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Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort

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Mountain Stats

  • 462 in of annual snowfall
  • 8171 total skiable acres
  • Top elevation 7493 ft, base 2214 ft
  • 18% beginner, 55% intermediate, 27% advanced, 0% expert
  • Projected opening: 11/22/2014
  • Projected closing: 05/18/2015

Whistler Beginner Skiing

Whistler Blackcomb is massive. It’s one of the largest resorts in the entire world with 8,171 skiable acres, split between two enormous peaks, Whistler and Blackcomb. And just think, nearly 20 percent of that is beginner terrain, which equates to over 1,600 acres of dedicated novice slopes, and gentle “learn to ski” areas. Plus, the Whistler beginner skiing is spread out all over this vast resort, even at the very top of the mountain, providing beginner skiers with an unparalleled experience. There are so many options and beginner trails to explore that deciding on where to start is the hardest part.

Whistler Beginner Terrain

First timers have ample options between the Whistler and Blackcomb sides of the resort. If you’re staying closer to one area start there on your first day out, it’ll take the guess work out of navigating around this massive village and mountain. If you’re in the Whistler area, which is looker’s right on a trail map, then you’ll want to head up the Whistler Village Gondola and get off at the Mid-Way point and explore the mild terrain off the Platter and Olympic Chair lift. If you have some experience under your belt, continue to the top of the Whistler Village Gondola which climbs nearly 3,800 feet. From the top take in the gorgeous views, you’ll hardly know you’re about to ski beginner trails. Novice skiers have the option to take Upper Whiskey Jack to Lower Whiskey Jack or Upper Whiskey Jack to Pony Trail. Beginners can head back the base or get on the nearest lift. With the exception of the Peak Lift and Creekside Lift, beginner skiers will find green circle terrain off of every Whistler lift. If you’re looking for a little adventure and some of Whistler’s best views, head up the Harmony Express Lift to Little Whistler Peak and take Burnt Stew Trail along the outer edges of Harmony Zone, which meanders along the ridge of the mountain and can be taken back to the bottom of the mountain.

If you’re staying on the Blackcomb side of the resort, never ever skiers should start out in the base area around Magic Chair lift. Once you’re feeling ready to take on the rest of Blackcomb, head up the Excalibur Gondola to the Excelerator Express or the Wizard Express to the Solar Coaster. Beginners can access novice trails from all of Blackcomb’s lifts with the exception of Glacier Express and the two t-bar lifts it accesses near the top of Blackcomb Peak. Don’t miss beginner runs at Blackcomb include Sunset Boulevard, which hugs looker’s right of the mountain, and Green Line, which can be skied from the top of 7th Heaven Express to the very bottom of the base area. Few resorts can boast the quantity and quality of beginner terrain that Whistler Blackcomb can.

To learn more about Whistler beginner skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Expert Skiing

Although the Whistler expert terrain only “technically” comprises about 27-percent of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain terrain, don’t forget that’s 27-percent of 8,161 acres, or about 2,200 acres solely devoted to expert skiers. And that number doesn’t include the seemingly never-ending sidecountry terrain that experienced backcountry skiers can take advantage of. Because Whistler Blackcomb rises almost 6,000 feet and is located in a coastal climate, expert skiers can take advantage of the resort’s unique winter environment: high alpine, above treeline couloir and chute skiing, to open bowl glacier skiing to lush evergreen powder stashes with fun, hidden cliff drops. Not to mention the expert steeps of the 2010 Winter Olympics Downhill courses. Whistler expert skiing offers an excessive amount of options for a seasoned skier.

Whistler Expert Terrain

For the best Whistler Mountain expert terrain head right up the Whistler Village Gondola, and get yourself on The Peak Lift. You’ll feel like King of the World on Whistler Mountain’s 7,160-foot summit. For an adrenaline rush you won’t soon forget, drop into Whistler Bowl. To really challenge yourself try to ski non-stop to Grand Finale which drops you off at Big Red Express for more laps. Or if you want test your expert mettle, head skier’s left along the ridgeline and drop into double black The Coulior or The Cirque. If you head skier’s right off the ridge, you’ll find yourself in West Bowl or Bagel Bowl.  Head to Harmony Express and get the steep goods on Glacier Bowl, or head along Harmony Ridge and drop into any of the short, steep chutes. From the top of Harmony Express you can access Sun Bowl and Flute Bowl.  If you’re looking for a powder stash, In-Deep is where you want to be.

