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Hiking on Blackcomb

September 5th, 2009 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

A few weeks ago we came to Whistler and rode the Peak to Peak gondola which runs between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.

When we got to Blackcomb we had done the quick Alpine Walk trail, which is a 60 minute loop we ended up completing in about 20 minutes. We had an appointment in the village so that’s about all we could do however John spotted a few other trails he wanted to conquer.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Yesterday we set out on Blackcomb and headed over to the Overlord Trail, which branches off from the Alpine Walk. It’s longer, some parts are more steep, and the views are equally breathtaking.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Since it rained that morning everything was glistening and you could smell the alpine vegetation as it dried out.

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

We didn’t spot any bear but we did find some grouse as well as a marmot that was sunning himself on a big boulder.

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

We reached our peak at Blackcomb Lake and looped back towards the lifts. It took us about 45 minutes to get out that far and if we had more time (the lifts shut down at 5pm in the summer) we would have kept going once again.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk

We’re heading back home today on the train and as always, I wish our stay would last a bit longer. Blackcomb keeps us wanting more and more each time we venture across its alpine trails, which I suppose is a good thing. It gets us out and about while exploring more of the region.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

We haven’t gone over to Whistler Village at all this trip as we’re staying on Blackcomb as well. It’s been really nice (thank goodness the rain stayed away an extra day) and I’m glad we got to spend more time on this side.

If you’d like to head to Whistler, visit my previous post to see how you can enter to win 2 round trip passes on the Whistler Mountaineer.

Whistler Mountaineer Train Ride

September 4th, 2009 @ 7:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning we woke up at dawn to head to the Rocky Mountaineer / Whistler Mountaineer train station in North Vancouver.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

I haven’t been on a big train since I took a commuter to Salem with my mom when I lived in Boston. Before that, I rode on the Royal Hudson when I was wee.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

When we set out from the station we glided through the backyards of West Vancouver, spotting mega tree houses and unique views of the city.

Glacier Dome Car Glacier Dome Car

A tradition on the train is to have a toast when we set out on our journey. Mimosas at 8:30am were followed by a fresh fruit plate and then a full breakfast, which was delicious.


Along the way our hosts highlighted points of interest and let us know when we could wander to the observation car (which was built in 1914).

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Horseshoe Bay Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler Squamish

Below the Sea to Sky and above Howe Sound, we slinked smoothly through tunnels, over bridges, and across roads.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

The journey was so lovely and the hospitality was superb. I instantly fell in love with train travel.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The Whistler Mountaineer takes about 3 hours to get up to Creekside but it’s the most relaxing and scenic trip you’ll make between Vancouver and Whistler. You can book round trips, take the train one way (and fly or drive back), and day trips are also possible, giving you a few hours in the village before returning home.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

From the station in Whistler we were whisked away by motorcoach directly to our hotel where we checked in and went exploring (I’ll have a seperate post about our afternoon adventures). I’m looking forward to our trip back home tomorrow but in the meantime, you can check out all of my photos from the train on Flickr and John has some amazing shots in a set as well.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I am pleased to announce that Whistler Mountaineer would like one of my readers to experience this as well. They’re offering 2 round trip passes in the Glacier Dome car (where we rode today) valid at the end of this season or next year. If you would like to see all this for yourself simply leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link including @miss604 and @rmountaineer.

Update: There was such a great response to this contest, I’d like to thank all 167 participants however I have just drawn one winner…. and that is Coach T.I.A. – congratulations!

Mud Run Ride in North Vancouver

September 3rd, 2009 @ 3:46pm (PT) by Guest Author

The following guest post has been contributed by Jane Victoria King.

Not that I really enjoy basking in the mud, but being I’m always up for a challenge and am open to trying out new adventures, I signed up for a team building adventure race known today as the Mud Run Ride (formerly the Mud n’Bud, and before that Muddy Buddy Canada). The new owners, Double Deuce Events are a fun group of guys that do all sorts of events. And let me tell you, this was crazy FUN.

When I arrived at Inter River Park in North Vancouver early on Saturday morning, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes I received a text message from my teammate, Shawn saying she’d be there at 9:20 a.m. The race was due to start at 10 a.m. and we were using Shawn’s bike. Since I had never done the race before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. All I knew was we shared a bike. One of us runs while the other bikes, you switch a couple times and there’s some mystery challenges in between. Oh, and you have to wear the bike helmet at all times while on the bike.

Thursday Morning Link Fest: Things to See and Do

September 3rd, 2009 @ 11:06am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr

Labour Day weekend will soon be upon us which means an end to the PNE, wearing white will be taboo, and calendars will soon be filling up with social media related events for the new season.

I admit the title of this post reminds me of Real Life Twitter… but regardless, here is this week’s Link Fest.

