Whistler is the famous ski resort comprised of Whistler Mountain and Backcomb Mountain just two hours north of Vancouver.
The resort was home to many events in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and some of the facilities from that event are still open for public use at the Whistler Olympic Park.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Whistler
Founded in 1966, the ski resort at Whistler is the Lower Mainland’s biggest and best ski hill that’s also known around the world. Skiing and snowboarding take place at the resort’s two mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb.
Between the two mountains, Whistler-Blackcomb has over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. Within this are 240 runs, 8 parks and even glaciers that are connected by 36 lifts. There are also several options for on-mountain dining for folk that get hungry during their skiing or snowboarding adventure.
Both Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain offer great skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. The two mountains are connected by the Peak-to-Peak Gondola, so folk never have to choose one or the other. Lift tickets also include riding on both mountains.
Blackcomb Mountain has an elevation of 7,494 feet and is generally the steeper mountain. This means folk will find more challenging runs here (for example, black diamond runs). There’s also more expert-level runs with trees and cut trails. Blackcomb Mountain is also home to the Coca Cola Tube Park!
Christine’s on Blackcomb is one of several restaurants that folk can enjoy a meal at in between runs. It’s a modern, upscale place located right beside the Peak-to-Peak Gondola. Other restaurants found on Blackcomb Mountain include the Rendezvous Lodge (which is open year-round), as well as the Crystal Hut, Glacier Creek Lodge and Horstman Hut (which are only open in the winter).
Whistler Mountain’s top elevation is 7,160 feet and is generally sunnier than Blackcomb Mountain. It features more green runs and bowls than Blackcomb Mountain as well, and is considered the easier mountain of the two. There are two areas for kids (including a tree fort) here as well as a large Beginner section.
Restaurants at Whistler Mountain include Ollie’s Grilled Cheese Shack and the Roundhouse Lodge (which are open year-round) as well as Chic Pea, Dusty’s Backside, Harmony Hut, Raven’s Nest and Steep’s Grill & Wine Bar (which are only open in the winter).
What To Bring
For skiing and snowboarding at Whistler, it is recommended that folk bring gloves, hats, snow pants, goggles and a warm winter jacket. Temperatures at the top of the mountains can be several degrees colder than in the Village, so it is good to come prepared.
If folk don’t have skis or snowboards, or are unable to bring them, no problem! Whistler has a large selection of places to rent skiing and snowboarding equipment. Usually hotels will have their own rental stores, or there are several located throughout the village.
Most hotels and lodging places also have an option for gear storage (usually at an extra cost). There are also day/overnight lockers and gear storage available at the base of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra bits of information to help you make the most out of your skiing and snowboarding experience at Whistler Blackcomb.
TIP #1: Start early to avoid the worst of the crowds. Days on the slopes at Whistler and Blackcomb are limited by daylight, so getting an early start also ensures you get the most out of your lift ticket.
TIP #2: Ski through lunch and either grab an early or late meal to beat the rush at the slopeside restaurants.
TIP #3: Familiarize yourself with the trail maps before you go. The Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains have over 200 marked trails and 8,000 acres of terrain between them so it’s good to have some knowledge beforehand.
TIP #4: Book a lesson for some extra guidance. Whistler has some of the best teachers (even Olympic athletes!) to help you learn some skills on the slopes.
For more details on each of the mountains or to buy lift tickets for the winter season, click Tourism Whistler.
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