Blackcomb Mountain is generally considered to have more “extreme” terrain, so be ready to bring your “A” game. To get to the ultimate Blackcomb expert terrain head up to the Glacier Express, you can opt for the quick hike to Spanky’s Ladder, which access double black Garnet, Diamond, Sapphire and Ruby Bowl, and features everything you can imagine: huge cliffs, chutes, couloirs and open steeps. Or hop on the Showcase T-Bar to access the wide-open splendor of the Blackcomb Glacier. Be sure to read warning signs and obey any marked areas, as glaciers can be unpredictable. Bang out some hot laps on the Hortsman T-Bar and take advantage of all the short and sweet goods in the Couloir Extreme and Secret Bowl zone.

To learn more about Whistler expert skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Intermediate Skiing

Whistler Blackcomb is a huge, looming ski resort, with two mountains that share a large base village and are connected by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. You could ski a new run every day for a month, and still hardly break the surface. And go figure, a whopping 55-percent of Whistler Blackcomb’s 8,171 acres is intermediate terrain. Intermediate skiers can get to the highest points on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. When we say there’s nothing like Whistler intermediate skiing, we really mean it.

Whistler Intermediate Terrain

Intermediates can experience every breathtaking angle of the majestic Whistler Mountain. Head up the Whistler Village Express. From there you can head to Harmony Express Lift and ski Harmony Ridge for incredible views off of skier’s right side of the mountain. You can also drop into The Saddle, an intermediate run that hugs Glacier Bowl and offers up-closer and personal views of Whistler’s iconic extreme lines like The Couloir and The Cirque. Or head up to Whistler Mountain’s 7,160-foot summit via The Peak lift. From the top you’ll take Peak to Creek intermediate run, which runs along skier’s left side of the mountain, which you can take to either the Creekside or Village base areas. Or you can hop on Orange or Big Red Express Lift and get another lap the best of Whistler intermediate skiing.

Hop over to Blackcomb via the Peak 2 Peak Gondola from Whistler’s Roundhouse Lodge, which drops passengers off at Rendezvous-Christine’s Lodge. From there ski down Jersey Cream, an intermediate run to Glacier Express, from there you can shred up blue square Hortsman Glacier, or take Showcase T-Bar up to the highest skiable area on Blackcomb Mountain. Take in the views at the top, the back of the ridge access Blackcomb Glacier, which requires backcountry gear and an expert level of ability. Drop into wide open, intermediate trail Showcase. Head to the Hortsman T-Bar to access all the intermediate runs off the 7th Heaven Lift.

To learn more about Whistler intermediate skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Family Ski Vacation

The beauty of a Whistler family ski vacation is choices, choices, choices.  The colossal scope of Whistler Blackcomb terrain and its base villages guarantee there’s something that every member of your family will enjoy. Hard-to-please teens will be charmed with Whistler’s top-notch terrain parks and little ones will enjoy skiing at the top of the mountain like big kids, as well as the many adventures zones. The whole family will love taking in the awe-inspiring sights from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that connects the two mountains. And wide range of lodging and dining options ensures that families will find exactly what they’re looking for on a Whistler family ski vacation. 

Whistler Family Lodging

The Aava Whistler Hotel is conveniently located in Whistler Village, just a short walk to the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which is nice for families who have a load of equipment to carry. Everyone will love relaxing in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub or sauna, and on-site restaurant and lounge, takes the guesswork out of meals. The Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside is a favorite among families, offering an unsurpassed ski in, ski out location, just steps to both Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. All suites at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside are complete with full kitchens, gas fireplace, balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows.  A full-service boutique hotel, the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside offers all the amenities that you have come to expect from a ski destination resort property.

Whistler Family Skiing

With nearly 20-percent beginner terrain, a staggering 55-percent intermediate terrain and roughly 27-percent expert terrain spread out of Whistler Blackcomb’s never-ending vastness, every family of all and every ability will find impeccable terrain. Kids of all ages will be thrilled with Whistler’s adventures zones, like Whistler Mountain’s Kid’s Tree Fort off of Big Red Express lift or Blackcomb’s Childrens Adventure Park area and Magic Castle, just below the Nintendo Terrain Park. The designated Family Zone off of Whistler Mountain’s Emerald Express is perfect for beginner families, as it’s a slow-skiing area with gentle slopes.

