With the truck rumbling and coffee steaming at 4am it was time to hit the road. We said audios to the coastal mountains with high hopes of dryer snow, wilder chutes and a town with a different kind of heartbeat. It’s no cruise of a drive to Golden BC, from Whistler, but it sure is beautiful. It’s the kind of drive where you are constantly torn between stopping to enjoy the views and just pinning it to your final destination because you know it’s going to be just as epic.
The truck was packed to the brim with gear galore; climbing, backcountry touring, snowboarding and camera gear. We were ready for any and all adventures, but mostly to stretch our legs, that was a cramped ride! Antsy from travel we strolled downtown Golden. The view of the Kicking Horse River was a mesmerizing blue from the pedestrian bridge. Our walk led us along the river and into a few stores. As gear junkies and adventure addicts we were blown away with the array of classes, clinics, as well as selection of new and used gear at Higher Ground Mountain Sports. The dream of a central hub that has it all for mountain lovers exists in Golden BC. I can’t wait to plan an outing with the solid crew behind Higher Ground. Yes, with in the first 2 hours of arriving in Golden I was already planning another trip over a delicious dinner at Whitetooth Bistro.
Another early start to snag the first gondola at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and I would highly recommend it. Watching the sunrise from 7,705 feet with alpine views in all directions is beyond breath taking as the low lingering clouds swirl beneath you. I remember thinking, “okay Golden, you’ve already stolen a bit of my heart and it hasn’t even been 24 hours, what else could you possibly have?” Well, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort alone has tons inbounds chutes, over 4,000 vertical feet of skiing, light snow and some of the most epic terrain. Three days on the resort blurred into each other quickly. Conquering one frothy line after another made it harder and harder to have to leave this gem of a town.
When the resort closes and the sun goes down, Golden doesn’t sleep, in fact, that’s when the Dogtooth Climbing Gym opens. Dogtooth is the perfect place to spend an evening, or a down day from skiing. The bouldering cave is a paradise of problems and the tall walls offer something for everyone. Ian the owner will even show you how its done if you ask nicely, and it’s worth it to see him dance across the walls with ease. He’ll trick you into thinking that 5.12 was a 5.8.
As a dog lover, I couldn’t wait to go to the Northern Lights Wolf Center and I wasn’t disappointed. I walked away with new knowledge, some pretty cool photos and a new love and respect for Wolfs. It was incredible to hear about how important these creatures are to our environment and to see Shelley one of the owners of Northern Lights Wolf Center play with these majestic creatures. Howling with the wolfs? Checked that off the bucket list.
The terrain, the sights, the town and the people; when they say Golden Rules they weren’t kidding. From our stint in Golden we were greeted with nothing but kindness. Mike at the Best Western greeted us after riding each day with warm cookies and friendly conversation. The locals at Taps endured a painful game of pool with me (I can’t play pool, but love it anyway). The KHMR patrol gave special medical attention to my dogs cut leg (which is okay now, thanks!) without being asked. Steve Fisk lead myself and a Swedish media crew effortlessly through a variety of terrain with a smile plastered on his face all day, this dude loves his job and isn’t afraid to show it. The comical bar tenders at the Riverhouse kept me in stitches all night. I could keep bragging about the people in this town, but just experience it. Experience the mountain, the town and embrace the mindset and you’ll understand what Golden’s all about, or just crave more of it – like me!
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