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I'm in white :D
So you know how I said I tried mountain biking before... well I don't think that was quite true... that was perhaps cross-country.  Yesterday I really did try mountain biking... and I have never done anything so seemingly stupid, but incredibly fun in all my life. 

Who with any sense of logic would stick themselves on a bike and hurl themselves down steep (STEEP!) descents, around sharply bermed corners (I just learnt this term - like banked), along wooden bridges, and off jumps (ok, I havent got more than a second of air yet).... but apparently I am this crazy person.  And I loved every minute of it.   Except perhaps that minute where my bike skid out from under me and I found myself pounded into the dirt.  I have never loved a helmet and padding more as my whole head shook within its protection.... I probably would have scraped away part of my cheek without the helmet - so ... lesson here, always wear the protective gear!!  Anyway as it was I only ended up with two grapefruit sized bruises on my thigh, and I feel like they are a mark of my accomplishment.  Now I know I don't work for lululemon anymore, but I feel the need to say that despite grinding my leg into the dirt and scratching the skin underneath, those pants still look brand new!! 

I learnt that you just need to keep looking ahead and trust that no matter what you are going through, you have the tools to handle it, as long as you do not freak out..... kinda sounds like real life?

 
 
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On a bit of a spur of the moment, my mom and I decided we should take a trip to Whistler, so we did.  In a nutshell we rode the Peak 2 Peak, hiked the Alpine trails at the top of Blackcomb for a couple of hours, watched a terrible movie on tv (Just Friends, just terrible), went for a late night leap into the lake, cycled around the Valley trail... that's about it.  

The Peak 2 Peak is probably the biggest tourist attraction in Whistler (apart from the mountain biking and skiing).  It was built in 2008 to link Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain (hence Peak 2 Peak).  It holds the world records for the longest free span between ropeway towers (3.03km) and the highest point above ground (436m...1,430 feet). It cost $51 million to build... ah so that's why it is a steep $50 to go on the thing... 

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Peak 2 Peak
Reading about the construction of this thing is pretty incredible!  The concrete for the foundations had to be transported up the mountain by helicopter, the cables had to be shipped from Europe - and because they were so heavy had to go to Washington where the largest crane is - where they had to be picked up by a special heavy load tractor and trailer from Quebec, they had to bring one of the few haul-rope splicers in North America in from Wyoming.... suppose this isn't so interesting to people who know what kind of work goes into making these things, but I had no idea!! Cool.  

Construction only took one year longer than it was supposed to (which seems pretty good?) and the opening ceremonies featured someone base-jumping from the middle of the gondola!!!  

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So everyone in Whistler really is from Australia - everyone!  Click here....  

Whistler was originally named London mountain (due to all the fog), but acquired the name Whistler from the call of the Hoary Marmot.... despite the large population in the area,  we didn't see any.  We did however hear many...  

 
 
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I had no idea that just an hour and a half north of Vancouver I would find complete paradise! 

Garibaldi Lake.  

After trekking 9km through beautiful, lush Westcoast forest, we emerged in the middle of a scene straight out of a BC tourism ad.  I have never seen anything like this before!  And to think it existed this whole time only miles away. What have I been doing with my life?  

Garibaldi lake is 1,500m above sea level and is surrounded by mountains.  These peaks are volcanic along the north, south and west side.  At some point in history two volcanoes nearby erupted forming The Barrier - this lava dam is over 300m (1,000ft) thick and 2km wide.  The Barrier is holding back the water from the Garibaldi Lake system - which if it ever let loose, would do some serious damage to the nearby town of Squamish.  This is actually the reason why my brother and sister-in-law cannot get flood insurance on their home.  The most recent movement in The Barrier was in 1855-6 when the debris flow created a large boulder field giving the name to Rubble Creek.   In 1981 the BC government decided the instability of The Barrier made living in the nearby village of Garibaldi (which no longer exists) was too dangerous, so all the residents were relocated to a few Estates that were being built to the north.  At this time plans were also given up that would have made Garibaldi into the main ski resort in the area - instead the company Garibaldi Lifts went on to open Whistler Blackcomb....    interesting!!