Whistlerites can have their pie and eat it too on Sunday (Sept. 16) at the third annual Huckleberry Festival held at the Callaghan Country Lodge.
Set deep within the pristine wilderness of the valley, attendees are invited to come and sample some of the blueberries and huckleberries, which typically grow at high altitudes, that dot the 4.5-km walk to the lodge from Callaghan Valley Rd.
“It’s one of the only times in the Callaghan Valley in the summer that you’ll actually see quite a few people on the trails,” said the lodge’s marketing and sales coordinator, Kim Ebers. “The social aspect of it is really quite fun.”
Intrepid hikers will be treated to a pancake breakfast if they bring a basket of berries they picked along the way.
Once there, guests can choose to participate in several scheduled events or kick back and relax in the lodge’s sauna, free of charge.
The highlight of the day is sure to be the afternoon’s pie baking contest, where aspiring pastry chefs will be given all the necessary ingredients and instructions necessary to wow judges on their picture-perfect pie presentation.
“If there’s a little bit too much berry that starts oozing it’s not going to be as good-looking a pie,” explained Ebers.
Attendees won’t have to worry about burning the pie, as local chefs will do all the dirty work. All guests will have to worry about is crafting a crust bearing the Callaghan Lodge’s logo.
Local bear expert Michael Allen will give a presentation on Whistler’s favourite furry friends, showcasing some of his own photographs shot by cameras he set up in the backwoods of the Callaghan Valley.
Later on, a 1.9-km interpretive hike led by Evelyn Coggins, a clinical herbal therapist, will enlighten guests on the area’s native flora and traditional harvesting methods.
If all that isn’t enough to exhaust the most durable of Whistlerites, the Copper Cayuze Outfitters are also bringing their finest horses and cowboys to take full advantage of the lodge’s coral.
Whistler Eco Tours will be providing complimentary shuttle service leaving at 8 a.m. (returning at 4 p.m.) and 9 a.m. (returning at 5 p.m.) from the Alexander Falls base area to the Callaghan Lake trailhead, where guests can then make the roughly hour-and-a-half hike into the lodge.
The festival usually wraps up around 5 p.m. but guests are welcome to stay the night at the rustic Callaghan Lodge, where rooms are still available.
Call 1-877-938-0616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a room or a seat on one of the shuttles.
“It truly is one of the most unique festivals you can go to,” promised Ebers. “It’s an adventure.”