Sightseeing with Mom Guest Blogger: Mike Nixon

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When you’re a 33-year-old ski bum who’s spent the last seven years “pursuing a writing career” in the Whistler area, the first order of business when mom comes to visit is to convince her that you haven’t, in fact, blown your life savings on Poutine, Jagerbombs and never-ending après.

Moms love Whistler

Most moms like to worry about that kind of stuff…it’s kind of their thing. But I’ve always told mine, no matter what kind of madness is happening in my life the mountains are always here to take me away from it all. To literally keep me grounded. And to mom’s credit, she’s always believed me, but when she came to visit a couple weeks ago I finally got a chance to go sightseeing with mom and get her up in the alpine to show her what I meant.

Top 7 Reasons to go Whistler Sightseeing with Mom

1. The Price

My mom is 68 years-old so she qualifies for the seniors’ pricing. Her sightseeing day pass is therefore quite affordable so I took the opportunity to look way more financially responsible than I actually am and purchased her ticket for her. Of course, that gesture pales in comparison to the legacy of lift passes that she has bought for me over the years but I could tell she still appreciated it.

not a rocking chair

2. Easy Alpine Access

While the Village is nestled comfortably at 675m, the peaks around here soar up around 2,200m so it can be a bit of a slog for a 68-year-old to get from the valley up to the alpine, especially if—like me ma—you lost half a lung to cancer last summer.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s hasn’t slowed down but I think we both appreciated just sitting on Blackcomb’s Wizard chair and being whisked ever-so-gently to the higher reaches of the mountain environment.
So relaxing, and much easier to talk and appreciate the Coast Mountain vistas.

3. The PEAK 2 PEAK

I feel like the more time I spend in Whistler the more I appreciate that gargantuan set of cables, trams and towers that connects Blackcomb Mountain to Whistler Mountain. Seriously, have you taken a look at that thing? Or taken a trip on it and checked out the views of Fissile Mountain at the head of the valley? I’d actually never ridden the PEAK 2 PEAK in the summer and seen what my favourite places in the world look like without any snow on them. It’s amazing.

My mom thought it was pretty cool too.


4. Alpine Snacks

Jedi Mom Skills are a beautiful thing to behold. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY packs a lunch better than a mom but I’d also like to think that she taught me well, so we worked as a team for our day of sightseeing. I grabbed a couple energy bars and a loaf of bread from The The Alpine Café while she crafted ham sandwiches with the kind of perfection that only a mother could muster. We ate like royalty on every lift and at every viewpoint, stuffing our faces in style and relishing in the fact that, really, everything tastes better in the alpine.

5. The Wildlife

During our afternoon of sightseeing, my mom and I saw precisely 1 bear, 1 marmot and 17 super attractive humans of the female variety.

And maybe she was trying to accelerate the grandchild production process of her youngest 33 year-old son, but my mother soon devised a scheme where she’d approach all the prettiest ones and ask them to take our photo. Nice work, Wing-ma! That was almost as exciting as the black bear we saw from the PEAK 2 PEAK or the marmot who posed in the sun for us off the Burnt Stew Trail. Nature wins again.

Whistler's beauties

6. The Mutual Understanding

There’s no better way to answer the “Why don’t you have a real job?” question than to give someone a glimpse into the world that you’ve made a conscious decision to be a part of. Life’s just better in the mountains and all it takes is some sightseeing with mom and casual stroll in the alpine to prove it.

7. A Revelation

Strangely enough, my mom never used to be a huge fan of this place. All the excitement just kinda overwhelmed her. But this time was different. She was here during Crankworx and really started to appreciate the festive nature of a Village full of super-happy people. And after our easy escape into the alpine environment I think my mom understood why, out of all the places I could have decided to live, I’ve chosen this one.

She’s even made plans to come back with the rest of the Nixon clan this winter or spring. I can’t wait to unleash my Wing-Ma on all the babes at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival.

Go sightseeing with mom (or anyone) in Whistler for a taste of the freedom of the mountains. Hit up for details, deals and all kinds of good times.


Along with our regular Insiders, we have a host of local and visiting authors keen to share their stories. Most of them don't actually look like bears, but they are just as lovable.