I am petrified of heights. It all started when I was about 6 or 7 after I tripped on a balcony of a hotel room and thought I almost fell over the edge. That night I had nightmare after nightmare of myself tumbling over the edge, and since then, the fear has never subsided. It’s not being on top of something tall that frightens me, it’s that my imagination runs wild, and I can very easily and vividly picture how a tiny mistake might lead me to my death.
On that light note, my boyfriend loves climbing. Walls, hills, mountains, stairs, he love it all. Not wanting him to miss out on something he loves while we were in Whistler, BC for a weekend trip during his medical school elective, I agreed to a wee hike on our last day in Whistler provided it was not too steep and not too tall.
Whistler in the summer is buggy. And if there is no wind, like there wasn’t for the first half of our hike, it feels like walking in a cloud of insects. Earlier, we had bought some grub to snack on throughout the day, but every time we paused to eat, the attack resumed. So it wasn’t until we reached above the forest line that we were able to whip out our sandwiches and chow down in peace.
While we started our walk relatively early in the morning, our journey ended up taking much longer than originally described by our guide at the tourist centre. We knew we had to be back in the town center by 5 for our bus to take us back to Vancouver, but the trail was longer than we thought, and by that point we realised that it would actually be shorter to climb to the top of the mountain and ride the gondola down than it would be to walk back the way we came.
So we officially climbed through gravel, snow and ice to the summit of Whistler mountain in shorts, light sweaters, and in my case sneakers. We were definitely a sight for the seasoned mountain climbers with their fancy hiking boots and walking sticks. After finally making it to the top, we descended via the gondola. Normally, gondola rides incur a fee, but either the operators assumed that anyone wearing what we wore must have already come up the same way or they took pity on the ill-prepared people who had just climbed a mountain in trainers to which my exhausted and swollen feet were eternally grateful.
In the end, we made it to our bus. And the views made all my anxiety worth it.
Whistler Blackcomb Resort
4545 Blackcomb Way,
Whistler, BC V0N 1B4