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Whistler An All Round Destination For Every Man And His Dog

November 23, 2013 Destination North America, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Whistler Mountain one of the most iconic skiing areas in the world has more visitors in summer than winter according to recently release statistics.

Joffre Lakes August 2012Host city for the successful Winter Olympics in 2010 Whistler Blackcomb has turned itself into a popular destination for all seasons.  Aussies flock there in winter and every second person you talk to features the Australian twang. Now that they can get two year working visas, many are staying for summer sessions and stay on to work and play on the winter slopes.

Whistler Tourism has been working tirelessly, to make the place a year round resort. And they’ve been successful – at peak times, summer bed occupancy eclipses winter.

Whistler has more than 2.5 million visitors each year, 1.5 million in summer one million in winter.
“These figures are fantastic” said Donna Campbell, Managing Director Canadian Tourism Commission GSA in Australia.  “It reflects the hard work both Tourism Whistler and the Canadian Tourism Commission have done domestically and internationally. It is not surprising that the mountain trails are popular in summer. There are hikes for all levels, from gentle strolls through the huge timbers of the valley floor, to the alpine peaks, well above the tree line and everything in between.” She said

One of the best of all the hikes is the Joffre Lakes with its three spectacular lakes, the raging torrent of Joffre Creek and the domineering Mt Matier and
its glacier are the best of the Pacific North West. But there’s another reason for its popularity – you can take your

dog. This is most unusual, as British Columbia Parks’ authorities are concerned about adverse interactions with wildlife (this means bears). However, Joffre Lakes is dog friendly and you’ll meet lots of them.

WHISTLER IN WINTERThe trail starts at the unimaginatively named but beautiful Bottom Lake, sapphire blue merging to the green of the reeds at the margins. Even from the starting place, towering above are Mt Joffre and Mt Matier: you can see your destination, 440m above. The trail climbs gently through giant firs and spruces, winding around Bottom Lake, offering unbelievably vistas, the blue of the lake seen through the dark green forest trees. Upward, ever upwards across boulder slopes then back into forest and the trail becomes a steep climb over exposed tree roots and rocks, interspersed with stretches of mud. This continues and first timers you come across on the way up ask, ‘how far are we from Middle Lake?’  Then suddenly the path flattens out and in a few paces, there it is, perhaps even more beautiful than the lower lake especially with the Mt Matier glacier as a backdrop

Around Middle Lake the ascent resumes with the trail running alongside Joffre Creek. To call this a creek is a misnomer, in Australian terms. It is a raging torrent fed by the

melt-water of the glacier. More climbing, with the tumultuous sound of the rushing water of the ‘creek’, never far away. Finally you reach Upper Joffre Lake, where it’s time to throw down the pack and take it all in. It’s called Picnic Point, where the day trippers halt, relax and lunch. Above them is the nose of the glacier, so close with its run-off cascading into the lake. To over- night, it’s a further half kilometre to the camp site. But it’s worth it: right by the lakeside, glacial blue with peaks on three sides and the sound of the ever present falling water. It’s time to kick back and relax,
cook-up, and watch the evening unfold.Whistler Joffres lakes hiker and his dog at top lake

Fog, mist and cloud, invariably meet the dawn. If the day is to be clear, it is quickly burned off and you can begin the final trek above the lake, across the scree, to the glacier. Here is a
fascinating world, the rocks loose and dangerous underfoot, water spray(one degree above freezing) and rainbows everywhere. Unless you’re of the Hillary/Tenzing persuasion, this is the end of the line.

Back to camp, pack up, it’s all downhill. It’s familiar of course and reinforces your ascending impression of its magnificence. You greet hikers on the way up and assure them the next lake is not far.

The Joffre Lakes, all three of them and a hike to the Mt Matier glacier; the Pacific North West – it doesn’t get any better than this.

For more information on Whistler go to www.whistler.com

For information on Canada go to www.canada.travel

Written by:John Savage with Rod Tindall a resident of Whistler.

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