Why Don’t You …

Why Don't You

Stories by David Burke - Images by Joern Rohde
Whistler’s spectacular scenery is the backdrop for an exceptional variety of activities. Why don't you try some of these unforgettable Whistler experiences this fall? Experience a bear safari with Whistler Photo Safaris; haul and huck some axe at Forged Axe Throwing; de-stress and decompress at Scandinave Spa; make a cultural connection and experience the Audain Art Museum and Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre with a Whistler Cultural Pass.

Embark on a Bear Safari

Want to go on a bear viewing adventure? Whistler Photo Safaris can take you on a tour that, while not guaranteed to find bears, offers a high probability of viewing the majestic animals in their natural habitat: the forests and on cross-country trails that hosted the Nordic skiing events during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and also home to a healthy population of black bears.

Riding in the bear- and COVID-safe comfort of the company’s five-passenger, four-wheel drive vehicles with soft tops, allowing for an open-air experience when weather permits, lead guide Jason Coleman, Sherry Hilliard and their team of professionals will take you on an exclusive tour of Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley. All tours are currently private, with only guests from the same party. You’ll go off-road onto the park’s unpaved trails, including a drive to the top of the Olympic ski jumps for an unforgettable jumper’s-eye view of the park and surrounding mountains. When bears are spotted, you’ll view them from the safety of the vehicle in their natural surroundings — foraging for berries and other food in their quest to fatten up before the long winter hibernation. Some of Whistler Photo Safaris’ guides are also photographers, so they know all the best angles, and they’re committed to keeping both bears and humans safe, in addition to providing expert commentary during the tour.

Freas Tracks Breakfast Whistler Blackcomb
De-stress and Decompress at Scandinave Spa

Sea to Sky locals and resort guests in need of some “me time” — to de-stress from the rigours of work and life pressures, to take a break from responsibility or to relax those muscles after a strenuous outdoor adventure or workout — have a place to go in Whistler this fall. Scandinave Spa is open and ready to help you find peace of mind and body.

The Scandinave Spa is home to both indoor and outdoor Scandinavian-style spa amenities, including varying temperature hot baths, stimulating cold features, saunas and steam rooms as well as multiple relaxation areas. It’s located just a few minutes north of Whistler Village, on the edge of the spruce-cedar forest next to Lost Lake Park, for you to refresh and regenerate in a quiet, digital-free environment.

While the business is operating at 50 per cent capacity because of COVID protocols, no reservations are required for the bath experience; however, there’s a waitlist to get in on weekends and statutory holidays. Those who book a massage can jump the queue and gain admission to the other facilities, says Michelle Leroux, sales and marketing manager.

Whistler Heli Skiing, winter.

While spa staff wear masks, “guests in the baths where the hydrotherapy takes place, you don’t need to wear a mask, because social distancing is in place there, and there’s signage all around indicating the capacity at the various facilities. There is also directional signage for walking around the spa,” Leroux says. “Basically, it’s the same experience as before; only there’s fewer people.”

Scandinave is offering special pricing on monthly passes that are valid on weekdays for October and November.
1-888-935-2423 | scandinave.com/whistler/en/

Haul – and Huck – Some Axe

When James Anderson and his colleagues launched Forged Axe Throwing in Whistler in 2017, the act of throwing small axes at targets perhaps still seemed a bit of a fringe activity to many. Since then, axe throwing has become a full-fledged sport — and it’s been growing in popularity both for recreation and competition ever since.

“We started about three and a half years ago in Whistler, and at the time it was seen it as a super crazy activity, but it’s just ballooning,” Anderson says. “There are competitions in Canada and the U.S. where there’s around $50,000 in prize money. It’s just been growing steadily.”

The business adopted numerous protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic. All parties must now book in advance, but if the time slot isn’t fully reserved, groups may get in by calling 15 minutes before arrival.

With three separate axe-throwing rooms, Forged Axe can accommodate three groups at once, with a maximum of 20 persons per group. Facemasks are not required for groups who are all from the same household, with a minimum throwing age of 10 years old, and an experienced staff member is dedicated to each group during the one- to 2.5-hour sessions. Guests receive instruction on safety and throwing techniques and are shown how to stage a competition that’s both exciting and fun for all, Anderson says. Regardless of the weather, this indoor activity is a “bullseye” for year-round adventure! 1-866-956-3502 | forgedaxe.ca

Whistler Blackcomb, Coca-Cola Tube Park, downhill tubing.
Make a Cultural Connection

Visitors who would like to expand their cultural knowledge in Whistler can take advantage of the “Whistler Cultural Pass,” which offers outstanding value as a dual admission pass to both the Audain Art Museum and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. “The Audain Art Museum (AAM) and the SLCC created the pass to augment a guest’s cultural experience while visiting Whistler. At the AAM, visitors can experience historical and contemporary Indigenous art from B.C., the world-renowned permanent collection, as well as special exhibitions. At the SLCC, guests can explore the two local Nations’ rich and distinct cultures, while connecting with Ambassadors from each Nation.” said Mandy Rousseau, the SLCC’s manager of marketing and communications.

The pass is available for purchase at either of the venues, online at (whistler.com/arts) and at the Whistler Visitor Information Centre. The physical pass also provides information about other “Cultural Connector” — a scenic pathway that links all six of Whistler’s arts and culture institutions, partners and their locations, to encourage additional exploration of Whistler’s exceptional arts and culture offerings.
slcc.ca | audainartmuseum.com

Made in Whistler Market, Westin Hotel