Whistler Blackcomb Review
Whistler Blackcomb Overview
Whistler Blackcomb is the Mountain Mecca of the West Coast of North America. Located an approximate 2 hour drive from Vancouver, these side-by-side mountains service Vancouver and the World.
Whistler Blackcomb caters to every possible Winter sport and as the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, it has every amenity of a world class ski resort.
With a season that lasts November to May and every amenity imaginable, Whistler Blackcomb covers every aspect of a dream Snow Vacation.
The Official WinterReview of Whistler Blackcomb
The biggest drawback about Whistler is that once you’ve skied there, it’ll be hard to ski anywhere else. It’s that good.
Let’s start with the terrain. With two huge mountains at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless: from groomers to glaciers, trees to terrain parks, and cliffs to chutes, you’ll always find a challenge—and you’ll always be immensely rewarded.
Most people flock to Whistler Mountain, mainly because the name is familiar. If you’re among that crew, head straight to Peak chair: this is where the big boys play. There are bowls and trees a-plenty, and places so good that I can’t share them on WinterReview, or else I’ll get shot.
Blackcomb tends to be slightly less busy, even on a weekend over Christmas Holidays, and there’s a ton to explore. On a bluebird day, nothing beats 7th Heaven (keep your camera—err, cell phone on hand). The Crystal Zone offers arguably some of the best tree skiing on earth, while Glacier chair will lead you to mystical places like Spanky’s Ladder.
Have a big breakfast, and you might be able to ski non-stop until it’s time for après. If hunger hits, however, you have lots of options. Most of the lodges offer the same selection, and it’s all pretty good, if not a little overpriced. Sandwiches (made to order—and yes, crispy onions are a topping option) are probably the best value, but the pierogis at Glacier Creek Lodge are most delectable, as are the waffles at the Crystal Hut.
The resort is a well-oiled machine: from the line up for the lifts to the line up for your bowl of chili, Whistler Blackcomb has fine tuned just about every detail. The hardest part of your day will be finding the good powder spots—and that’s an important detail.
The disadvantage to a popular resort like Whistler Blackcomb is that its secrets are few and far between. Most locals don’t even bother heading up the mountain on a weekend, knowing that the lift lines will be painful. Popular zones get tracked out quickly, and the quest for fresh powder can sometimes feel like a race.
Many ski mountains are located a way’s away from the local village. Not so with Whistler: ski out, and you’ll be right at the epicenter of Whistler Village. The Village is packed with patios, pubs, bars, clubs, hotels, shops and restaurants. Think of any amenity: the Village has got it.
Don’t be afraid to chat up your bartender or cab driver: he might have a PhD in engineering, or have a cameo in the latest Sherpas Cinemas ski film. Seriously—Whistler’s awesomeness attracts people from all over the world, many of whom have left behind rather lofty lives for the love of skiing. It makes for a town full of fascinating, happy people. Customer service is usually pretty good, but you might come across one or two employees who are a little jaded. It’s not always easy living in Whistler, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Whistler is located just under two hours away from Vancouver. You’ll have to drive, bus or cab up to get there, but the Sea to Sky Highway is one of the most scenic roads in the world, so you’ll be plenty entertained.
Unless you’re particularly money savvy (or have a friend with a spare couch to crash on), your trip to Whistler won’t be cheap. From the hotels to the meals out to the lift tickets, it can all add up—just think of it as an investment towards the best ski trip of your life.