Just like the tentative buds on bare branches, spring in Whistler is the time we start to unfurl. The promise of longer, lighter days gives birth to a myriad of plans as our mountain trails begin to clear. Daffodils and crocuses thrust their colourful way into the world, and Whistler’s official flower, the skunk cabbage, tempts the bears who are ravenous after their long, winter sleep.
It’s a time of transition and reclaiming as the snow recedes and we swap snow gear for running shoes and two-wheel fun. It’s also a time to think about setting intentions for the spring and summer, checking in with what you need to rebalance or refocus with those goals in mind.
Knowing that Whistler has an abundance of locals who live for adventure and exploration of all kinds, we asked six of them how they get ready for, welcome in, and celebrate spring in Whistler.
Prajakta, Local Author
“A couple of years back, after moving to Whistler, I set an intention to start living my personal life in alignment with natural rhythms instead of human-made measures of time. I began to set intentions for the year, not on New Year’s Day according to the Gregorian calendar, but around mid-March instead.
This is when spring feels like it is finally in the air, and a renewal feels both imminent and natural. I use my daily meditation practice and journaling (and most recently, my book Buddha Balance Journal) around this season, to have a conversation with my innermost self. What emerges after a few days of doing so, are images and feelings (note, not a list) of which direction I’d like to orient myself in for the rest of the year.
This is very different from my days of working in the corporate world when New Year resolutions and hard lists were the workhorses. They were neither effective for me nor did they resonate, they were far too rigid and masculine. Now among these forested surroundings, I’m able to embrace a more feminine spring ritual of going with my inner flow and aligning it with nature’s outer flow.”
Jesica Romero, Travel Consultant at Whistler.com
“I love going to the Scandinave Spa. The last time I was there I spent six hours hopping from the cold plunge pools to the hot tubs. It’s amazing how the body reacts and adjusts to the hot and cold.
However, this spring I’d like to take a spring dip in one of Whistler’s lakes. I’ve never done it before. It’s both a mental and physical challenge. You have to prepare your mind, focus on breathing and stay in control as your body tingles. Wish me luck!”
Dan, WORCA Lead Bike Trail Builder
“I walk the trails before I ride them, that way I can get an idea of when they might be ready and what work might need to be done. It’s a great way to solve problems. I’ll go with a handsaw or chainsaw. The slower pace of being on foot allows for better inspection and I can start clearing things left behind by the winter.
If there’s snow on a trail or it’s too saturated, that’s a no go for walking or biking. I let the community know via Trailforks what’s open and what still needs time, this is a big part of my spring.
Walking with a heavy pack before I actually get into swinging the tools on the trails is a good way to ease into it. Talking of backpacks, it’s also the time I go through mine and check and replenish any of the tools and equipment I’ll need for the season ahead.
For this spring, I want to get into a new spring ritual and that’s cleaning my bike after a ride. I’m terrible at that and it matters!”
Kirsten, Vice President of Marketing at Tourism Whistler
“Every spring I’m always inspired to run. It’s kind of odd because I’m not a runner per se, but with the valley exposing itself and the days getting longer I have this intense yearning to get outside more. I get a literal spring in my step.
I’m going to try and carry this enthusiasm into the summer as I’m trying rucking, which is simply moving outside with a weighted backpack or vest. It helps to build strength and cardio, which obviously helps with overall fitness but is especially good for getting used to carrying a pack for overnight hiking.”
Emily, Yogacara Owner and Teacher
“The sun rising earlier motivates me to get up out of bed and start my day with more energy. This boost translates into my meditation and yoga practice where the stillness and slower movements that I default to in the winter are replaced with mindful movement, curiosity, fluidity and creativity.
My schedule also sees some changes in the spring. Instead of going up riding first thing, I love catching the lift later in the day for sunny groomer laps and I start getting back into the forest when the snow melts in the valley.
New plants pop up and for many people, myself included, foraging season starts. Springtime brings a lot of new energy to the table and if you allow yourself to feel it and work with it, you’ll experience that renewal too.”
Rebecca, Director of the Whistler Writers Festival
“The change in seasons is a fantastic time to clear off the cobwebs on creative ideas that haven’t had a chance to see the light of day. I like to wander the trails of Lost Lake and let my mind flow with the meandering pathways.
Sometimes I need a jolt of inspiration from other creatives, so I head to the Audain Art Museum or Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, and look at the event lineup at Arts Whistler. I find that when I wake up my curiosity, my creativity comes alive too.”
INSIDER TIP: The Whistler Writers Festival is holding one-day writing retreats throughout the spring and early summer if Rebecca’s comments have you inspired.
I love it when Whistler’s 46-kilometre Valley Trail emerges from the snow. We’re lucky to have this incredible, double-lane, paved trail that links neighbourhoods, parks and lakes. There’s nothing like feeling the spring sunshine on your face as you pedal to your favourite coffee shop or watering hole.
Whether your spring ritual involves dusting off your runners, tuning your bike or seeing if your swimsuit still fits, the mountains are an incredible place to welcome in the season. Find your spring ritual in Whistler.