When we decided to move from Whistler to Squamish, we had a minor concern: that living in Squamish meant we wouldn’t get to experience a true winter.
While many Canadians dread the cold and the snow, we love winter. Winter in Whistler means skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating, pond hockey, and all sorts of fun stuff.
I experienced 7.5 winters in Vancouver and while it was sometimes nice to be able to run year-round, I vastly prefer snow over rain and ski jackets over umbrellas (from November to March, at least).
We came to terms with the fact that our winters in Squamish would likely be grey, rainy, and not very cold, reassuring ourselves that winter (i.e., Whistler) was only a 45 minute drive away, so we could still continue our favourite winter activities. And hey, we wouldn’t need to shovel snow!
It turns out we had nothing to worry about.
Not this winter, at least. Even Vancouver has been cold and snowy – and I LOVE IT! Looking out my window right now, mountains and rooftops alike are covered in snow. It’s just the way I like it this time of year.
Yesterday, we woke up to a healthy amount of snow on the ground and I decided I would take a tour of the neighbourhood on my cross country skis. I had to act quickly — one, because the plows would be out soon, and two, because the temperatures were set to rise, which meant the snow would go from light and fluffy to wet and heavy in no time.
So I waited for the sun to rise, then I clipped into my skis and hit the unplowed sidewalks. Folks cleaning snow off their cars got a real kick out of me. They said things like “Now that’s the way to deal with the snow!” and “You don’t get to do that too often around here!”. It all felt very neighbourly. I found that the best sidewalks were those that had been plowed recently – as in, a few days ago – and that had a small amount of fresh snow on them. Deep snow was okay, but a little slow-moving. There were a few keeners who had already shoveled the snow, but I just hugged the snowy edges of the roads when that happened. (Note: we’re talking side roads here, not the highway or anything.)
I headed off into some dog walking type trails to explore a new section of the hood. The snow here was rather deep – like, knee deep – so it felt more like I was walking with skis on, rather than kicking and gliding. Oh well, it was still fun.
Eventually, the snow starting getting a little heavy, so I turned around as gracefully as one can on XC skis. Coming back was great because I’d already laid down my tracks.
The Whistler Olympic Park this was not, but I’ll take it. Winter in Squamish, you’re not bad at all.