MY ALMOST 20-YEAR-OLD SON AND A COUPLE OF MATES ARE HEADING TO WHISTLER, CANADA, FOR JUNE. THEIR PLAN IS TO MOUNTAIN BIKE TO THEIR HEART'S CONTENT. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHER THINGS TO DO? TWO ARE UNI STUDENTS SO BUDGET-CONSCIOUS IDEAS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
T. WEBBER, CANBERRA
They're quite possibly capable of biking for the whole month without drawing breath, and since they've got some of the world's finest mountain biking terrain in western Canada, everything else might be a very distant second. British Columbia by itself has enough superlative mountain biking to last a lifetime but if they want more variety they could head across the Rockies to Banff, use that as their base and tackle some of the mountain trails. They might then head up to Lake Louise, another MTB hotspot, then continue up the Icefield Parkway to Jasper National Park, which has hundreds of kilometres of truly awesome bike trails. You might suggest Vancouver Island as another alternative destination to consider, easy to access from Vancouver and the island offers technical mountain singletrack trails along its rugged coastline and through ancient rainforest. They'll do things out of the saddle as well, some days the weather will turn, some days they'll just want to hang out, but they'll figure it out as they go. There are plenty of hostels throughout this region and lots of places to eat on the cheap and I wouldn't be too concerned about budgets. Make sure they're all insured, accidents happen even though they probably think they're unbreakable.