We arrived in Pemberton at Nicole’s townhouse and dropped our stuff off and then headed out again to get some lunch at a local restaurant called The Pony Express. It is one of two restaurants in the “downtown” area of Pemberton. It’s a casual restaurant with a down home feel. The menu had breakfast foods as well as burgers and salads. The portions are a bit more than average. I ordered the breakfast burrito which was pretty girthy, about 2″. The burrito was stuffed with cheese and eggs. There was a side of potatoes, sour cream and salsa. It was a filling meal for a late lunch. Nicole had the Caesar salad with chicken. It looked good and light.
After a filling lunch, we returned back to the townhouse to change into our snow pants and waterproof jackets for the evening’s snowshoeing activity. We were running a little late and when we got to Whistler Village to the office where you can book various types of activities we were told that the meeting place was at the Chalet by the Fairmont Hotel. We were advised to take a free shuttle, the #6. The organizers phoned the guides to let them know we were on our way.
We arrived at a golf course that was part of the Fairmont Hotel property. There was a couple who where participating in the snowshoe activity and it was also their first time. Nicole has been snowshoeing. Our guide was a lady from Quebec. Her name escapes me but she was really nice. The tour provides the snowshoes. They were not the typical handmade snowshoes made by the native Indians. Instead, they were made of metal tubing and plastics. If you want to learn more about the traditional and modern snowshoe, click here.
We strapped into our snowshoes and began our track through the golf course that was currently under 12″+ of snow. It was really awesome to be walking above all that snow. We weren’t necessarily floating on top of the snow. Each step left an impression but only about an inch or so. In the distance there was a horse drawn carriage. There were bells jingling (just like in the Christmas song). There were also some cross country skiers and skate skiers. The views were amazing as we trekked away from the Chalet and towards the trails in the forest.
Our guide, whose name escapes me, explained to us that Whistler used to be a place where there was a logging industry and that many trees along the mountain were cut down. It has since stopped and she explained that you can see the remnants of the ravaged past in the patches of “young” trees with their lighter green needles vs. the “older” trees at the top of the mountains and their darker green color. Our guide also mentioned that it was snowing at the tops of the mountains because of the white dusting, which I thought was fog had she not explained that.
There was a bit of bush-whacking and uneven trails on our snowshoe tour, which added a bit of an adventure to the activity. The trail that we were on was shared with cross-country skiers. The tracks for the cross-country skiers are evident along the snow covered trails. Our guide informed us that we are supposed to keep off of the cross-country tracks but sometimes it is unavoidable.
The snowshoeing was invigorating and great exercise. It is allowed us to perhaps see parts of the forest that may not necessarily be as easily accessible. We did a bit of bushwhacking as I mentioned earlier but because it is winter, there wasn’t heavy foliage to get whacked in the face but there were bare branches, which I think is more dangerous as you may get poked or whacked in the eye vs. the face. We trekked through to a lake which was covered under ice and snow. It was just an amazing view to see vast snow surfaces and the mountains in the distance.
The snowshoeing tour ended back where we started, at the Fairmont Chalet where Nicole and I enjoyed a wonderful fondue dinner. It was part of the snowshoe tour package. You can upgrade to a larger fondue set but we stayed with the selection. We started with a french onion soup that was sweet and savory. The bowl that it was served in was covered with ooey gooey cheese over soup soaked crusty bread. The fondue main course was both a cheese fondue and a broth fondue. We were presented a platter of steamed veggies for the cheese fondue and raw BC beef and sushi grade seafood (scallops, salmon, and prawns) for the broth fondue. Dinner also included dessert which was a lemon tart. We took our dessert home as we were stuffed with fondue.
FAIRMONT CHATEAU WHISTLER
4599 Chateau Boulevard
Whistler, British Columbia
Outdoor Adventures in Whistler
Unit No. 218 – 4293 Mountain Square