There is only one way to describe the combined resorts of Whistler Blackcomb - HUGE!. With a vertical of around 1500m and reliable snow this resort has become a favourite destination for Australian skiers and boarders.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Nearest airport is Vancouver (YVR) which is 120km away and you can get airport transfers directly to Whistler. There is a train station at Whistler, 4km from the slopes.
- Massive ski resort
- Two mountains to keep you busy for weeks
- Glaciers to ski and ride
- Massive vertical rise, so that if it rains down the bottom (!) it can still be snowing up the top and in the middle of the mountains
- Many lifts are express quads; detachable as well
- Foot-rests on many of the chair lifts
- Excellent pedestrian-only village
- Dollar is bascially one-for-one
- 15-20 hour flight from the East Coast of Australia (14hours on the new direct flight Sydney - Vancouver)
- Martin Luther King weekend: about the 14th Jan, a lot of young americans travel to Whistler because of a long weekend and they let you know that they're taking over...
- Close to the coast, so snow can be wet, particularly at the bottom.
- Slushy Snow common at the base
Phone: (1 604) 932 3928
Postal: 4010 Whistler Way, VON 1B4, Whistler, Canada
Qantas Daily flights to LAX from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with a connection via Alaska Air to Vancouver. Qantas have also altered their schedule and will fly Sydney - San Francisco - Vancouver without the need to change planes.
Air Canada A plane flight from Sydney, via Air Canada, takes you direct to Vancouver
JAL Sometimes a cheaper way to fly is via Japan on JAL, this flight does involve and overnight stopover but can be a few hundred dollars cheaper.
United United follow a similar schedule as Qantas
Transfers There are many ways to get up to Whistler from Vancouver (car, limo, bus, taxi, helicopter). The cheapest way is probably on the bus but if you have a group of over 6, a Limo can sometimes work out to be very good value. If you are spending a night in Vancouver, a limo ride in to town works out about the same price as a Taxi and has extra room for large ski bags.
From 2-star hostels to 5-star hotels, this resort has it all. Slope-side accomodation in the Upper Blackcomb Village, while Blackcomb village provides accomodation just mins (by free shuttle) from the slopes. Whistler village accomodation in the pedestrian-only village has its perks, while being less than 5 mins walk from the slopes. Apartments, Hotels and Condos among others. Recommendations:
- Residence Inn by Marriott: top of Upper village, just strap on the skis and down the slope for 200m and you're ready to begin the day's skiing.
- Delta Whistler Village Suites: right opposite the snow, can choose to ski either Whistler or Blackcomb by taking either Gondola right outside the door.
- Fairmont Chateau: yes, had to mention it. The big castle sits right next to the slopes. Expensive, grand and in a great location!
By far, overseas lift tickets are better value than the prices we pay in Aus. Whistler, from memory, ends up being about $60-70 Australian per day, for a two mountain lift pass. Not to mention that this mountin is many, many times the size of our resorts [well, just many times Perisher's size ;-).].
There are some extremely good value lift and all day lesson tickets available, especially for kids, especially if you get in early. For example, early bird 15 day, any day, lift and full day lesson ticket for kids under 12, including lunch (ie drop the kids at 0900 pick them up, fed, at 1500) for around $75/day; less for under 7's. Compare that to just about anywhere in the World - It's outstandingly good value.
A free shuttle bus operates throughout the Whistler-Blackcomb village from early morning to late night. However, it seems to operate from December through to March only (rough dates). The system is clean, safe, and runs at about a 5-10 min frequency.
Around 7 parking lots, but unless you plan to hire a car (and drive on the wrong side of the road!), you won't need these!
Aerobics, scenic flights, ice fishing, library, snowshoeing, sportcentre, tennis, cinema, squash, ice skating(indoors), sleigh rides, snowmobile, snowtubing, swimming pool(outdoors), paragliding, ice skating(outdoors), tobogganing.
- EDIT ACTIVITY
New for 05-06, the snowtubing area was located above Base II on Blackcomb mountain. Looks like heaps of fun. The area has its own lift (one of the carpet ones), and the tube park has 6-10 lanes, each 100+m long. Runs from about midday to 8pm.
Heaps of restaurants located in the village. Something like 100+ places to eat, including quite a few on-mountain. Milestones is great, as is Earls, for classic American meals. Araxi is the pinnicle for fine-dining in the snow.
Bars & Entertainment
Heaps of places to go:
- GLC: Located slopeside in Whistler, the place to go for a good feed and great night out
- Plenty of night clubs for those wanting a dance and drink.
- Family-friendly till about 7pm, then on its Adults only - drinking age in Canada is 19+.
Whistler: -Olympic Zone -Emerald Chair Family Area Blackcomb: -Easy Out Roads -Jersey Cream Area -Solar Coaster Area
Whistler: -Fulte Bowl -North Flute Bowl -Symphony Amphitheatre Blackcomb: -Blackcomb Glacier -Spanky's Ladder Bootpack -7th Heaven (Lakeside) Bowl
Out of Bounds
Parks & Pipes
5 Parks Combined 1 Super Pipe (16 foot transition)(Olympic Size)
-Basically anything not groomed
-Basically anything not skiied
Head to the Symphony Chair on Whistler mountain or 7th Heaven on Blackcomb. Excellent sheltered intermediate runs, including some great gladed runs.
Be prepared for anything. I have skiied Whistler at -20C and +15C, both in January.
If the weather is still and Cloud free it will be sensationally cold (-10 to -20) but the groomers will be excellent all day. Skiing in these conditions is a treat as long as you keep moving. Plan hot chocolate stops around your weaker skiers. Try not to stand around on the slopes, once you get cold at these temperatures you stay cold.
Warm weather can produce very Australian Conditions with above 0C temperatures, and soft snow with icy patches in the shade.
Precipitation can be anything from champagne powder to a tropical downpour. If its raining down low, the cloud top may be mid mountain or it may be snowing higher up.
The wind is Whistler & Blackcomb's main enemy as many of the higher lifts are quite exposed and can go on wind hold.
The best sign in whistler is the sound of explosions just after dawn. This means there has been overnight snow and ski patrol are blasting the cornices. There is a great day skiing ahead.
For the weather watchers, the Jetstream has a significant effect on Whistler's weather. It has to be South of the resort to get cold, snowy conditions.