More experienced families can enjoy checking out the Olympic and Paralympic Super-G and Downhill courses on Whistler Mountain together. Aspiring or experience terrain park skiers and boarders will have a blast in any of Whistler’s terrain parks: Nintendo and Big Easy Terrain Park are located off of the Solar Coaster Express lift and the Habitat Terrain Park is located off of Emerald Express lift. The parks offer 200-plus features and have small, medium and large designation so beginner or progressing jibbers can try new tricks in a safe manner.

Whistler Family Restaurants

For a quality meal that will please every penchant−and won’t break the bank−head to Whistler’s own Brewhouse. Obviously micro-beer loving parents will be in heaven, and younger kids and picky eaters will appreciate the separate menu created just for them. Main menu items range from delectable barbeque and rotisserie to wood oven pizza, pasta, salads and appetizers perfect for sharing in a large group.

Health-conscious families, or those with dietary needs and food allergies, should give The Wildflower Restaurant at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler a try. Their brunch is out-of-this-world, and while the food is of the highest standards, the price is right.

To learn more about Whistler Blackcomb call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Budget Ski Vacation

Just because Whistler is in British Columbia, Canada, doesn’t mean it’s unaffordable. Once you’ve arrived at Vancouver International Airport, you’re just 85 miles from Whistler via the famed Sea to Sky highway. You can either rent budget car, like a Zipcar and ride in the share lanes, or opt for the Sea to Sky train. While getting there can be the most challenging and spendy aspect of your Whistler budget ski vacation, once you’re there, you’ll be delighted with a plethora of affordable lodges, hotels and restaurants sure to fit your requirements, interests and budget. Whistler Village’s sheer size ensures that there are plenty of reasonably priced options.

Whistler Budget Hotels

If you’re looking for a convenient Whistler Village locale with a rustic mountain atmosphere and distinctive resort amenities, the Delta Whistler Village Suites is the perfect place for you. The Delta Whistler Village Suites combines the warmth and charm of authentic alpine accommodation with the amenities of a full-service hotel. You’ll hardly know you’re staying in a Whistler budget hotel

A stay at Westin Resort and Spa during your Whistler budget ski vacation ensures that you’re a.) saving money and b.) enjoying Westin’s renowned high-quality services and amenities. Their 419 suites are designed for comfort and luxury, including Westin’s custom-designed Heavenly bed, and offer breathtaking views of the mountains and lively Whistler Village.

The Crystal Lodge and Suites, in the center of the Village, is another affordable and convenient Whistler lodging option.  The Crystal Lodge is a full service hotel, which includes 20 shops and services, a lounge bar and equipment rentals, repairs and storage, offers a variety of accommodations to suit all your individual requirements from cozy traditional hotel rooms to suites with breathtaking views of the slopes.

Affordable Whistler Restaurants

Larger groups or families on a budget will appreciate 21 Steps in the heart of Whistler Village, which offers a range of affordable small plates or tapas, perfect for sharing. Entrees vary from $30 and under, but the small plates are average about $10. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality vs. price at 21 Steps. The menu features gourmet comfort Canadian cuisine. The Brewhouse, Whistler’s own brewery, is another great large group or family spot with reasonable prices. Guests can expect quality bbq, rotisserie and wood oven pizza, and other refined pub and comfort food. There are only a handful of items over $30, the vast majority, including their specialty pies are below $20.

To learn more about a Whistler budget ski vacation call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Restaurants

Because of its location near Vancouver, a hub of diverse cultures, particularly Asian, and its status as host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler restaurants appeal to a variety of people. This international skiing destination is teeming with choices. Whistler restaurants offer menus ranging from contemporary fine dining to sushi, fresh seafood, game and gourmet pub food. Because of its proximity to the ocean, you’ll find that Whistler restaurants offer some of the best sushi and seafood of any other ski town, so eat up!

Whistler Dining

If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience, Whistler offers dozens of high end options from contemporary Italian  cuisine to fresh, perfect sushi to distinguished steakhouses, and even some gourmet Canadian gastronomy with a  modern flare. On top of the list for extravagant experiences is the Bearfoot Bistro, which offers guests a tour of their notable wine cellar. The menu features modern Canadian cuisine. Araxi is sure to get foodies going with its seasonal, locally-sourced fare and exceptional service and ambiance. Hy’s Steakhouse and the Keg Steakhouse will please diners looking for a prime cut. Vacationers craving hearty food after a day on the slopes will rejoice in Quattro pasta dishes that have authentic Italian roots, but modern touches. Italian lovers will also appreciate the Trattoria di Umberto salads, pastas and fresh, simple main dishes, like seared tuna with tomato, capers and lemon oil.

