Sunday Morning

Fresh Tracks at Whistler

Mike Crane

It’s early Sunday morning at the base of Whistler Mountain and you just want to sleep in. The entree last night at dinner was a Vancouver specialty, sablefish, washed down with a heady British Columbian syrah. The room is so warm and the pillow so fluffy. Just one more hour of rest, maybe two. . . . No way! This is Whistler, my friend, where the wise get up early and board the Whistler Village Gondola at 7:30 a.m. for Fresh Tracks.

For $19.95 (children ages 7-12 $13.75), you get the green light to head up the mountain an hour before it officially opens, grab breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge, and get two to three good runs in before the masses arrive. Before 8 a.m., you’re already at 6,069 feet, dining on a buffet breakfast of waffles and eggs, waiting to hear those magical words, “Runs are open!”

Hit the trails that tend to get busy during the course of the day such as the blue cruisers Little Red Run and Franz’s that lead you through the tall trees. The Big Red Express chair heads back to Roundhouse, where you can sample another run like G.S. that will bring you to the Harmony lift. And herein lies the beauty of Fresh Tracks. You’re always one step ahead of the crowds, who are already an hour behind on their first run. The heavenly Harmony bowl, with its steeps and chutes, can be all yours for a magical moment. Isn’t that worth getting out of bed?