Whistler Ski Resort

If the huge vertical, incredible snow record and vibrant resort weren’t enough, three new lifts – including a new Blackcomb access gondola – have taken Whistler to the next level this winter.

Covering two huge mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – and connected since 2008 by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the ski area offers almost unparalleled variety. Beginner areas are fantastic, as is the world-renowned ski school, intermediates have a vast array of groomed runs to explore and advanced skiers could be kept busy for weeks. The only issues are the crowds and the lift queues, but investment by the Canadian resort’s new owner Vail Resorts is beginning to help.

The purpose-built resort village makes for a great base, with a vast array of bars and restaurants to suit most budgets, as well as some great shopping options. Whistler’s choice of accommodation is equally wide-ranging, but it does book out fast – especially if the heart of town.

With so much choice both on and off the slopes, the best way to explore Canada’s top resort is with a Ski Club Leader. Make use of the Leader’s expert local knowledge between 5th January and 20th April this winter.

If you’re thinking of heading out to Whistler this season then also make sure you join our ever-expanding community of skiers and boarders on the Ski Club’s Whistler Facebook Page

Our Whistler Resort Ratings

  • Beginner ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Intermediate ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Advanced ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Snow Reliability ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Fast Lifts ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Resort Activities ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Après ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Value ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Pros

North America's biggest ski area

Excellent combination of high open bowls and woodland trails

Good snow record

Loads to do off the slopes and good après

Cons

Proximity to Pacific Ocean means a lot of cloudy weather, and rain at resort level is not unusual

Queues can be a big problem at peak times, but new lifts are helping

Overcrowded runs also a problem

Expensive lift pass prices for shorter visits

Whistler Skiing and Snowboarding

The resort has an excellent combination of tree-lined slopes and vast alpine bowls – all of which are regularly topped up by the 11.7m of snow that drops on the resort annually. Although perhaps best known for its off piste and advanced trails, both Whistler and Blackcomb have something for everyone – there’s a massive 8171 acres of in-bounds terrain (the most in North America) to choose from after all.

  • Total Pistes: 8171 acres
  • Beginner: 20%
  • Intermediate: 55%
  • Advanced: 25%
  • Lifts: 37
  • Altitude: 653m – 2284m

For Beginners

There are two fantastic beginner zones – one at the base of Blackcomb and the other at mid-mountain level on Whistler. The latter is possibly better as it suffers less from the rain that can sadly plague the lower slopes during warmer spells. Whistler’s ski school has an excellent reputation, attracting the best instructors from around the world each winter and comes highly recommended. Progression on to longer greens and gentle blues is then possible across both mountains.

For Intermediates

Both mountains offer a huge selection for intermediates and its possible to clock up multiple runs dropping over 1000 vertical metres each day. Our top picks would be the Peak to Creek trail from the top of the Peak Express or the runs served by the Crystal Ridge Express. If the sun is out then exploring the Harmony and Symphony Bowls is also recommended. Be sure to check out the daily grooming report to find the best corduroy.

For Advanced/Expert & Off Piste

Where to start? The options are almost limitless for advanced and expert skiers and boarders, especially when there is fresh snow. On a powder day we’d recommend uploading the Whistler gondola at 7.15am by purchasing the the Fresh Tracks upgrade – well worth the $23.95 CAD and you get a huge breakfast too – to beat the rush and score the best powder. Head out to Flute Bowl or hit West and Bagel Bowls off the Peak Express. On Blackcomb ride the Glacier Express and take on famous routes such as Pakalolo and Spankey’s Ladder if you’re looking for a serious challenge.

Whistler Piste Map

The Whistler-Blackcomb piste map can be downloaded here.

Whistler Ski Pass Prices

Whistler is now part of the Vail Resorts empire and as a result their Epic Pass offers great value for a full season of skiing at Whistler and 18 other resorts for around $1260 CAD (however this must be purchased before 3rd December 2018), or the local pass which also covers summer lit access and mountain biking costs $1409 CAD.

Unfortunately the cheap season pass has meant lift tickets for shorter stays are expensive – book online more than 7 days in advance for the best deals. Note that prices fluctuate throughout the season and those listed below are a guideline, so check with the resort for the latest or give the Ski Club’s expert info & advice team a call on 020 8410 2009.

Category

Day Ticket

3 Days

6 Days

Adult (19-64)

$122 CAD – $159 CAD

$357 CAD – $474 CAD

$696 CAD – $936 CAD

Teen (13-18)

$104 CAD – $135 CAD

$303 CAD – $402 CAD

$594 CAD – $798 CAD

Child (7-12)

$61 CAD – $80 CAD

$180 CAD – $239 CAD

$348 CAD – $468 CAD

Senior (65+)

$110 CAD – $143 CAD

$321 CAD – $426 CAD

$624 CAD – $840 CAD

Whistler Season Dates

  • Whistler Mountain: 22nd November 2018 – 27th May 2019
  • Blackcomb Mountain: 22nd November 2018 – 22nd April 2019
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola: 22nd November 2018 – 22nd April 2019

For full details see the resort's website and note that these dates are subject to change. The Ski Club’s expert info & advice team are also on hand to help – call 020 8410 2009.

Whistler Resort

The town of Whistler is not even 50 years old, but it has quickly become one of the world’s premier resorts. There are three main bases – Creekside is quieter, Upper Village is based around the bottom of Blackcomb and Whistler Village is the main hub of the town. All three have car-free centres and a wide variety of places to eat, drink and shop. Large condo and hotel blocks form the bulk of the resort’s accommodation, but Airbnb in particular has opened up a wider variety of options.

For Families

This is a great resort for families, although the costs can stack up. The ski school is first class and there is loads to do away from the slopes, including the popular Magic Castle on Blackcomb, dog sledding rides and the extremely popular Coca-Cola Tube Park. Self-catering condos are aplenty in town, making for an attractive alternative for families to the European-style chalet or hotel holiday.

For Après

There are numerous après options at the base of all three mountains. Our top pics would be Merlin’s at the base of Blackcomb, Dusty’s at the foot of the 2010 Olympic Downhill in Creekside or Whistler BrewHouse for local craft beers. Try to visit during happy hour, which also tends to coincide with live music and the best atmosphere after a day on the hill.

How to get to Whistler

The epic Sea-to-Sky Highway links Whistler to Vancouver and the transfer from the airport takes a little under two hours. We’d recommend organising a transfer with your tour operator or hotel, but if you’re planning an independent trip, choose Epic Rides – they have 6/7 daily departures from Burrard Station in the heart of Vancouver (only half an hour from the airport on the Skytrain) and a round trip only costs $35 CAD.

  • Vancouver airport: 2 hours

Whistler Contact Details

Holiday Discounts

Good For

Ability
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
In Resort
  • Family Friendly
  • Off The Slopes
  • Ski To Door
  • Village Charm
On Slope
  • Boarder
  • Fast Lifts
  • Snow Reliability
  • Terrain Parks

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