1 week enough time 4 Whistler/Vancouver??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    1 week enough time 4 Whistler/Vancouver??

    I'm planning a vacation to Whistler to tackle some mountain biking and other adventurous stuff but can you guys offer advice how to take on Vancouver and Whistler??
    I was thinking 4 days in Vancouver and 4 days in Whistler. Is this enough time?
    I'm assuming I have to land in Vancouver to get to Whistler anyway right???

  2. #2
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    Vancouver is the airport that gets you to Whistler most directly.

    It depends what you're expecting to ride in Vancouver, if you want to OD on full-on freeride stuff, 4 days likely won't do it. You could likely spend 4 days on each of 3 mountains if you wanted to try a bit of everything. If you're looking for XC type trails in Vancouver, a couple of days could do it.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm more into the cross country, and not so much the downhill, but I was thinking hanging in Vancouver just checking out the area, than blast up to Whistler for the adventurous stuff. Good move?

  4. #4
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    Can I get around without renting a car? are there trains running from airport to Vancouver, and from vancouver to whistler?

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    There is the new commuter rail line from the airport to downtown Vancouver, but the provincial government in their diminutive wisdom sold off BC Rail which did run a regular passenger service to Squamish and Whistler. So the only way to get to Whistler is a private bus or rent a vehicle.

    You really need a vehicle to get around Vancouver even though the traffic is not at all vehicle friendly. Transit is extremely inefficient unless you happen to be going somewhere immediately adjacent to the Skytrain, the commuter rail or sea bus, the buses are tediously slow. You could certainly spend 4 days wandering around Vancouver doing the usual touristy stuff.
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  6. #6
    slaving away in paradise
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    One note, if you drive in Vancouver, remember the speed limit isn't posted on any of the
    streets, so don't speed as the cops are everywhere, hiding behind trees and telephone
    poles prepared to run out in front of you and tell you to stop.

    I don't know what the speed limit is (I live on the island and only visit), but I usually just go
    with the flow of traffic.

  7. #7
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    50km/h where it isn't posted, and they give you about 10% over except in 30km/h school and playground zones.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  8. #8
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    Depends on how much you want to ride

    A week might give you a quick overview.

    Whistler has about 300km (200 miles) of trails outside the mtn bike park
    Squamish (between Vancouver & Whistler) has another 200+ km (maybe even 300+?) of XC riding
    Pemberton (20 minutes north of Whistler has another 150-200km or so I would guess)
    Almost all of this would be 'technical XC' - probably average speed of 5-15 km/hr for a high intermediate rider

    For maps, info etc. check RMOW, WORCA, SORCA, Whistlermountainbikeguide, etc.

    Vancouver (especially North Van) has a lot too, but more 'ride-up then descend' (although my experience there is limited on XC trails)

    Most tourist take a bus directly from the airport to Whistler - then most Whistler trails are less than 8km (5 miles) from the village accommodation (make sure to check on bike transport costs on the bus). Vancouver is a little more spread out - check accommodation location versus the biking.

  9. #9
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    Search under Whistler Mountain Bike Guide and you will find a review of a guidebook here on MTBR. Worthwhile book to get
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  10. #10
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    here's the plan folks. i have 1 week.
    i will spend 3 days in vancouver, and 3 days in either squamish or whistler.
    my question to you all, and i really need help with this one is, where would you spend the 2nd 1/2? squamish or whistler? i'd like to do a combo of mountain biking, fishing, and some nature or bald eagle watching or something like that.

    HELP!

  11. #11
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    Squamish is going to be less expensive and more like a small town vibe than a resort, and has lots of XC trails nearby (3 days worth for sure), as well as an abundance of eagles in Brackendale. If you're not chasing bike park DH runs, then Squamish would give you lots of riding and nature opportunities, including hiking the back side of the Chief (or climbing the front side if you're a rock climber), and likely save you some $$$.

    http://www.tourismsquamish.com/current-conditions

    Whistler is a full-on resort sort of environment in the village, with resort sort of vibe and prices, and you could get all the other things you want too, but it's going to feel more like hanging out in Lake Tahoe.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Squamish is going to be less expensive and more like a small town vibe than a resort, and has lots of XC trails nearby (3 days worth for sure), as well as an abundance of eagles in Brackendale. If you're not chasing bike park DH runs, then Squamish would give you lots of riding and nature opportunities, including hiking the back side of the Chief (or climbing the front side if you're a rock climber), and likely save you some $$$.

    http://www.tourismsquamish.com/current-conditions

    Whistler is a full-on resort sort of environment in the village, with resort sort of vibe and prices, and you could get all the other things you want too, but it's going to feel more like hanging out in Lake Tahoe.
    Is Squamish closer to Vancouver than Whistler??
    Also, is Squamish lively? In other words, I'm not a club goer or bog time party animal, but is there decent food options and stuff to check out after sun down?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwheelin
    Is Squamish closer to Vancouver than Whistler??
    Also, is Squamish lively? In other words, I'm not a club goer or bog time party animal, but is there decent food options and stuff to check out after sun down?
    Squamish is only 32 miles from Vancouver and Whistler is 76 miles from Vancouver. That 44 miles can be a surprisingly long drive, depending what's going on with traffic.

