A Short, Wet Trip Up Whistler Mountain
Long-term Parking snow-grooming equipment parked for the summer, at the top of a mountain -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Long-term Parking
snow-grooming equipment parked for the summer, at the top of a mountain

The first day of our trip to Whistler (in British Columbia, Canada) a couple of weeks ago was beautifully sunny, but arriving sort of late, we didn't do much but appreciate our great room at the hotel. The second day was mostly overcast, but we got in a nice bike ride, some kid play for Anthony, and a walk around Whistler Village.

It rained all day on our final day. We had some time to kill between checking out of the hotel and the train ride home, so we took the 25-minute gondola ride to the top of Whistler Mountain.

Many people told us how super amazingly beautiful it was up there on a nice day, but on a rainy day, well, the lady at the ticket counter told us the conditions at the top with a “do you really want to do this?” look. We had the time to kill, so we did....

Ready to Board -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/50 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Board

The luge, bobsled, toboggan, (are any of these real sports?) and the downhill ski events for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held here, but in the summer, it's a mecca for downhill mountain bikers.

Two Bikers Ready to Hit the Slopes -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/10 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Bikers Ready to Hit the Slopes

There were lots of mountain bikers, but few tourists like us. The attendant cleaned the seats of our gondola before we got in.

The gondolas were steamed up on the inside, and covered with rain splatter on the outside, so there was essentially no view. What would have certainly been beautiful on a nice day was left to our imagination. I tried to take a few shots through the foggy windows, and here's one from early on (320 meters above, and 1.3km away from the start) that actually came out much better than I would have expected.

Looking Back -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back

By pushing the “Black Level” in Lightroom up to the max, much of the fogginess went away, and as a result, more detail can be seen in the photo than we could see at the time.

The caption I used for the photo above – “Looking Back” – is pretty boring, but the best I could come up with. I realize now that I used the same caption for the same kind of photo that appeared on my post about a visit up to Mt. Misen on the Japanese island of Miyajima. I guess I'm predictable.

Anyway, the lift goes up for 10 minutes, then goes slowly through a station where mountain bikers get off, to go get muddy as they careen down the mountain trial. We stayed in, and continued for another 15 or so minutes to the top.

Conditions were miserable up at the top – no view, cold temperatures just above freezing, raining, with a fairly strong wind – and we had only a short time before we had to turn around and head back for the train. There is, however, a very nice lodge, so Fumie and Anthony stayed inside while I ventured out.

Because of the rain, I had an umbrella, and a FotoSharp camera raincoat on my Nikon D200.

The top of the mountain was, as one might expect, fairly bleak. Lots of rocks. It reminded me a lot of New Hampshire's Mt. Washington, which I climbed when I was in grad school, except that there's much more wind there. (Wherever you are, you can say that Mt. Washington is more windy. It's the windiest known place on earth.)

One big difference here is that there is a lot of ski-slope equipment parked for the summer....

Parked for the Summer -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/180 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Parked for the Summer
Blade and Extra Treads -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Blade and Extra Treads

Those coiled up treads are, of course, the answer to last week's What am I? post.

Half a mile from where the gondolas drop you off, the Horstman Glacier starts. I thought I'd walk over to it, but the wind and rain made for slow going, and I never actually made it before I had to rush back for the train. I snapped a few pictures, instead.

Small Mountaintop Glacier shrouded in clouds and rain -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Mountaintop Glacier
shrouded in clouds and rain
Again with some mountain flowers -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Again
with some mountain flowers
Looking Back Toward the Drop-Off the lodge is just visible at the very right edge -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/60 sec, f/10, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back Toward the Drop-Off
the lodge is just visible at the very right edge
This is About as Close as I Got -- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
This is About as Close as I Got

I was just 130m from the first bit of ice, but the 260m round trip would have taken more time than I could afford. As it was, I literally ran back to the lodge to make it on time. (Running downhill is much faster than running uphill, but comes with its own challenges).

In the end, there were no great views, but it was a fun side excursion anyway.


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

We’re native Vancouverites, and took the family up the mountain a few weeks ago in better weather. Here are our pictures, including spotting a bear on the trip up.

— comment by Derek K. Miller on September 5th, 2008 at 2:04pm JST (9 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

If that’s the place I think it is, the second picture, with Anthony in front of the ski lift, is right in front of the Longhorn Saloon. The greatest hero in American History died right there, onstage, mid-song, slumped over his drum kit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oGkLpUtToU
http://www.metafilter.com/46441/Are-You-Drinkin-With-Me-Jesus

— comment by nils on September 8th, 2008 at 1:16pm JST (9 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.


You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting