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View from Vancouver: more sun than snow

Just landed in Vancouver a couple of hours ago, and am safely aboard the bus that will transport me to Whistler, site of the alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics, not to mention a little bobsledding and a few other things.

By way of introductions, I'll be your ski reporter for the next three weeks, and the author of our profile of Lindsey Vonn -- one that will run in Wednesday's paper, along with our special Olympics preview section. I'll also get down to the city for some hockey. I hear Russia and Canada might be okay.

Our team: ace Olympics reporter Amy Shipley and columnist Tracee Hamilton -- who used to run the Post's Olympics ship when she was an editor -- are also due in today. We'll use this space for updates, observations, etc., from now on -- through Friday's Opening Cermonies through the first major events of the weekend and on through the end of the Games on Feb. 28. Plus, there's the good old fashioned $.75 edition, assuming you can shovel out said version from your front stoop.

Some initial thoughts: Where's the snow? (I know, I know. Cruel to say that to folks back in Washington.) We're headed to Highway 1 out of town here in Vancouver, directly toward the mountains -- which are stunning, by the way -- and the grass is that greenish brown that usually defines grass in ... well, in Washington this time of year. (Actually, it looks a bit greener than that.) And it's probably warmer than 40 degrees. The sky could scarcely be bluer.

Seriously, not rubbing it in. There is actual news in here. It has, in fact, been warmer here over the past few days. Vancouver's climate, in general, is mild. The Strait of Georgia runs between it and massive Vancouver Island, and the Pacific Ocean is to the west beyond that. It's one of the few North American cities where you can simultaneously enjoy views of the sea and the slopes. The result is just tremendously visually appealing.

But the city's proximity to the water also makes it rather balmy. I spent a week in December on the other side of the Rockies -- in Lake Louise, Alberta, to do some work on the aforementioned Lindsey Vonn profile -- and it was downright frigid. But when I met a group of volunteer workers who were ready to check me in today, I said, "Wow, it's nice and warm out." They shot right back, smiling, "Oh, no. It's really cooled off."

Which brings us to the people: Small sample, yes, but they're enormously friendly. It's like they're Canadian or something. Go figure.

We'll have more here over the coming days and weeks. If you're trapped at home, bookmark this page. If you're trapped at work, bookmark this page. We'll have links to the stories in the papers and updates throughout the day. Enjoy the Games.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 9, 2010; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  Vancouver 2010  
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Next: Vancouver earns high marks for Green Games


Move the winter olympics to Lake Tahoe California
where there are plenty of slopes and plenty of snow.

Posted by: blakesouthwood | February 9, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I live just south of there, in Bellingham, WA. The views are great, when the sun's out. Usually winter is damp and cloudy. Heard Cypress has been trucking/flying in snow from all over, including from Mt. Baker. Enjoy your trip up to Whistler.

Posted by: EllenK1 | February 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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