Neat things:

  • BCIT will be offering an iPhone application development course this year
  • The Vancouver Adaptive Music Society has recently launched their Music Saves project
  • The “must have fashion accessory that has a message” is the F* Cancer bracelet
  • The Vancouver Aquarium now offers a 4D movie experience
  • Events:

  • Tickets for Twestival are now on sale. Meet up with Vancouver’s Twitter population on September 12th all proceeds will benefit the BC Childrens Hospital
  • Launch Party is returning to showcase the best in local apps, games, and online tools September 16th at Circa
  • The monthly Third Tuesday meetup will be happening on Thursday September 17th at Canvas Lounge. Shel Isreal is the guest speaker as he is currently on a cross-Canada tour promoting his book: Twitterville
  • The Chan Centre at UBC presents Live Sessions series with Hey Ocean! on September 17th
  • Timeraiser is a fundraiser / volunteer event happening September 24th at the Roundhouse in Yaletown
  • The Niapele Project is hosting a fundraiser at Raw Canvas in Yaletown on September 24th as well
  • Singer/songwriter Marla Guloien will be playing a show at the Planetarium (aka the HR MacMillan Space Centre) on September 25th
  • Finally just a friendly reminder that the BC SPCA’s Paws for a Cause walk takes place the weekend of September 12-13th. There are about 10 locations in the Lower Mainland for the pet-friendly walk and good folks like my friend Keira have been fundraising for months to support the SPCA.

    Vancouver History: Before and After Photos Part Four

    September 2nd, 2009 @ 11:56am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This is now the fourth week of my Vancouver then and now photo series thanks to the resources available at the City of Vancouver Archives. To celebrate what’s left of summer in the city alongside the launch of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, the theme this week is beaches.

    English Bay

    Photo credit: Private Collection


    Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr


    Photo credit: Royal Canadian Air Force


    Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr

    Second Beach

    Photo credit: Major Matthews Collection


    Photo credit: worldofjan on Flickr

    Kits Beach

    Photographer: Stuart Thomson


    Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr

    Should you have any theme suggestions for next week, please drop me a note in the comments of this post.

    Just Singin' Round

    September 2nd, 2009 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    For the past 11 years, on the first Tuesday of every month, something really neat has been taking place at the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park. Just Singin’ Round is a monthly singer/songwriter showcase put on by the Synergy Foundation. They have professionals, amateurs, first-timers, and family bands who call come together and the best part is that each month, a local non-profit is supported.

    Yesterday every cause they have supported this year benefited from the fundraising and I was a guest of the Developmental Disabilities Association (who was the cause of choice in June). For just $25 you can come to the Rowing Club, have a nice meal (including salad, dinner, dessert) and be entertained by the showcase.

    Performances last night included: Care Smith, Karen Larson, Piper McKinnon, Coco Love Alcorn, Yvonne McSkimming, Mark James Fortin, and Beverley Elliott.

    Causes supported during the 2009 season are: NSDRC North Shore Disability Resource Centre, VASS Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, Developmental Disabilities Association, West Coast Assistance Teams PAWS, Canadian Society for Mucopolysaccharide (MPS), Living Through Loss Counselling Society of BC (LTLC), Acorns 8 Oaks Daycare, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, and The Cascadia Society.

    You can find information about purchasing tickets or reserving a table for next month’s performance online, and they have been known to sell out very quickly.

    The Uptown CCMA Blogger Gift Lounge

    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA’s) are coming to Vancouver and we need some bloggers to help capture the events of this star-studded evening. I will be in the exclusive, invitation-only Gift Lounge at GM Place on September 13th thanks to the Uptown Giftbox Company and I’m looking for a small group of bloggers to join me.

    Jessie Farrell – Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    As the official producer of this backstage party Gabrielle Durning, the driving force behind this West Coast company, has created the hottest ticket in town. The selected bloggers will have access to the lounge where there will be food, entertainment, on-site services, and tons of swag. There is a long list of VIP invites for artists, musicians (like Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and the Awards host Jason Priestley) and media that will be stopping by as well. Bloggers will be stationed in the gift lounge to live blog, take photos, Tweet, and share the experience through social media.

    The best part is that once the ceremonies wrap up, each blogger will be able to leave with their own Uptown Giftbox prize pack which they can donate to the approved charity of their choice.

    So far this year I have liveblogged everything from the opera to the Juno Awards so this should be another exciting event to be a part of — and I can even give a little bit back to a local cause while I’m at it. The one and only Erica Ehm will also be the official host of the Lounge and I was lucky enough to hang out with her for a bit at a Tweetup a few months ago.

    To be considered for one of the Uptown CCMA Blogger Lounge positions, you simply need to write a blog post on your own site mentioning this offer. Please link back here to ensure we can see your entry and also include a link to Uptown Giftbox who will be running the gift lounge. We’ll select the team for the CCMA Blogger Lounge on Wednesday September 9th.

    Update: The bloggers who will join me in the lounge are Heather, Erin, Kristi, Cole, and Stimuli e-Mag.

    Operas and Arias Bard on the Beach Giveaway

    September 1st, 2009 @ 10:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    As the Bard on the Beach season rolls into its final month, a special Operas and Arias performance is just beginning.

    operas arias
    Photo credit: David Blue

    Fresh from their performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Prague and Ontario, UBC Opera Ensemble, directed by Nancy Hermiston, will perform an in-concert staging of this fun-filled romantic opera. Members of Vancouver Opera Orchestra, conducted by Leslie Dala, will accompany this talented cast of rising opera stars.

    The performances (three nights only) will take place in the main Bard on the Beach tent with the Pacific Ocean and local mountains as the backdrop. Tickets are $32 (matinee), $35 (evening), but you can win a pair of tickets for the either the performance on September 7th or September 8th. To enter, simply leave a comment or re-tweet this post.

    Update: The contest is now closed & I just drew Lori‘s name. Congratulations & thanks to everyone for entering.