Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort Guide


Whistler Blackcomb ski resort guide

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Whistler Blackcomb ski resort overview

Whistler, BC (Canada) is the largest ski resort in North America, offering plenty of variety for all levels. People reference it as the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort from the names of the two neighboring mountains.

The Canadian hospitality and charm, combined with an international village boasting lots of après-ski options, make Whistler one of our favorite spots in North America.

Great off-piste itineraries are conveniently within reach from the lifts and heli-skiing departs directly from town. The Whistler Blackomb season runs through May, and the Blackcomb Glacier reopens mid-June for an extra month of summer skiing

Best runs in Whistler

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are directly connected and lift tickets allow to ski both in the same day. To move around:

  • Either direction: Peak 2 Peak gondola. An engineering wonder, it also offers amazing 360 views of the area. Every 15 minutes, catch the special glass-bottom car for a stunning bird’s-eye perspective on the forest below. With bad weather, keep an eye on gondola’s closures on the boards at the bottom of every lift.
  • From Blackcomb: Ski down Village Run following for “Whistler Village”, then take the Whistler Village Gondola back to the top.
  • From Whistler: There is no direct ski trail to Blackcomb. Ski to the base of Whistler mountain and take the Excalibur Gondola which runs across and to Blackcomb.

We recommend sticking to one mountain for the day. Unless snow conditions or the weather require changing plans, both Whistler and Blackomb mountains offer so much terrain and variety that you are better off exploring them one at a time.

While we love the entire ski resort, we also have our personal favorite best runs in Whistler:

  • 7th Heaven (Blackcomb): one of the funniest areas, this is an intermediate playground that advanced skiers will enjoy too. Bring breadcrumbs for the many birds eating directly from skiers’ hands at the base of the lift.
  • Blackcomb Glacier (Blackcomb): a unique spot to experience that real mountain feeling! A short hike from the top of Showcase Tbar takes you to the Balckcomb bowls. While some trails are reserved to experts with proper backcountry equipment, there still is a huge open patrolled area that skiers can enjoy safely. Best on powder days, beautiful all season around.
  • Dave Murray Downhill (Whistler ): named after a local legend, this popular run has hosted World Cup and Olympic downhill races and takes you all the way down!

Best restaurants in Whistler

Whistler’s first class restaurant scene is quite impressive even for us New Yorkers! Far from aspiring to compile a comprehensive list of all places, we are happy to share our personal selection of the best restaurants in Whistler that we actually tried. Along with being avid skiers, we also are foodies and dedicate quite a bit of attention in researching dining options!

  • Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar: great restaurant in the middle of the Village with an amazing wine list. Elegant, always packed (book in advance!), great food options. Seafood and Oysters are delicious, but Araxi features a very complete menu for all with creative farm to table options. For something more informal, don’t miss their 3-5PM Apres-Ski fondue in the lounge.
  • The Rimrock Cafe: located in South Whistler, the fancy and upscale Rimrock Cafe offers great fish and game dishes and an excellent wine list. Reservations are required well in advance, up to two weeks during the peak season. While the restaurant is located a short cab ride from the Village, most hotels also offer a complimentary shuttle to it.
  • Bar Oso: Spanish tapas bar: Montaditos, Lamb albondigas, Octopus, Cheese and Charcuterie platters all to die for. Great Cocktail and Gin selection (we recommend the Local and International tastings). This is one of our favorite spots for informal gatherings in a very cozy setting.
  • Longhorn Saloon & Grill: the ideal place to hit for a drink and quick meal at the bottom of the slopes. Great to relax after a long day of skiing, the Longhorn has indoor and outdoor seating right across the Whistler Village Gondola base. You can’t miss it!
  • Pizzeria Antico: if you are looking for authentic Italian pizza in Whistler, this is the place to go. They carry a great beer selection in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. If you are like us and favor traditional recipes, try the Margherita or Margherita with prosciutto: you won’t be disappointed.
  • Lift Coffee Company: right across the Whistler Village Gondola, this is a very laid back and relaxed coffee shop with indoor and outdoor space. The international team is fun and service is great. Grab a quick breakfast before starting the day or come in for your Hot Chocolate break on a cold day. Don’t miss the muffins and the ham and cheese croissant!

Best hotels in Whistler

Whistler offers plenty of high quality lodging options. If budget allows, we recommend staying in the Village: while hotels are on the expensive side, particularly during high season weekends, the location offers unbeatable convenience to the restaurants and slopes and very nice accommodations. Our choices below all offer a SPA with pool, gym and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi. Service is great overall: again, you know the Canadian hospitality and charm!

  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler: first class accommodation with heated outdoor pool and spa tubs and a good on-site dining options (Sidecut). While location is a bit less convenient than others, the hotel offers a free shuttle as well as ski concierge service for you to leave your ski gear at Blackcomb base.
  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler: enjoy ski-in / ski-out convenience and luxurious accommodations right at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. This is an award-winning with exceptional dining and full resort amenitiesfor those who don’t want to compromise.
  • The Westin Resort & SPA: the hotel is located right next to Whistler Gondola, at the entrance of Whistler Village. Unbeatable location and great amenities like a shopping gallery and the Avello SPA.
  • Sundial Boutique Lodge: ski-in/ski-out all suite condominium right at the hear of Whistler Village. Beautiful accommodations. Several rooms have a private hot tub overlooking the mountain in addition to the common hot tub on the rooftop.
  • Hilton Whistler Resort & SPA: located just one block from the Whistler Gondola, this hotel features a 24-hour business center, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs as well as an on-site SPA. The Cinnamon Bear Bar is also quite popular for afternoon and evening drinks.

