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Maxed out

Max’s guide to summer in Whistler

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Hey, what can you say about a place where the sun shines every day – okay, I exaggerate – there’s plenty of things to do to entertain you, a feast of outdoor activities is just a few pedal revolutions away, the natural beauty is off the Wowee Scale, humidity is just a vague memory from when we all lived in Ontario, and the mercury follows the sun down into the comfort zone every evening?

Nothing bad.

And that’s the goal for today: nothing bad. So if you were expecting another rant about council, our mayor, visiting weenies, greasy fast food chains sprouting like fungi, fun with numbers, or a scathing analysis of the many faults of Tiny Town, move along folks, there’s nothing here for you to see. Heck, I’m not even here; this is what CBC calls a special encore presentation – a rerun. Or is it?

In the heart of the summer and the heat of the day, there’s just no room in my overheated head to be anything but upbeat. It’s not like we get so much summer that we can afford to miss out on any of it by being grumpy. But I am not without empathy for those less fortunate, those bedeviled by long, hot days. The Summer-Challenged.

Of course, I had the extreme good fortune to grow up in the southwest USofA, a land of unlimited sunshine, very little rain, no biting insects, cowboy leftovers and altered-reality landscapes. Local newscasts never bothered to hire weathermen; they didn’t need them. They had amusing hand puppets whose recorded voice would say, "Tomorrow will be sunny and warm." They were right about 360 times a year. What passes for a "really hot" day up here reminds me of a mild spring afternoon. But I feel your pain. Your concerns are my concerns.

Coming of age in that environment, I learned three very valuable lessons: Always shake your boot out before you slip your foot in; learn to order cold beer in at least one other language; and know as many ways to beat the heat as Montrealers know how to stay warm when it’s -40° outside.

So, being the public spirited kind of guy you’ve come to expect, here’s Max’s 10 best ways to beat the heat in Whistler. This being a long – and hopefully hot – weekend, we will be up to our yayas in tourists and I would be remiss to not welcome them to take advantage of these tips as well.

1. Go jump in a lake. Alta Lake is chilly-warm and wonderful. If you like crowded pools, jump in at Rainbow or Lakeside Parks and rub shoulders with the rest of the funseekers. Better still, rent a canoe or kayak, paddle to a secluded spot and have your own private fun. For those of you unsure, yes, naked swimming is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Where do you think we get all those postcards?

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