restaurant, every single meal was incredible. That’s a bold statement to make for any trip, much less a ski trip!

MLK = drunk college kids

I learned that every year on MLK’s birthday, college kids from all over come to Whistler to get drunk and party their asses off at the village. Because… the birthday of a historic civil rights leader should be an excuse to party. Amirite?

After a few days of quiet (we arrived on a Thursday), the weekend got loud. The bars with outdoor space turned into day clubs, with crazy long lines to get in.

And I must say… nothing makes you feel older than walking past a semi-drunk crowd of raging college kids, ready to get completely shitfaced.

And nothing makes you feel glad that you’re older than seeing a half-naked girl in platforms partaking in the walk of shame in the wee hours of the morning… in 20-degree weather.

Even with all the craziness from the college kids, I loved this year’s trip and had such a blast! I hereby deem it as a snowboarding tradition.

The view of Blackcomb from Whistler.
Hello, Vancouver! Only 2.5 hours away from Whistler.

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