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Skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb

Written by Dugald Morrow   
Thursday, 07 February 2008
  

Introduction:

This article is based on my personal experiences of skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb. These experiences are based on the three and a half year period I lived in Vancouver.


Location:

Whistler-Blackcomb is about a one and a half hour drive from central Vancouver, BC in Canada. Vancouver is about half an hour North of the Canada/USA border and about two and a half hours North of Seattle, Washington. Vancouver has a modern international airport about half an hour south of the CBD. Skiers can either take a bus or hire a car to get to Whistler Village by driving up the Sea to Sky highway.

On the Slopes:

The combined ski area of Whistler-Blackcomb is vast. It has over 200 trails and over 3,300 hectares (8000 acres) of skiable terrain. The 38 lifts offer an enormous uphill capacity, yet the queues can be long on the weekends in peak season.

Situated in BC's coastal mountain range, the snow at Whistler-Blackcomb is generally wet by North American standards, especially on the lower slopes and late in the season.

Whistler Peak to Peak gondola

Peak to Peak Gondola:

Whistler-Blackcomb is actually two separate ski areas, although they will soon be linked by the new Peak to Peak Gondola. This Gondola will be 4.4 kilomteres (2.73 miles) long and 415 metres (1,361 feet) above the ground at its highest point. It will have two cabins with glass floors.

2010 Winter Olympics:

Whistler-Blackcomb is already a highly developed and popular ski resort, and it will host events for the 2010 Winter Olympics, including the men's and women's slalom, giant slalom, bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events.

Whistler Village:

Whistler Village is adjacent to the main gondolas of both mountains. It has all the facilities of a highly developed resort including shops, restaurants, and hotels. The larger area has numerous condos, townhomes, conference facilities, etc.

Family Friendly:

Whistler Kids is one of the largest kid ski and snowboard programs anywhere, with centers on both Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. The Big Easy Terrain Garden is a terrain park especially suited to the kids. The Children's Adventure Park on Blackcomb Mountain has ski runs through an enchanted forest and a ski-through castle. Whistler has an Adventure zone and a play-fort. Whistler-Blackcomb has licensed childcare where the parents can go off skiing with a pager. There are also week long ski programs taylored to Teens called "Ride Tribe". The Coca Cola Tube Park on Blackcomb Mountain has eight lanes, graded green to black.

Whistler villageAccomodation:

Whistler Village offers a range of accomodation to suit varying budgets. The central area near the base of the two mountains is car free and has over 300 shops and restaurants. In areas near Whistler Village, free shuttle buses run frequently to Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas.

Whistler Creekside is a small village 5 minutes drive South of Whistler. It has a grocery store, a few restaurants and other amenities. It also has a Gondola to access Whistler Mountain directly.

Whistler Village has large parking lots which are free. Free shuttle buses around the village and to the gondolas mean you won't need your car during your stay.

Most of the accomodation at Whislter is not ski-in ski-out, however, there is some on the lower parts of Blackcomb Mountain and at Whistler Creekside.

Whistler in Summer:

Whislter is a great place to spend some time in the summer. It offers numerous outdoor activities such as bush walking (both alpine and near the village), golf, mountain bike riding (including a mountain bike park), rock climbing, mingolf, "Westcoaster Luge" and more.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 January 2009 )
 

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