There is no other resort in the world as hyped as Whistler, and luckily this place thoroughly deserves its reputation. However, it is not without a few faults.
Whistler village (population 10,000) is nestled in the temperate Coastal Mountains just 75 miles (or a two and a half hour drive) north of Vancouver, British Columbia. The resort, which spans two separate mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, is legendary in snowboarding circles for its consistently heavy Pacific Ocean powder dumps and moderate temperatures. The season is always at least five months long, from November to May, thanks to the resort’s phenomenal snowmaking capability. And if that’s not enough, mountaintop glacier summer freestyle riding is available every June and July.
- Highest Point: 2,284m
- Descent: 1,631m
- No. lifts: 27
Consistently voted the ‘No. 1 Ski Resort In North America’’ in a wide variety of different surveys, Whistler is a must for everyone’s bucket list due to its sheer size. It’s got 8, 171 skiable acres, 200+ runs, and 37 lifts spread across the two mountains, which were recently connected by the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. The diversity of terrain and consistent, deep powder conditions are the stuff dreams are made of. In fact you might need to bring a snorkel, because Whistler’s snowfall record is incredible. Put simply, this is pow heaven!
Its two main faults are lift pass prices and the huge numbers that visit this place, especially at weekends. Since Whistler was bought by Vail Resorts the day pass prices have crept up further still, and the lift system creaks under the strain of the mass of tourists and weekend Vancouverites. It is not uncommon to find queues at the bases of an hour during holiday periods, but once you’re up things do begin to settle down.
The Parks – 5/5
Repeatedly voted Best Park in polls, Whistler’s freestyle areas cover a massive 99 acres in total. Blackcomb is home to three parks and a superpipe, and Whistler has two parks. Each has their own unique appeal.
“The parks are groomed to perfection every night and immaculately maintained to world class standard“
The parks cater to all levels. They are groomed to perfection every night and immaculately maintained to world class standard. In total there are 200+ features and 100+ jumps of all types imaginable: spines, tabletops, boxes, rails, natural tree jibs and bonks, a boardercross course and an Olympic sized superpipe (cut with a 22 foot global standard pipe-cutter). Match your ability level to the park size and be aware that to ride the ‘Highest Level’ park you need a helmet and a signed waiver form. Avoid ‘Emerald Chair’ and ‘Solar Coaster’ at peak uploading times.