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Walking through an almost empty Whistler village in October, on the most beautiful blue bird day was such a treat. It was a lovely time of year to be there, there were still tourists around, (myself included), but it was quiet by iconic ski town standards. The weather was a dream the weekend I was visiting; sunny and perfectly temperate considering I'd flown out of Calgary a week and a half before in ankle-deep snow. The fall colours were in abundance and heightened the picturesque feel of the place, the mountains towering above the town as the runs finished just beyond the Upper Village and the Creekside district.

It was my natural reaction to compare Whistler to Banff, there being an element of competition between Canada's two most renowned ski towns. I knew quite a few people in Banff who had lived a season at Whistler and they had all said how much fun it was, which I believed. I'd visited the tourist information centre the day before to book myself onto a zip line tou…

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