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thanksgoing
Thanksgiving
traditionally serves
up turkey, loved
ones and autumn
colours. In the
alpine village
of Whistler,
Thanksgiving also
brings transition;
ski sales replace
bike trails, freezing
levels drop and
housing stresses rise.
However, on a trail
north of town,
you’ll find a place
where there’s always
room for one more.
And on a recent
fall evening, it
was this place that
my wife, Melinda
and I thankfully
called home.
by Steve Hainsworth
m
elinda leads our forested ascent. Now, as we emerge from Marriott Creek and its wetlands run a green stripe along
the woods, she is the first to remark on the enormous the valley bottom.
alpine bowl in which we have arrived. “Wow.” She says. We traverse the hillside and move further up the
No signage is necessary. This is the Marriott Basin and it’s basin. We rest on the shores of Lower Marriott Lake, a
even bigger than I imagined. It’s also more uphill than respectably-sized alpine pool, before continuing to climb.
I figured a trip to a basin would be. Nevertheless, we’ve Ascending further into the alpine, our trail passes by
hiked up about 6 kilometres to get to this spot. That increasingly knotted spruce trees and detours around
elevation is now rewarding us with a fiery fall panorama. trail-blocking boulders. Nestled amongst the trees and
The high valley walls are ablaze in red, yellow and orange rocks, we spot the sunset reflecting off the silver rooftop
of autumn alpine shrubs. Strips of hearty blue spruce trees of our destination.
and grey veins of rock also quilt the basin. The twisting I push open the door of the Wendy Thompson Hut.
12 GOT september/october 2009
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