Postcard From Wanderlust at Whistler

August 28, 2012

Photography by Ali Kaukas
Whistler, British Columbia

Kathleen Rellihan, a Washington, DC, resident and digital producer, recently traveled to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, for the annual Wanderlust festival, a yoga-music-nature lover’s bonanza.

Wanderlust-ers can downward dog during the day and dance under the stars all night with top musical acts like Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Thievery Corporation and more. This one-of-a-kind festival is the largest multi-day yoga event in the world, with events in Squaw Valley, CA; Stratton Mountain, VT; Copper Mountain, CO and Whistler, British Columbia.

I went here to: Unplug from city life and recharge with yoga, music and mountain air.

The best way to travel here is: Whistler is a 2-hour drive from Vancouver Airport, along the Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) with breathtaking views and, at times, equally treacherous driving.

I stayed at: Whistler resort, where the 2010 Winter Olympic Games were held. Whistler brings in visitors from as far away as Australia, UK and Brazil, so it’s like a mountain village turned international alpine-adventure playground.

When it comes to packing, be sure to bring: A yoga mat, hiking shoes and a warm jacket for the brisk weather at night.

The best thing I ate was: All the local fare as I tasted my way through Whistler Farmers Market – Bing cherries, lavender earl grey scones and Jeggs (Japanese pancake).

I wish I hadn't: Tried to hike on the top of Whistler the day it hailed (weather changes dramatically at the peak). Visibility was so poor we had to go back down the mountain. I heard the views on High Note Trail are spectacular and bear sightings common (wanted to see both).

Don't miss: Taking a ride on the Peak 2 Peak, a 2-mile gondola ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, for “on top of the world” views.

Next time I will definitely: Experience Whistler in all its winter glory for epic skiing (and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing -- the list is endless no matter the season).

My favorite part of the trip was: A morning meditation hike let by bassist/world traveler Garth Stevenson, who set the ethereal meditative vibe playing his bass once we reached the mountaintop. Garth has trekked with his bass all over the world, most recently Antarctica.

My advice would be: Don’t try to pack everything in that’s on the Wanderlust schedule, e.g., rushing to meditation class. You’ll miss the point.

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