    Squamish is limited for selection of restaurants compared to Whistler, but the pub on the west end of downtown is great for real post ride meals (not just hot wings), and there's enough of a variety of restaurants that should get you through 3 days, there's even 2 Starbucks.

    http://www.tourismsquamish.com/food-and-entertainment

    Whistler is definitely more of a night life sort of place and has that kind of patio/terrace buzz.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  14. #14
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    bwheelin - do you know how to look up maps online?

    Squamish has great meth-labs.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    bwheelin - do you know how to look up maps online?

    Squamish has great meth-labs.
    Plus the occasional grizzly bear downtown.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  16. #16
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    i'm getting conflicting reports that whistler might not be a good idea due to all the road contruction going on for the olympics.
    gulf islands.....hmmm

  17. #17
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    The Sea to Sky construction traffic is an intermittent nuisance adds 30 minutes tops to the trip (or go before 9AM and there's no flagmen happening) and the traffic is no where near as big a pain in the neck as BC Ferries in the Gulf Islands. If you were going to Hornby Island for some seriously good MTB riding, you'd spend most of a day getting there and another day getting back.
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  18. #18
    North Van/Whistler
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    oh yes bwheelin - your homework is solid. The epic trails in the Gulf Islands will keep you satisfied as will their parties and nightlife
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    oh yes bwheelin - your homework is solid. The epic trails in the Gulf Islands will keep you satisfied as will their parties and nightlife
    ok im confused which way to go.
    if i take the early bus ride before 9am up to whistler, i won't hit any delays?
    if i go to the gulf islands (gabriola), the ferry rides will be long waits and lots of travel time.
    is this correct?

  20. #20
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    The only delays you hit before 9AM are the 50km/h construction speed zones, but after 9AM you have the occasional stop for 15 minutes to let construction traffic do their thing, but they actually do a pretty good job of coordinating them so that the maximum delay is 30 minutes in the entire trip. But you'd need to be on a 7AM bus to be clear of those all the way to Whistler. If you're sitting on the bus, it won't much matter anyway, an extra 30 minutes isn't that bad.

    http://projects.ch2m.com/TrafficUpda...elling-sts.asp

    The bigger gamble with that road is from fatal traffic accidents which do happen from time to time and can close the road in one direction or both directions for hours. But as long as the bus has a bathroom, not a big deal.

    In the summer the ferries can be a royal pain, especially on weekends, you might have 2-3 sailing waits to some destinations, unless you're a walk-on or ride-on.
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  21. #21
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    Here's a couple of interesting trail resources for Squamish. A list of trails in their AdoptaTrail program. http://www.adoptatrail.ca/trail_list.php plus some trail groups.

    http://www.tourismsquamish.com/what-...ountain-biking

    and a searchable map index where you can use difficulty as a search criteria

    http://trails.squamish.ca/mapguide20....php?TRAIL=939

    And a few nifty 360 images of Power House plunge and Rollercoaster, both part of the Test of Metal race course.

    http://www.myplanet360.com/tour/?id=28&panorama=9

    http://www.myplanet360.com/tour/?id=29&panorama=16
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  22. #22
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    And Lee just posted some nice pics and a video of what XC trails look like in Pemberton.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=517274
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  23. #23
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill

    In the summer the ferries can be a royal pain, especially on weekends, you might have 2-3 sailing waits to some destinations, unless you're a walk-on or ride-on.

    If you're not too pake to pay the extra $10, you can just get a reservation and no wait at all.

  24. #24
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    These days it's an extra $15 or $17.50 for each reservation

    https://welcome.bcferries.com/RBI/in...=PUB&RT=V-VI#3

    Each one-way reservation is charged a non-refundable reservation fee as follows:

    * $15.00 if made 7 or more days in advance of the sailing's scheduled departure date, or
    * $17.50 if made less than 7 days in advance of travel.

    For example, if you make a one-way reservation on Monday for the following Monday, the fee will be $15.00. If you make a reservation on Tuesday for the following Monday, the fee will be $17.50. So you can save money by booking 7 or more days in advance of travel.

    If you need to change a reservation, a $9.00 service fee will apply. For changes, if the total fare (including fuel surcharge) is less than $9.00, the service fee will be equal to the total fare.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  25. #25
    slaving away in paradise
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    So it's $17. Now if you have to wait for 2-3 sailings, that's going to be about 2+ hours
    of your time. If you work at mcdonalds for minimum wage and wait for 2 hours X your minimum
    wage pay, that's still going to be ~1.5 times the the $17 out lay.

    To put it another way. He's coming in from Sedona (from his profile). Plane fare from AZ to
    BC is $$$$ and the hotel is $$$ and the bus is $ and food is $$ all to ride a bike for 4 days.
    Figure 4 days at a possible 8 hours of riding per day (if he's real fit, maybe more), that's
    a total of 32 hours of riding he's getting in. To waste 4 hours of that (round trip if he has
    to wait both ways) is 12.5% of his available riding time. The extra (up to) $34 (CAN) he's
    going to spend to NOT wait should be a no brainer. Take into account the exchange rate
    and that's only $30 US.

    Not discounting your info on Squamish, I'm just saying I wouldn't rule out the SSC because
    of a ferry ride.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    oh yes bwheelin - your homework is solid. The epic trails in the Gulf Islands will keep you satisfied as will their parties and nightlife
    thanks lee for adding some entertainment value to this thread.

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