I’ve had the pleasure of spending 2 season in Whistler, I’ve skied there more than anywhere else and if I was asked to pick my favourite ski resort or name what I think is the best ski resort then the answer will always be Whistler.
Perhaps one of the reasons I love this place is because I got to wake up to this view every morning, pretty spectacular, whatever the weather!
I love both the hills, rarely would I ski both in the same day but sadly when I was there peak to peak hadn’t been built yet. Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb mountain both have unique feels about them. Personally I prefer Whistler, mostly because of Flute bowl, Harmony and Peak. I’d often be found early in the morning on the GS boards hitting peak to creek or circling Garbanzo Express riding Raven onto Ptarmigan or Upper Dave Murray onto Bear Paw. I love these tree lined groomers with their natural terrain features and they way they seemed to blend naturally and work with the characteristics of the mountain. My opinion on Blackcomb is that some of the groomers just feel a little bit man-made. My favourite place on Blackcomb is Spanky’s Ladder and then into the bowls. Sure it got tracked out quick but the snow just always felt awesome in there!
I’m strangely fond of the weather in Whistler, it reminds me of Scotland. I remember December 2005 when it just seemed to rain the whole month and on Christmas day just when there was grass showing at the bottom of Emerald Chair, that rain turned to snow. I don’t think it stopped until February. You just have to put up with the weather in Whistler. If you like endless sunshine then it’s probably not for you, I like weather! It makes skiing more interesting and reminds you that you are in the mountains! The quantity of snow Whistler gets is impressive, it’s not the champagne power you might find elsewhere but boy is there a lot of it. Both mountains can get tracked out pretty quickly but due to their size combined with a little bit of local knowledge then you can always find that untracked descent.
Why do I prefer these mountains to anywhere else? Maybe because I’m a bit lazy and like the accessibility they provide, maybe it’s because I know where to go and when on each of the mountains to get perfect conditions or maybe it’s just the atmosphere up there!
Off the hill things are pretty good as well. I won’t name all the bars and clubs but I particularly enjoyed Longhorn’s on a Sunday (call me a tourist or punter if you like, I don’t care!) but Tapleys and Brandy’s at the Keg were my two favourites for grabbing a beer and watching some hockey.
So, the mountains are great, the village is awesome and it’s full of pretty cool people. Yeah, it’s expensive and it gets busy. There are bigger mountains in Europe and there are places with better weather or more powder but I’ve yet to be anywhere that just ticks so many boxes. Whistler Blackcomb does it for me. I’d love to go back sometime soon!