One of the most unique WordCamps ever will be January 24, 2009, in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. WordCamp Whistler is a combination ski, photowalk, and WordCamp event for winter and blogging fans around the world at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort.
Whistler, British Columbia, is a very popular and beautiful ski resort in the Pacific Range of the Coast Mountains of Canada, only a few hours drive from Vancouver. In the early 1960s, a group was determined to bring the Winter Olympics to Whistler, and their dream comes true as Whistler is the host mountain for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This is your chance to visit and ski a world class mountain before the crowds arrive next year.
I grew up in Seattle, a few hours south of Vancouver and Whistler, and skied all the mountains including Whistler and its sister, Blackcomb. It has changed a lot as it prepares for the upcoming Olympics, so this is a very exciting opportunity for me to visit not only a world class ski range, but also one of the most beautiful places in the world.
This WordCamp event is different from the others because while its focus is on WordPress, it’s also ideal for photography and photo bloggers. Not only is the area eye candy galore, there will be time for photography and some of the speakers will be covering photography, video, and photo blogging.
As the event grows near, WordCamp Whistler planners announced that there are still sponsorship spots available. A Facebook event is up. The list of speakers is great and registration is going fast for this limited seating event. They’ve planned photo walks and skiing events along with the WordPress fun.
The speakers are also top notch, covering some interesting WordPress and blogging topics, including:
- Lorelle VanFossen – WordPress Power Blogging Tips
- Andy Peatling of BuddyPress
- Dave Olson of uncleweed – Are you Worthy?
- Dale Mugford of BraveNewCode – WordPress On The Go
- John Biehler – How To Sex Up Your Blog With Photos And Video
For those who registered early, there was a discount rate for the hotel, so check to see if it is still available. I’ve checked with Kayak and found hotel rooms are still available starting at $99 and going up, though staying at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort puts you right near the skiing access and is a top class hotel.
Transportation to Whistler currently is by vehicle, bus, or train. Flights come into Vancouver, and Whistler is a 2-hour drive along the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) from Vancouver, or two to three hour bus or train ride.
There are a variety of transportation options for travel to Whistler. Many fly into Vancouver and rent a car, while others fly to Seattle and rent a car from there. Check to ensure the car rental company permits taking the car across the border. Greyhound, Amtrak, and Pacific Coast offer bus service.
Whistler Mountaineer Train offers a three hour “tour” train ride to Whistler which leaves in the morning and returns in the afternoon, which you can plan your trip around. They also offer a four day, three nights Whistler Rail Escape, with accomodation at the Hilton Whistler. West Coast Air has a Standby Special with a 50% discount for those flying between 10AM and 2PM daily with flights from Victoria to Whistler only.
This kind of WordCamp event is rare, placed in a lovely landscape with so many winter activities wrapped around it. Don’t miss it.