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Just because the snow's melted, doesn't mean you can't cool down in Whistler. Try these warm-weather activities for a really refreshing perspective
Whistler may be known as the ultimate cold weather destination, but in the warmer months, the mountain resort transforms into a summer adventure oasis where tearing down mountains on two wheels and dipping into glacier-fed lakes are only the most obvious ways to keep cool.
So if cooling off is on your agenda, head to the very region known for its coolness for these warm weather experiences that’ll give you a chill.
Standing triumphant atop the Whistler Mountain glacier bowl, it’s hard not to survey the landscape below in absolute awe. Not only are you climbing through icy snow in the middle of summer, but you’re at the peak of Whistler Mountain, clawing your way to the top with an ice pick. But don’t let the sheer magnitude of the task deter you from trying it. It’s easier than it sounds, and worth every bit of effort.
Whistler Alpine Guides will outfit you with boots and an ice pick, and lead you up a safe, two-hour trek to the tip of the glacier bowl, where you’ll experience a scene of unparallelled beauty – sprawling mountain ranges topped with sparkling white snow, and directly below, a curved valley of snow and ice dipping into a series of descending peaks. It’s by far the coolest place to be in Whistler, in every sense of the word.
Whistler’s many glacier-fed lakes offer the perfect respite from the heat. But if you’d rather experience the cool lake breeze without dipping into its icy waters, try paddleboarding. Nita Lake is the perfect venue for an easy paddle — it’s small, calm and has a launching dock located right next to Nita Lake Lodge. Book a lesson with the trainers at Innovative Fitness or check out Sea to Sky Kiteboading for their paddleboarding programs.
Afterward, head to The Fix Cafe in Nita Lake Lodge for a post-paddleboarding cup of steamy hot chocolate (if you do fall in and need to warm up) or fuel up on its delicious home-baked treats. Better yet, book a room at the gorgeous resort and spend a weekend there.
Hoards of mountain bikers head to Whistler every summer for the thrill of flying head-first down a mountain sans snow, and if you’re looking for a cool breeze, this is an ideal way to feel the wind in your hair while you enjoy the outdoors on a hot day.
Start with a Bike Park 101 lesson if you’re new to mountain biking. An instructor will show you how to brake, turn and ride over bumps before taking you down a beginner trail. As you get comfortable, you’ll soon be eyeing the moguls on adjacent trails and yearning for a little more air.
The Pan Pacific Hotel, right at the base of the mountain, offers a Peddle and Pamper package, so when you’re done bumping and jumping your way down the mountain, you can reward your efforts with some well-deserved pampering.
When you’re ready to relax, peel off your workout wear and pour yourself into one of the many hot tubs and steam rooms at the Scandinave Spa. But don’t worry about getting too hot – when you need to cool down, a quick dip in one of the cold pools or refreshing waterfalls at the Nordic-style spa will do the trick instantly.
This hydrotherapy approach of alternating hot and cold water calms the body, relieves stress and improves circulation. When it’s time to dry off, look for the hammocks at the top of the hill and hide away for an easy breezy nap.
Sometimes there’s no better way to cool down than with a flight of sub-zero drinks. For a unique, and very cool drinking experience, head to the Bearfoot Bistro‘s Belvedere Ice Room.
There you’ll be outfitted with an Arctic-worthy parka before stepping into the -32 degree Celcius vodka room, the coldest in the world, and home to more than 50 labels. By the time you’ve savoured your flight of four, you’ll be ready for a warm meal. Stick around the Bearfoot for a meal to remember courtesy of chef Melissa Craig. And if, by the end of your dinner, you’re all warmed up again, ask for the table-side homemade ice cream.
Hot days call for cool drinks, but if you’d like to skip the parka-clad sipping and go straight to easy drinking, try one of the myriad chilled libations served up around Whistler, like the light and fruity white sangria at Nita Lake Lodge’s Aura Restaurant. An accompanying breeze off the lake makes it all the more refreshing.
For some serious cocktail culture, Alta Bistro is the place to be. Handcrafted cockails with house-made syrups and bitters will refresh, but the secret’s in the high-density ice that chills without diluting. Try one of the barrel-aged cocktails for a truly unique taste.