An Eastbournian Abroad with Ashley McMillan: Snow records? Can’t believe it’s spring!

Whistler in the sun
Whistler in the sun

Ok, so I know I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but Whistler really does get a LOT of snow in what is a very long season running from Late November to the end of May and then beyond up on our glacier.

So it may come as no shock when I write that all my complaining about the unbelievable volume of snow that just kept coming left us with the heaviest snowfall in March on record.

Great for tourism, last minute travellers, the rubber tyre crowd from the lower mainland area around Vancouver and into Seattle across the border and even the locals. Yup, there’s not too many complaints from anyone getting up on the hill with endless powder turns, countless face shots and bottomless snow… and this is in spring??!

So what else do we know? Well, the robins are about and busy tweeting from their branches and as someone recently said to me; “my girlfriend told me that once I saw a robin then spring was here. Well I saw two today!” So there you have it. It must be spring. Actually today as I sit here writing this ready to go to work, it’s a stunning bluebird day.

One that I’ve been waiting for forever, or at least that’s how it feels. Now it looks like spring as well. Difficult to explain in words and do justice to just how amazing it looks around here without the often low clouds shrouding the mountains. Today I could have run around the valley for hours on end. You can’t get bored. The views are spectacular and something that everyone should get to se at least once.

It looks as if the turning of the seasons has also brought some of the native wildlife out. No not the ursine cuddly guys that may start to creep out of their hibernation over the next few weeks if the weather stays good, far worse. Cougars! Only one, but that’s enough and spotted around the local area where everyone has been cross country skiing and more will now begin to start walking, biking and running in the coming weeks. Now these guys aren’t to be messed with – under any circumstance. They will often stalk their prey, hidden from them for hours at times and if they so deem it, then they will pounce.

Perhaps with my thoughts firmly on the sunshine and looking toward many more cloudless days, this author took a trip to the somewhat namely ‘Sunshine Coast’. This brief sojournment out of Whistler was actually just an excuse to run in a half marathon as part of my upcoming marathon training. As for the appropriateness of the name, well I can tell you that it was darn cold and damp starting out (not to mention extremely snowy and difficult driving down to the ferry from Whistler in the dark), but eventually, typically after the event had finished, the sun did indeed come out to play.

Still not convinced that this piece of land is blessed by the gods with more sun than most around these parts, but it was certainly welcome on this day anyhow. Great day out an even the snow had completely melted on the highway on the way back making for an easy but stunning drive up highway 99, know as the ‘Sea to Sky Corridor’. Scenery like you wouldn’t believe on a sunny day and it’ hard to find a drive that offers more.

So after all this snowfall, will the crowds continue to flock up to us? Well, for the time being, yes. Its Easter weekend and it’s a sell out! Week after, we have our annual ski and snowboard festival. Hugely popular, this event will keep the town jumping for a while longer.

Daily events and concerts, this will be a big week for everyone. You can bet that a number of brands will have a few stalls out and there’ll be the usual giveaways and possibly a few young girls dressed up to promote the various names. You’ve always gotta feel a little sorry for these girls at this time of year as I can only really ever remember seeing them looking a tad cold and underdressed as they stand around in what is still winter.

So here’s hoping for a sunny, dry and warm week for everyone, especially the Kokanee beer girls whom I’m sure will be grateful of the sun’s warm glow. You never know, it may even clear some of the snow of the trails.

Look out for that Easter bunny guys. Something tells me it may not make it up here through the snow, so we’ll have to celebrate vicariously through everyone else.