Whistler is North America’s largest ski area, but it is not just about the skiing, this is a world class destination for an unbeatable holiday, year round. Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which offer 8,171 acres of terrain, over 200 marked runs, 16 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers. These two massive mountains are now joined by the world record holding PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, making it easy to ski on both mountains in the same day.
An epic holiday in Whistler though starts from the moment you land in Vancouver. Located in the south-west corner of British Columbia and nestled between the Pacific ocean and Coast Mountains, the setting is jaw dropping. It is definitely worth spending a night or two exploring this cosmopolitan city, or even enjoying some yachting or whale watching! Afterwards, the journey from Vancouver to Whistler, via the spectacular Sea to Sky highway, helicopter or float plane, will have you taking endless photographs and excited about the snowy adventures ahead.
Arriving in Whistler Village, set between both the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, you get a feeling for the size of the snow covered peaks from the endless trails that cut through the trees. The resort centre is purpose built in a pleasant and colourful style, is pedestrian only and there are an almost endless array of shops, bars, restaurants and cafés. Once the ski lifts finish for the day the resort buzzes with an eclectic choice of après ski venues, most famously at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) or Longhorns in the main village, or at Dusty’s in Creekside Village; one of Whistlers original bars.
Both mountains can be accessed from Whistler Village and with over 11 metres annual snowfall, powder days are numerous. For beginners there are dedicated nursery slopes along with excellent ski school instruction to build not only your technique, but also your confidence. More experienced skiers have some of the world’s finest ski slopes to discover. From boundless tree lined slopes, high and open Alpine bowls and glacier descents, the variety is almost endless.
For experts Whistler has become a true snowy mecca with more powder bowls than you can shake a fat powder ski at and world class terrain parks. The alpine bowls on Whistler mountains higher slopes, including Flute, Glacier, West, Bagel and Whistler provide a huge variety of lines, chutes and powder faces. On Blackcomb mountain climb up Spanky’s Ladder to access a large area of quiet and ungroomed slopes and would highly recommend hiring a local guide to show you the best and safest routes. For those who love hitting the snow park, the crowning glory is the huge Olympic standard super-pipe with 7m high walls.
One of the main attractions of a ski holiday in Whistler is the opportunity to either Cat-ski or Heli-ski. Powder Mountain is about a 20 minute drive south of Whistler and offers 4,300 acres of powder snow covered terrain across five peaks. This is perfect cat-skiing terrain and on average will give you 8-10 fun filled runs per day, or about 7,000-10,000 vertical feet of powder skiing. The terrain offers up high alpine bowls, steep tree runs as well as gentle open meadows that are perfect for the first timer.
Whistler Heli-Skiing have access to some 432,000 acres of classic big mountain terrain that is surely the ultimate dream for advanced skiers and boarders. With access to an area that is 50 times larger than the Whistler Blackcomb ski area and including 173 glaciers, there are an amazing 475 routes awaiting your arrival.
For more family-friendly fun, the Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler are huge treehouses that are great for families with little ones. You can ski to both and then just take off your skis or snowboard and play away till your heart's content. They offer the perfect diversion for youngsters and a little rest in the middle of their day’s skiing. Looking for alternate ways to have fun in the snow? Feel the wind on your face as you race your friends and family across 6 lanes on the Coca-Cola Tube park at the Base 2 Zone on Blackcomb Mountain.
Enjoy the thrill of snowmobiling through the Callaghan Valley from early morning tours to thrilling after-hours adventures. Drive you own machine, or share the ride with a friend and discover snowy paths through ancient woodlands and pristine views. For budding Olympians, the world’s fastest sliding track is located in Whistler and offers the opportunity to hop into a four-person bobsled and take an adrenaline-fueled ride through 10 twists and turns at speeds of over 125 kilometres per hour. Or for those with an even crazier disposition, why not try the Skeleton and slide headfirst!
The resort is even moreof a tourist attraction in summer seasons, with an almost endless list of activities in Whistler and the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are five local lakes with an abundance of beaches and water activities including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, whitewater rafting, fishing and more.
Soar through ancient forests via a network of ziplines, suspension bridges and tree top adventures. Embark on exhilarating ATV and RZR 4x4 tours, bear watching tours and off-road Porsche tours through a variety of terrain to explore the surrounding areas and get your adrenaline pumping. After twilight, take a night walk through an illuminated enchanted forest on a multimedia feast for the senses - the Vallea Lumina is Whistler’s newest activities that is a must-see attraction for all ages.
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is considered the No. 1 lift accessed downhill bike park in the world and for good reason. Boasting more terrain than any other bike park in North America with 4,900 vertical feet of lift-serviced descending trails. Beginning in 1999 with the Fitzsimmons Zone, Whistler Mountain Bike Park now features four distinct zones with over 80km of trail for you to explore.
The gondolas and lifts that brought you for skiing are converted for moving bikes up the mountain, where you can bike on trails for all 5 difficulty levels, including the infamous A-line, and all 5 skill centres. Beyond the bike parks there are over 350km of trails to choose from and explore on cross-country bikes.
For rest and relaxation we recommend the Scandinave Spa, located just North of Whistler Village. This unique day spa that is surrounded by spruce and cedar forest and overlooks stunning mountain and valley views. After an adventurous day, unwind in the hot and cold baths and refreshing waterfalls or enjoy a relaxing massage treatment in one of Whistler’s top spas.
Whistler is rightly recognised as one of the finest ski resorts in the world and a must visit winter destination for all avid skiers and snowboarders.