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Alta States

Whistler’s changing face – are we doing enough?

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The same happened to WB's on-mountain helicopter tours. "That was a very conscious decision made by senior management," says De Jong. "It just didn't fit in with our philosophy of summer mountain tourism."

But a summer alpine tube park? Bring it on!

At least that's what the mountain's Brain Trust has decided. And they're clearly waxing lyrical on what they've come up with. "This summer is shaping up to be one of our most exciting yet," says Rob McSkimming, Vice President of Business Development at WB. "We have a lineup of activities on the mountain this summer that are perfect for the whole family."

I guess I'm gonna have to see it to believe it. But for the first time ever, WB will be opening a tube park in the alpine on Whistler Mountain (I'm assuming somewhere on Glacier Bowl). Guests, says the WB press release, will have to walk to the top of the three sliding lanes so snow boots and proper attire are highly recommended. Tacky? Okay maybe just a little. But if you're up there with the right group of kids, it certainly could be fun...

And yes Martha, that's just the tip of the glacial offerings.

You'll also be able to snowshoe on Whistler Mountain this summer. Yippee! But don't get too carried away. Looks like your travel will be seriously curtailed by your guards, er your guides...

As usual (but for how long, nobody can tell), Horstman Glacier will continue to host a variety of ski and snowboard camps this summer. Fortunately the glacier is still big enough to provide a wee bit of space for those who like their riding free of coaches' comments.

A quick aside here - after five years of writing Alta State stories, it never ceases to amaze me how many Whistlerites got their first taste of the mountain during its "off-season" months. "I came here just for summer camp," they'll say. "But I couldn't leave. The place had worked its magic on me."

But I digress.

My personal favorite - the R2R (restaurant-to-restaurant) gondola - will also be in full swing this summer. But if you're looking to access the 50km of alpine hiking trails spread across both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains (Arthur's pet project) you're going to have to wait a bit. Most of those trails are still buried under 15 feet of snow.

But that shouldn't stop you from having fun. Instead of hiking, you can feed your face at Christine's, where the chef proposes "mountain comfort dishes" suitable for the whole family (I love cuisine talk). If that doesn't turn your crank you can hang out at the Roundhouse (the "other" restaurant accessed by the R2R) for an evening BBQ with live music and a natural light show (presented by the local alpenglow).