Whistler Blackcomb is a snowy playground, less than two hours from Vancouver. Whistler is world famous and deserves its reputation. The terrain to explore seems endless, with more chairs than you can fit in a day, and a breathtaking gondola between the two mountains.
Whistler is the perfect mountain for all abilities. The beginner slopes are gentle and as you progress, there are options for all levels, up to the all-the-black-diamonds challenging. The best runs are dependent on the snow, as the mountain has many faces and two sides to choose from. Given its height (7,500 feet at the top), Whistler can experience different weather from the top of the mountain to the bottom. When taking the run out (which takes about 20 minutes for an average skiier), you can move between fluffy powder, to hard pack, to ice, to slush as you head down.
Seventh Heaven and Symphony chairs are popular on powder days, as the snow is soft and the runs are long and windy. Unfortunately, if the powder day is on a weekend then you can expect a 30-45 minute (gasp) wait to get on the chair. Even weekdays the mountain can still have 10-20 minute wait time for a chair. This is the inevitable downside of the mountain being as popular as it is and unfortunately, this will probably only lead to higher ticket prices and longer lines.
My favourite chairs on Whistler are Jersey Cream and Crystal Ridge. Both lead to long, fun runs down the mountain, and also tend to be a little quieter on busy days. In my early days at Whistler I was adamant that Cruiser was the best run on the mountain. Although I have now progressed past this run, returning to it still feels like catching up with an old friend. Its powder stashes still hidden and waiting for me to visit them.
Whilst I would recommend the interior mountains for the best snow and shortest lines, Whistler is still a must to visit. It is world class, well organized, well equipped and a playground for the big kids. What they call a small jump in the terrain park makes my knees quiver. Obviously this means I don’t land them too well. It is the big league.
Whistler Village, also known as Little Australia, is a party town and is almost as popular for a good night out as it is for being a ski resort. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are scattered around the village every weekend, while shrieks of laughter filter through the brisk air. Buffalo Bills Bar & Grill is always a hit, especially if you’re keen to hang out with twenty year old, drunk Australians or fifty year old bar-leaning gentlemen.