Things to do in Whistler

Whistler Village boasts a multitude of shopping and dining options that cater to local and International visitors. Furthermore, the resort offers great options away from the slopes both for skiers and non-skiers.

  • Olympic Park: the park was built for the 2010 Olympics and is mostly located West of Whistler, where you can enjoy a multitude of winter activities and tour the facilities. You can also enjoy the ice skating rink in Olympic Plaza or hit the Whistler Sliding Center on Blackcomb Mountain for bobsleigh and skeleton.
  • Panoramic ride: non-skiers can still enjoy breathtaking views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains by purchasing Sightseeing Tickets to the Peak 2 Peak gondola.
  • Scandinave Spa: a Nordic-inspired outdoor spa in the heart of nature, just minutes from the Village. Enjoy the hot tubs, the eucalyptus steam bath, the wood Finnish sauna or a rejuvenating private massage.
  • Dog sledding: a real Canadian experience, ride in a dog sled across the snow covered forest while learning all about this ancient tradition
  • Heli-skiing: enjoy the world famous Canadian heli-skiing combined with Whistler beauty and convenience. Whistler Heli-Skiing tours depart directly from the Village and cater to skiers of different levels thanks to over 430,000 acres of diverse terrain and expert guides.

Secret tip for Whistler Blackcomb ski resort

Don’t want to compromise on your skis and boots rental? Then hit the Rossignol Dynastar Lange demo center and rental shop at the bottom of the Wizard Express on the Blackcomb side. This is a separate store from the other rental shops and offers a true premium selection in addition to amazing white glove service.

Getting there and around

Whistler is fairly easy to reach, just about a 2 hour drive from Vancouver on a beautiful and mostly two-lane road. Enjoy the Sea-to-Sky panoramic views: the journey will definitely raise your excitement level even before getting to your destination!

From the Vancouver Airport:

  • Car: this option is the most flexible, and you can easily rent a car directly at Vancouver Airport. It is worth nothing, though, that you will likely not need a car once you get to Whistler.
  • Shuttle: collective door-to-door transportation service from Vancouver Airport to Whistler hostels and back. For about 60-70$ CAD each way, book your desired pick up time, sit back and enjoy the view (or fall asleep!). Be careful of travelling time, though: shuttles stop for hotel drop-offs along the route, therefore making the trip about 2:30 hours. On the way up from the airport, shuttles also wait for reserved passengers arriving on different flights. The additional wait might be less than ideal, particularly if you get in tired on a late flight. 
  • Taxi: for about 250$ CAD a taxi will take you straight up to Whistler. This is more expensive than the shuttle but much more convenient, and if you travel with a group you can split the cost.

Once you get to Whistler, pretty much everything is within walking distance along or around the pedestrian-only Village Stroll. You can also use the seasonal free shuttles to easily reach the Upper Village at the base of Blackcomb.

Whistler Blackcomb ski resort statistics

Whistler MountainBlackcomb Mountain
Skiable Terrain4,757 acres / 1,925 hectares3,414 acres / 1,382 hectares
Type (beg, int, adv)20% / 55% / 25%15% / 55% / 30%
Trails100+100+
Parks, Pipes and Snowcross2 Parks1 Superpipe, 1 Snow Cross, 3 parks

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15 replies
  1. Anita
    Anita says:

    I have always wanted to go to Whistler and the last time I was even near there was when I visited Vancouver in the summer over 10 years ago. I also want to learn how to sky…just can’t find anyone to do it. Maybe its time I make Whistler a solo destination, seems super lonely though (even though I am used to traveling alone). Photos are beautiful.

    Reply
  2. McKayla Butcher
    McKayla Butcher says:

    That’s a beautiful view! I’ve honestly never been skiing, but I’ve always wanted to try it. I’m like, deathly afraid of heights, so I don’t think I can handle the lift! LOL

    Reply
  3. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    Jenn and Ed Coleman says:

    Whistler was always my unicorn skiing. I worked in Stevens Pass and Crystal down in Seattle area for about seven years combined as pro patrol and adult advanced skiing but, for what ever reason, I never made it to Whistler. It’s one of my great regrets skiing that I have never visited this epic mountain. Love your post and how your brought me right back to the PNW ski scene.

    Reply
  4. Elisa Subirats
    Elisa Subirats says:

    I don’t ski so good to know that whistler blackcomb has many après-ski options. Your long list of restaurants and the Scandinavian spa would keep me busy for a while I guess

    Reply
  5. Chronic Wanderlust
    Chronic Wanderlust says:

    I miss skiing super badly! I’ve always escaped the winter in Europe in the past years to go diving in Mexico. I was basically raised on the slopes 🙂 I’ll visit my best friend in Canada soon, and I’ll hope for some skiing action too!

    Reply
  6. Baskets Life Travel
    Baskets Life Travel says:

    Looks wonderful growing up in Colorado I am always skeptical of other ski areas LOL but Whistler looks amazing and a like a great place to ski! I would love to spend after ski slopes in the Tapas Bar – Yum!

    Reply
  7. sg
    sg says:

    We absolutely love Whistler and can’t wait to go back. You left off the magic carpet as one of the best runs 😉 I had good times on that little hill with all the toddlers! Great guide.

    Reply
  8. Eddie Washington
    Eddie Washington says:

    Whistler, BC with no doubts one of the best resorts in Canada. However, I would recommend it only for the experienced skiers because if you’re new in this you wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the charm of Whistler. If I was less experienced skier I would start exploring Canada from the resorts that are easier and cheaper. To compare and choose the most suitable resort I use this service, it always helps me to make a better decision:
    https://snowcomparison.com/compare/whistler-blackcomb/apex-mountain-resort

    Reply

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