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The west was won on the backs of the men and women who built the Canadian Pacific Railway. A rapid method for traversing the country, it still serves as one of the best long distance systems to get from point A to B in Canada. But, it’s not as quick as my current drive on this adventure, the 2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition. It represents one of the finest ways to explore the lakes and mountains around Whistler, British Columbia. This is travelling in style!
Power comes in the form of a 3.5-litre aluminum V6 engine. Tried and true for many years, it produces 303 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Zero to 100 km/h takes just a tick over 6 seconds to achieve.
Matched to a 7-speed automatic transmission, speed comes on in a rush as the power band kicks in, spinning the tires of this all-wheel drive cruising machine. The enthusiastic sounds of its lusty 6-cylinder motor resound off the mountain face as we dash our way up the Sea-to-Sky highway overlooking Pacific shores.
Brakes are vented discs all-around with 4-wheel/channel/sensor ABS that also adds EBD and brake assist. Massive 21” 10-spoke turbine graphite finish aluminum alloy wheels grab your attention; the 265/45R 21 tires do an equally effective job of grabbing the asphalt.
Outward styling on the FX35 Limited Edition is legendary. A proud nose says come and get me as we pass what appears to be a brand new Audi Q5. Moments later, we charge our way around an equally new BMW X5, both vehicles left with only the image of our tail-lights vanishing in the evening mist. It is an eerie drive to Whistler on this night, but inside all is calm with HDD navigation and satellite radio leading the way.
Seats are magnificent; the quilted leather accents really standout on the FX35 Limited Edition. In classic Infiniti-style, there is a lot going on inside. Buttons, switches, Bose sound, brushed metal, all work seamlessly to provide a superb driving environment. White on black round gauges makes it easy to watch speed and rpm. There is even the classic oval shaped analogue clock for those who need a little old-world charm mixed in for good measure.
Leaving Vancouver behind for a few days, the first section of once infamous British Columbia Highway #99 is by far the most amusing. That assumes, of course, you are driving a vehicle capable of handling tight corners, blind curves, concrete barriers and the odd falling rock, without breaking a sweat.
I take my cue from the many motorcycles plying the road at this time of day and punch it. If I were riding a bike, I may go so far as to drop a knee, this is such a fun place to go for a drive! The 2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition responds to my every turn and twist of the 3-spoke steering wheel with athletic prowess. It isn’t a motorcycle by any means, but the large chrome grill does a much better job of catching bugs then the front visor on a helmet.
Nita Lake Lodge is uniquely positioned away from the main resort area of Whistler. In fact, you are required to seek it out rather than stumble upon it as you stroll through the Olympic Village of 2010. I see this as one of its most significant selling points, so too do the many returning guests. A diamond in a setting famous for jewel-like hotels and resorts, Nita Lake Lodge has many surprises waiting to be explored.
A total of 77 suites define this luxury boutique hotel. Situated lakeside, the view from my window offers a serene setting of crystal blue waters, lush green forests and mountains stretching off into the distance. Money was no object when construction began on the hotel and it shows in all the details.
My Studio Suite features a king-size bed, gas fireplace with overhead flat-screen TV, comfy chairs, tons of closet space, a full wet bar and more. The bathroom highlights a large bath for two, with separate stone tile shower and dual-sink vanity. This is living the life of luxury!
Meals are served in style at Aura Restaurant, a full service facility with both indoor and outdoor dining. The Pacific menu features locally sourced ingredients. Recent menu changes have simplified the approach, allowing the chef to create dishes you can easily understand without the need for a dictionary. For breakfast, I opt for the banana pancakes dripping with maple syrup. Later in the day, dinner is what you would expect, Pacific Ocean fabulous!
Activities at Nita Lake Lodge include exercise of all kinds. A favourite among guests is the walk or bike ride around the lake on a paved path that takes you all the way into the village. Also onsite, the world-class Nita Spa offers 5 treatment rooms and full service spa menu to relieve any lingering stress.
The best stress relief I know is to get back in the 2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition and explore the mountain roads around Whistler. Finding the road less travelled is easy on this day and I take full advantage. This is the real Rocky Mountain high!
2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition
Trim level: Limited Edition
Configuration: front engine/ all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5L 6 cylinder/ 7-spd automatic
Power/torque: 303 hp/ 262 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Premium (90L)
Where to Stay:
Nita Lake Lodge
2131 Lake Placid Road