What could be more gloriously Canadian than standing atop a mountain summit with 360 degrees of uninterrupted vistas? Here’s where it’s at: Whistler Blackcomb. Whether straddling the Climax or upending the Couloir Extreme, you’re at the event horizon, experiencing a momentary issue of euphoria and clearance – a journey into infinite possibilities.
At Whistler Blackcomb, the ultimate experience is embedded in the snow. Dominated by an average snowfall of 1,192 cm each year, Whistler’s majestic panorama, ethereal landscapes and one-mile vertical rise, is undeniably the true epilogue of winter. Documenting the season by a vast 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, alpine bowls, glaciers, topnotch terrain parks, half pipes and 200+ marked trails, Whistler Blackcomb leaves nothing to be desired. Whether you find yourself gliding deep powder glades, hopping a cornice or dropping down into real steeps, this season’s swagger is all about the snow. Bragging rights extend to a two-in-one mountain access, only now been made possible by the world’s longest horizontal spanning gondola – the Peak 2 Peak. Covering 4.4 kilometers in just 11 minutes, this engineering genius joins both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, giving riders the opportunity to experience not one, but two unparalleled and equally masterful mountains all in a day’s work. While Blackcomb heralds some seriously gnarly chutes and endless glacial descents, Whistler Mountain gives itself over to a progression of brilliant powder bowls. No other resort in the world offers so much diversity. And while each of the two peaks tend to favor different climates, (if it’s snowing on one, it’s often sunny on the other), there’s always a way to escape to something better. This is where the Whistler mantra takes root: if you’re not happy with the weather, wait five minutes.
So what’s the inside scoop?
Like every mountain, Whistler Blackcomb conceals its fair share of secrets, maintained albeit, by its fierce army of local loyalists, and Whistler veterans. But do not despair. Unlocking these hidden gems isn’t so much about joining forces as it is about taking chances and pushing the boundaries. For those powderfiends in search of their next fix, Xiggy’s meadow is one of best spots on Blackcomb, tucked far enough away to accrue some deep pow, while the Secret Bowl has a secret or two for anyone looking to have a good time.
With unmatched upper alpine, top picks also include Seventh Heaven (a name as enduring as the place itself), with gaping powder bowls that transition into massive glades, as well as the Blackcomb Glacier. If you’re seeking morning glory however, don’t forget to compliment your fresh tracks with a stop at the Crystal Hut for their famous waffles – a true Blackcomb hallmark experience. Switch side, the classic Peak to Creek, which runs the entire vertical drop of Whistler Mountain is great for cruising and if you’re in the mood for some off-roading, duck into Big Timber, where long rolling terrain through the trees will see you down to Dusty’s Bar. Looking for wide-open bowls and steep chutes? Boomer Bowl to the Gun Barrels will funnel you into an intense, corkscrew descent, while the Cockalorum to the West Bowl, almost always yields stellar conditions. But one of the best-kept secrets of Whistler Blackcomb would have to be the local’s sweet spot, more commonly known as the Christmas Trees. This local hideaway can be found down the Whistler Bowl along the West Ridge slope. If you stay high and head left to angle around a large rocky crest, the traverse will take you to the far ridge, where you can make your escape into the trees for a little piece of heaven. Looking for something a bit more unorthodox? Great carving tracks can be found out of Symphony bowl with outstanding hiking options for an in-bounds, “backcountry” experience.
Apart from world-class riding, Whistler offers the best in dining, hospitality and shopping over any other resort in North America. With its exciting après-ski scene, Whistler Village connotes a cosmopolitan vibe by swanky lounges, European-esque huts, critically acclaimed cuisine, and down-to-earth, rustic authenticity. To toast the triumphs of the day, Steeps at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler or Monk’s Grill at the Blackcomb base will see it through, while the Garibaldi Lift Company is one of the best après-ski venues bar none. By night, the Barefoot Bistro, Sachi Sushi, and Il Caminetto di Umberto are some of the finest restaurants of international renown, while for something more chill, you can hang your helmet at the Brewhouse on Blackcomb Way, a popular pub that boasts handcrafted fresh lagers and ales – the perfect place to watch your favorite sports game.
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So whatever it is you seek this season, be it endless alpine bowls, crystallized glaciers, world-class terrain parks, half pipes, or simply fresh powder tracks, Whistler Blackcomb has it all. With access to some of the best snowboard terrain on the planet, a day on the mountain will leave you grinning ear to ear! So carry on my wayward son, and let the rider within find the way to happy heights, new horizons and the next best thing. You heard it here first. In the words of the Whistler-wise: if you’re not happy, just wait five minutes. You will be.