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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Tram

Believe it or not, I had never seen a real mountain before.  Not in my adult memory anyway.  For those of you who don't know, I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Winnipeg, and the area immediately surrounding it, I have always envisaged as quite possibly the flattest place in the entire world.  I could be wrong.

This was certainly one of the reasons I was so excited to take a trip out west.  I have burned into my memory my first glimpse of the snows, and glaciers of my first mountain through the low hanging clouds.  "What is that up in the sky?", I said out loud.  "That shouldn't be there!"  "That's a freaking mountain!"  "That is freaking earth!"  "That stuff isn't supposed to be UP THERE!"  (Edited for language, and space).  At that moment, I felt a little like Jim Carrey in the Truman Show.  "Are mountains even real?"

Ok, it was a little tongue in cheek, even on my own part, but the essential "vibe" was there.

One of the highlights of the trip was the ride up the tram, part-way up Whistler's Mountain, and just as enjoyable, the climb the rest of the way to the summit.

The cables used for the tram.

Gripper and Sheave Assemblies

It was quite a ride to the top.  On the way up the flight attendant gave us some points of interest and cracked a few jokes.  Another passenger and I noticed an elk grazing right in the cleared path of the gondola.

The views from the upper terminal were amazing, but the trail up to the peak was too appealing to us.  We had to take the walk.

Upper Tram Terminal



After the long walk up, and after I fell waist deep into a snow filled crevice, we made it to the top.  The views were basically the same, except it was about a 360º view.  Nothing much up there, except some more inuksuk and a hand full of chipmunks.  Inuksuks seem to dot the park all over the place.  Particularly in places of extreme beauty.  Quickly becoming one of my favorite memes.

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