Peak to Peak at Whistler Blackcomb

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Today we crossed from Peak to Peak on the world’s highest lift of its kind, 1427ft above the valley floor. Starting out in Whistler Village we took the Village Gondola up to the Roundhouse. From there we could view the peak of Whistler, trails and runs.

Village Gondola

Whistler

We hopped on the fairly new Peak to Peak gondola (admission included in our sightseeing pass) and rode a steel cable gondola line 2.73 miles (4.4km) over to Blackcomb.

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

The village and slopes were crazy-busy with Kokanee Crankworx action but up on the Peak to Peak we had an entire gondola car to ourselves. We saw some other passing cars where others were taking advantage of this — from couples making out to pre-teen boys dancing around & flexing their muscles without shirts on.

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

The ride was incredibly smooth and once we were on Blackcomb, we decided to do a small hike. The Alpine Walk seemed like the quickest as according to our trail maps it was 0.96 miles (1.6km) and would take 60 minutes. It actually took us about 15 minutes to get half way through but we were hauling it up the trail, which did have some rough parts over rocks and boulders.

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

Regardless, it was a nice little loop with scenic viewpoints perfect for photo ops. From the Fitzsimmons Lookout we could even look down on the Peak to Peak gondola line.

Alpine Walk Alpine Walk

Alpine Walk - View of Peak to Peak

Alpine Walk

Alpine Walk Alpine Walk

Next time we visit we’re going to do a few more trails (perhaps the Overlord Trail) or one longer trail as we both enjoy a good hike.

Peak to Peak - Whistler Blackcomb

On the way back down I even spotted two bears from the Village Gondola (luckily nowhere near the mountain bikers). It was a great morning activity with John who did really well considering his fear of heights.

BC Healthy Living Alliance Health Hunt

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This month the BC Healthy Living Alliance is hosting an online scavenger hunt to promote healthy living.

On August 24th at 9:00am sharp, you will be able to download a Play Pack from the BCHLA website. It will contain contest rules along with a list of missions to be completed for a multimedia scavenger hunt. The missions each have “health points” that vary depending on the level of difficulty. On August 31st, all entries must be submitted online either in photo or video form with final written answers also entered online.

The winner (it counts if you’re the quickest to submit all of your answers) will receive a $150 gift card or a donation of $150 to their charity of choice. All other players, regardless of their total “health points”, will be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of two $75 prizes (same deal, gift card or donation).

You can find out more on the BCHLA website, their Facebook page, following @BCHealthyLiving on Twitter, or by including #HlthHunt in a Twitter update.

The BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) is a group of organizations that have come together with a mission to improve the health of British Columbians through leadership that enhances collaborative action to promote physical activity, healthy eating and living smoke-free.

Araxi Whistler

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

This evening John and I were guests of Araxi, one of Whistler’s finest restaurants which will be the home of this season’s winner of the FOX reality series, Hell’s Kitchen. I had the opportunity to interview Executive Chef James Walt a few weeks ago about his restaurant and experience with Chef Gordon Ramsay. Tonight, I was able to sample his creations.

Araxi

We were offered a special chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings and we were definitely in for a treat. I was going to email them later on to jot down the menu we received however before I could even ask, Restaurant Director Steve Edwards handed me a printed copy. He also noted that whenever the menu is updated they also update their website so they have the most up to date information available at all times.

Gazpacho - Araxi Squash blossoms - Araxi

Gazpacho
green beans wrapped with smoked sockeye salmon and nasturtium
Paired with Col de ‘Salici, Prosecco di Valdobianne, Italy 06

Ricotta Stuffed Pemberton Squash Blossoms
local vegetable ratatouille, globe eggplant and roasted garlic puree
gaspacho vinaigrette
Paired with Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, California 07

Qualicum scallops - Araxi Pork server three ways - Araxi

Qualicum Beach Scallops
pomme mousseline, radish and green bean salad
with honey and fresh herd vinaigrette (garnshed with Agassiz Hazelnuts)
Paired with Joie ‘Re-think Pink’, Okanagan, BC 08 (Pinot Noir/Gamay)

These were probably the best scallops I’ve ever had. I can now understand why Chef Ramsay demands perfection in Hell’s Kitchen – this is one high standard.