If your tastes buds or wallet steer you towards more laid back Whistler restaurants, you’ll find plenty of options. The Brewhouse not only serves up handcrafted, homemade brews, but also offers tasty, upscale pub food like sandwiches, sliders on pretzel buns, wood oven pizza and mouth-watering appetizers, great for sharing. Plus, if you have tots in tow, the Brewhouse has great kid’s menu options. You’ll never want to leave between the Brewhouse’s beer, food, double sided fireplace and multiple flat screen TVs. 21 Steps Kitchen and Bar will also delight those in search of reasonable prices and uncompromised quality. 12 Steps is also a great place for large groups or families thanks to an excessive “small plates” or tapas menu.

To learn more about Whistler restaurants call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Nightlife

The Whistler nightlife ranks among night time heavyweights like Aspen and Vail. There are lots of options for party goers looking for a rowdy dance party, as well as sophisticated lounges and bars for the upwardly mobile looking to sip a quiet cocktail. Just keep in mind that the Canadian drinking age is 19, so there’s bound to be hoards of teens at the larger dance clubs.

Whistler Bars

Party like a rockstar at Tommy Africa’s, a Whistler nightlife hotspot since 1988. Tommy Africa’s DJ spins 90s and 80s classics and you may even encounter a fire-breathing bartender. If you’re looking to get down and dirty to heavy electro and dubstep beats, then Maxx Fish Lounge and Bar should be on your Whistler nightlife bucket list.

Whistler Apres Ski

Merlin’s should be on the top of your Whistler après list. Located at Base II (the Blackcomb village) this bar and restaurant is a locals favorite; the atmosphere is chill and has a rec-room vibe to it. You’ll usually find local band The Hairfarmers performing and locals dancing on tables. The patio offers great views of the mountain, and it’s a little less crowded at Base II than Base I (Whistler Village) at the end of the day. Burgers, yam fries and pitchers of Kokanee are well-loved staples at Merlin’s. Dusty’s over at Creekside base area is also another don’t-miss après spot. This cowboy pub serves up Whistler’s best wings, barbeque, Canadian draft beer and specialty cocktails. The service is fast and friendly, and the location can’t be beat.

The Garibaldi Lift Company Bar and Grill, or “GLC” as the locals refer to it, is another après hotspot, in fact it’s a world-renowned hot spot. The GLC consistently ranks as “Whistler’s best après spot,” by ski and travel magazines, and for good reason, it’s located above the Whistler Gondola building, offering an unrivaled view of the slopes.

To learn more about Whistler nightlife call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Things to do in Whistler Blackcomb

As one of the world’s premier ski vacation destinations you can bet there are plenty of things to do in Whistler Blackcomb once the bullwheel stops running. Base I (Whistler) and II (Blackcomb) pack an incredible dining, shopping and nightlife punch, there’s truly something for everyone. Whistler Blackcomb offers plenty of off-mountain activities in case your legs are tired, or if you aren’t a skier or snowboarder, but want to enjoy the mountains.

If you’re looking to take in the views, and nab some epic photos, take a ride on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola—the record-breaking gondola which connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains—and enjoy lunch overlooking Base I.  Blackcomb’s base village Coca-Cola Tube Park is a great activity for families. The park features multiple lanes of varying speeds and is accessed by a surface lift. 

The annual Whistler spring bash, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival shouldn’t be missed, if you’re around. This music, arts, ski and snowboard competition showcase will pique just about everyone’s interest. Every Sunday Whistler hosts the Fire and Ice Show, where spectators can watch skiers and snowboarders hit a big air jump through a ring of fire.

Whistler Outdoor Activities 

Whistler Blackcomb offers exceptional cross-country and snowshoeing trails, among many others, but it’s Ziptrek Ecotours that really put Whistler Blackcomb on the map for unique winter time outdoor activities. You can zoom down Fitzsimmons Creek, the valley that divides Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, with a pristine winter wonderland below. You’ll also learn about the areas interesting ecology. This is a truly exhilarating Whistler outdoor activity that shouldn’t be missed.

To learn more about Whistler beginner skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Lodging

As an international ski destination, Whistler is a hotbed for lodging options. You name it, Whistler has it: world-renowned slopeside luxury hotels with floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, unique boutique hotel experiences and affordable lodges and condos ideal for families, large groups or those on a budget, to name a few. Whether you’re looking to be in the midst of Whistler’s lively base village or something a little off the beaten path for quiet and relaxation, there’s a Whistler lodging option to provide your every preference. The sheer size of Whistler ensures that there are options to fit every budget and predilection.

