Imagine laying in a cozy bed with the blankets snuggled up firmly past your shoulders, the only audible sounds being the gentle breeze of snowfall outside your window and the hypnotic crackling of a fireplace elsewhere in the house. There are no traffic jams outside, no sirens or skyscrapers or other hectic indicators of big city life; just you, your homely little abode, and the beautiful mountain outside. This situation is not merely a fantasy; it is a regular reality for people who live in the world-renowned Canadian resort town of Whistler, BC. In particular, this scenario speaks to the experiences of people who live in Whistler Village's ubiquitous chalets.
What Are Chalets?
Also know as a "Swiss Chalet" (not the restaurant), chalets are wooden houses with gently-sloping rooves and wide eaves. As their second name suggests, they originated in the Swiss alps as a durable and well-insulated form of housing that could both resist the pressures of snowfall on the roof and the chills of winter weather on a mountaintop. From their origins in central Europe, the designs spread north to Germany as well as south to Italy, eventually being brought to the Americas by European settlers. On top of their functional appeal in resisting the rigors of winter, chalets also boast a certain aesthetic appeal in that they are associated in the popular imgination with warmth, comfort, and safety. To this end, chalets in Whistler are beloved by locals because they add to the small town's rustic Old World charm.
So, beyond the quaint architecture, what exactly makes Whistler Village such a draw for its thousands of resident and millions of annual visitors? The first and most important attraction is, of course, its world-famous ski slopes; combined, Whistler-Blackcomb mountains offer some of the finest skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the world, offering athletes thick powdery snow and top-class amenities. From the little bunny hills that novices go up and down to the challenging black diamond runs, there is enough diversity on Whistler's ski hills to occupy even an Olympic athlete's time for many years. This explains why even the locals never seem to tire of the region's ski hills even after visiting them dozens of times over the years. The second attraction to life in Whistler is its small-town charm: with a population in the thousands rather than the millions, many people move to Whistler to escape the hectic pace of life in the big city. It's no surprise that many families prefer to see trees and wildlife outside their window rather than skyscrapers and factories. The third attraction in Whistler is its summertime recreational offerings, which include mountain biking trails, hiking trails, hunting/fishing opportunities galore, sightseeing, and countless natural photography options.
Whether you are an avid snowboarder, an amateur hunter, or a professional cyclist, you are sure to find plenty to do when you live in Whistler - and if you find yourself inhabiting a chalet, you'll be living in style as well!