Trio of Paradise Valley Pork
slow cooked belly, pork cheek ravioli and lightly smoked tenderloin
Pemberton sunchoke puree, chantrelles and green beans
Paired with Perrin, ‘L’Andeol’ Rasteau, Rhone, France 06 (Grenache/Syrah)

John and I agreed that the pork was prepared to perfection (all three ways).

Araxi Araxi

Araxi Araxi

Valrhona Chocolate Fondant
mint chocolate earl grey tea ice cream
chocolate dentelle and creme anglaise
and
Pemberton Berry Vacherin
soft-baked honey meringue with seasonal berries
lavender cream, raspberry coulis and mint syrup
Paired with Quady Elysium Black Muscat, California 06
Petits Fours

In other words, chocolate lava cake, ice cream, berries, and Amaretto-soaked goodness (not exactly the technical terms but you get the gist).

Petits Fours Cockatail - Araxi

There are abundant dining options at Araxi including a “100 mile” prix fixe tasting menu. As Chef Walt noted in our interview, 70% of their produce and ingredients are sourced directly from the Pemberton Valley.

Our highest of compliments to Executive Chef James Walt, Restaurant Director & Somalier Steve Edwards, Pastry Chef Aaron Heath, and Wine Director Samantha Rahn. Also hat tips to Scott from the bar who brought us our first cocktails of the evening (pictured above).

Whistler at Night

The ambiance was great — they played smooth modern music that wasn’t boring (e.g. Goldfrapp) and it was not pretentious in the slightest, even though it is an upscale restaurant. Araxi is truly a gem and I can’t wait to see it shine even more in the spotlight when Whistler welcomes the world for the 2010 Olympic Games.

Araxi Restaurant & Bar
4222 Village Square Whistler, B.C.
Whistler is 90 minutes north of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway

Disclosure: We were invited to Whistler by the Delta Whistler Village Suites. The dining experience at Araxi was courtesy of of the restaurant but that had no bearing on how wonderful it was, we’ll certainly be back.

BarCamp Vancouver 2009

Comments 12 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s that time of year again… it’s time for BarCamp.

BarCamp actually has nothing to do with an actual “Bar” per se. It’s a social media, social networking, and open-format technology unconference. If you’ve become familiar with the Northern Voice Conference, it’s similar but on a smaller scale. For a full description of BarCamp and unconferences, check out my BarCamp 2008 Save the Date post.

Who: You, and approximately 299 friends
When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 (kick off party on Friday October 2nd)
Where: Discovery Parks Vancouver (old QLT building) on Great Northern Way
Tickets: Available online for $25 and include party, t-shirt, and breakfast & lunch

More: Flickr group, web chat, draft schedule. Sessions to be decided by attendees, will also include PhotoCamp (thanks to John for the reminder).

hot stuffs!
2006, 2007, 2008 – Image (right) credit: Ianiv & Arieanna

This is my fourth annual BarCamp and I must say, the first BarCamp Vancouver in 2006 changed my life. I did my first live blog that weekend and met some amazing people whom I still communicate with, admire, and look up to in the Vancouver tech community.

Tickets are on sale now and for only $25 (including t-shirt, party, and meals) it’s the hottest deal in town.

Vancouver History: Before and After Photos

Comments 16 by Rebecca Bollwitt

During my visit to the City of Vancouver Archives I was captivated by their collection of photographs. Tens of thousands of images depict daily life and the making of our City into what we see today. In over 100 years Vancouver has changed dramatically in some areas, and has barely aged in others. This is not so much a “before and after” as it is a “then and now” although with the City’s ever-changing landscape, that could work either way.

Lost Lagoon
1940s


Jack Lindsay Ltd. Photographers

2000s


Photo credit: dennissylvesterhurd on Flickr

Maple Tree Square – Gastown
1960s


City Planning Department

2000s


Photo credit: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr

1970s


City Planning Department – slide file photographs

2000s


Photo credit: deve82 on Flickr

False Creek
1940s


Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association – Collected

1960s


City Planning Department

1980s



City Planning Department

2000s


Photo credit: steena on Flickr

Photo credit: steeljam on Flickr

I think it’s pretty exciting (to someone like me anyway) that many of the photographs at the City Archives are available as prints for under $20. You can browse their collections online or in person.