Whistler Hotels

Those on a budget will enjoy a stay at the Westin Resort and Spa at Whistler since they experience affordable rates and Westin’s renowned high-quality services and amenities, including Westin’s custom-designed Heavenly bed.  Families will love Aava Whistler Hotel’s convenience; it’s just a short walk to the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountain. The whole family will love relaxing in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub or sauna, and on-site restaurant and lounge, takes the guesswork out of meals.

If luxurious pursuits are high on your Whistler ski vacation check list, the Four Seasons Whistler is an ideal option. The resort offers comfort and convenience. Adjacent to Blackcomb Adventure Zone, and less than 250 yards from the Blackcomb base chairlifts, Four Seasons provides easy access to the ski resort, a superb spa and mountainside dining, to name a few. Four Seasons Resort Whistler's 273 guest rooms, suites and townhouses are generously sized and capture the spirit of a luxurious mountain residence. The ultra-spacious bathrooms are warm and inviting, with Four Seasons signature features: deep soaking tub, separate glass-enclosed shower and a large double vanity.

To learn more about Whistler lodging call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Whistler Luxury Ski Vacation

As host to the 2010 Winter Olympics and a huge international ski destination Whistler Blackcomb is brimming with high-end choices, amenities and accommodations. Every experience on a Whistler luxury ski vacation is topnotch, literally; the scenic PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which offers breathtaking views of the resort and a gorgeous juxtapose of the rugged snow-capped mountains and lush evergreen forests. You’ll be blown away by the long list fine dining options, as well as luxury hotels, ski in, ski out condos, world-class spas and shopping. A Whistler luxury ski vacation is yours for the taking…

Whistler Luxury Hotels

Four Seasons Whistler offers comfort, and a scenic splendor of one of North America's top mountain resorts. Adjacent to Blackcomb Adventure Zone, and less than 250 yards from the Blackcomb base chairlifts, Four Seasons provides easy access to Whistler-Blackcomb Mountains, a superb spa, mountainside dining and wilderness adventures year-round. Four Seasons Resort Whistler's 273 guest rooms, suites and townhouses are generously sized and capture the spirit of a luxurious mountain residence with cozy wood. The ultra-spacious bathrooms are warm and inviting, with Four Seasons signature features: deep soaking tub, separate glass-enclosed shower and large double vanity.

Nestled at the foot of Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is one of North America's top ski resort hotels. Impeccable service, outstanding cuisine, and luxurious accommodation define The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The 550-room Fairmont Chateau Whistler has tastefully designed rooms with spectacular mountain or village views with many different types of rooms and suites to suit your needs. Step through the doors of The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and allow yourself to be whisked away by supreme luxury, sublime cuisine, designer golf courses, a rejuvenating spa, and an unforgettable ski experience.

If you’re looking for a unique Whistler luxury hotel, then Nita Lake Lodge should be a top-of-mind choice. Located just minutes from the base of Whistler Mountain, this boutique hotel offers a convenient locale with a lakeside view. Nita Lake’s wellness spa and retro-chic restaurant are among a few of the hotel’s the distinctive features.

Whistler Fine Dining

The Whistler fine dining scene offers foodies and connoisseurs alike, a fleet of restaurants to choose from. Foodies with a penchant for locally sourced menu items mustn’t miss internationally-famed Araxi. Executive Chef James Walt sources produce and ingredients from nearby Pemberton Valley farms, as well as locally caught Pacific seafood (don’t forget the ocean is a mere 77 miles from Whistler). The menu changes seasonally to match the local availability, so there’s options ranging from rabbit and steak, to oysters and other raw bar delicacies, to local mushrooms. Finer diners looking for a complete experience will be pleased with Araxi’s ambiance, fresh décor and knowledgeable staff. For equally impeccable service and an inviting Venetian atmosphere Quattro at Whistler will delight those in search of contemporary, out-of-this-world Italian cuisine. And for a fresh, light meal, a visit to Trattoria di Umberto is a must.

And these are just a few of Whistler’s best, the fine-dining options seem endless. But if you’re looking for a cream of the crop experience head to Bearfoot Bistro. Wine connoisseurs will delight in Bearfoot’s extensive underground cellar. Award-winning Executive Chef Melissa Craig creates an interesting modern Canadian menu, sure to dazzle the most judicious epicureans.

To learn more about Whistler luxury ski vacation call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

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