Rafters by day, Rockstars by night – Wedge Rafting Whitewater Rodeo ’14

If you ever do a summer in Whistler (which you should, it’s beyond amazing), then you NEED to do the Wedge Rafting Whitewater Rodeo. It’s a must. No if’s or but’s about it. I am pretty sure this has been my highlight of the summer so far.

The Rodeo event is split up into 3 time slots- morning, midday and afternoon. There is 6 people in each team – so grab a bunch of mates who are equally as competitive and crazy as you! The rodeo consists of three events. The first is the Sumo-Wrestling, where a girl from your team puts on the rest of the teams life jackets, and wrestles another girl on an upside down raft (we lost that one…). Then there is “Flip the Raft” where all teams jump out of the water, flip the raft over then back again, then all jump back in it. That one we COULD have won if we listened to the instructions properly and brought our raft back to shore (so once again we lost). Then the real fun begins, and you race with the other 11 rafts down the rapids. Hitting other teams with paddles, holding on to their rafts – it’s all part of the fun. This one we didn’t exactly win, but we didn’t lose either so I am counting that as a win.

Then you have a couple of hours to get ready for one of the coolest dress up parties ever. We thought we had done pretty well with our Rockstar outfits, especially when in Whistler you have VERY limited shopping choices. Some teams though were amazing – the team that went as Spaghetti and Meatballs deservedly won that competition!

The party was on Cougar Mountain at the TAG base (The Adventure Group). Free unlimited beer, delicious burgers and a mint DJ – it was the best night! Work first thing the next morning? Not such the best day…

 

 

10 signs you have experienced “Whislife” (aka Whistralia)

1/ There is a ridiculously high chance that at some point you will lose/break your phone.

2/ You will forget how to walk in heels and going clubbing in Vans is the norm.

3/ A flannel shirt will become a wardrobe staple.

4/ If you haven’t experienced Fat Tony’s Pizza at 2am, you haven’t experienced Whistler.

5/ If you thought you were a patient person, you  have obviously never been in a lift line on a powder day.

6/ You thought you had grown past the stage by being impressed with any guy you date who has a car… now you want to be BFFs with anyone that knows someone with a car.

7/ You have also forgotten how to drive a car.

8/ You may think you do not like children, however when you find out how much extra money you can get from babysitting once a week you are suddenly find this new-found love for babies.

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9/ A one way bus ticket to Vancouver is cheaper than having lunch on the mountain.

10/ As much as you complain about the low wages/cost of living, you have realized you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

 

 

Another day, another hike… the Ancient Cedars Trail.

I am pretty proud of myself that in the 2 out of 14 days I have had off recently, I have sent myself off on some pretty stunning (and hard) hikes. My second hike of the summer was the Ancient Cedars Trail. I had read that it was a relatively easy hike, and after walking up the Ice Walls on Whistler mountain a few days before that is exactly what I felt like.

None of us had access to a car, so we decided to catch the bus to Emerald which is the furthest stop we could get to and walk from there. What we didn’t realize, was that it was a 15 minute walk from the bus stop to the bottom of Cougar Mountain where the trail is located, then a 4.5km walk mostly uphill (not too steep though) to the trail entrance. We were already pretty tired by the time we got there! The trail itself was about 5km, half of it being on relatively steep, uneven terrain. We tried to break it up by having plenty of photo stops, however there was a crazy amount of mosquitoes that would swarm us every time we stopped moving. At least that gave us motivation to keep going!

The whole hike took us about 4-4.5 hours, and it would have taken longer if there wasn’t a lovely couple who gave us a lift from near the bottom of Cougar Mountain back into the village. By that time our legs were tired and we were pretty hungry, so we were so grateful for them!

 

I don't really know what face I was pulling here... but the Cedar trees were HUGE!

I don’t really know what face I was pulling here… but the Cedar trees were HUGE!

 

There were a bunch of these little Inukshuks scattered around the place. They were used as a way of communication between Inuits to let each other know that they were on the right path, or that they had been there.

There were a bunch of these little Inukshuks scattered around the place. They were used as a way of communication between Inuits to let each other know that they were on the right path, or that they had been there.

Part of the easier pretty part of the trail

Part of the easier pretty part of the trail

Such a stunning view point along the way!

Such a stunning view-point along the way!

 

The weather for my next couple of days off are looking to be rainy and overcast, so I am glad I got these two hikes in so I don’t feel as bad about spending this weekend relaxing and watching Netflix!

 

First Hike of the Summer! Hiking the Ice Walls on Whistler Mountain

Yesterday I  made it on my first hike of the year!  Most of the hikes to do around Whistler you need to have a car to get to, or wait until July for all the snow to melt away. However the Pikas Traverse Road trail is cleared to make the peak accessible to hikers.

Making the most of my first day off work in 7 days, I decided to do something productive with my day and make the hike up to the peak of Whistler Mountain. A few of my friends had recently done it, and their photos looked awesome so I had to jump on board!

The hike was really challenging for someone with a fitness level like mine. Of course, I just used the excuse of taking photos every few minutes to have breather breaks. Which is a fair enough excuse with views like these!

 

The Ice Walls that line the path up the mountain

The Ice Walls that line the path up the mountain

 

That awkward moment when you really don't know how to pose...

That awkward moment when you really don’t know how to pose…

 

Those views though...

Those views though…

The steep 2.3k hike up was all worth it when we had this view!

The steep 2.3k hike up was all worth it when we had this view!

 

For more information on this hike, check out:    http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/summer-activities/hiking-trails-and-sightseeing.aspx

 

My New Obsession – An Idiot Abroad

 

A few days ago I discovered an amazing away to pass by time while I am too poor to do much- I found out how to get U.S Netflix in Canada! Social life = over. While browsing the huge selection of Movies/TV Shows/Documentaries, I stumbled upon An Idiot Abroad in the Reality TV section. I have always thought there is a pretty serious lack of travel-related reality TV that is fun, inspiring and  not so serious. When I saw Ricky Gervais was one of the producers, I knew it had to be good.

The series is about Karl Pilkington – a sheltered, very opinionated guy who has never had any desire to step outside of his comfort zone to explore the world. He’s like the friend all of us travelers have who just cannot understand why we get excited by trying new foods, trying to communicate in other languages or seeing how the other half live. As Stephen Merchant (the other producer) says, he wants Karl to experience other cultures and to see if in any way it can change how he sees the world. Or in Ricky Gervais’s case – “I want him to hate it. I want him to hate every moment of it, for my own amusement.”

From eating Goats Eyes, to being kidnapped in Israel, to Kung Fu training in China, there is not a shortage of laughs or adventures in each episode. Each episode so far has had me in hysterics pretty much half the time! It can be a little offensive to some cultures/religions but as long as you don’t take it to seriously you can’t help but love it (except maybe the part of the episode in India when monks are doing yoga butt naked and you see things you wish you had never seen).

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