Why book Whistler this winter? With epic powder, phenomenal terrain and serious investment in upgrading the already impressive lift network for the 18/19 winter, it’s hard to see a downside. People who’ve already experienced the combination of Canadian mountains and hospitality will already be shaking their heads saying, “Of course you should book Whistler!”. But for the rest of you, here are a few reasons.
The powder in Whistler is phenomenal by any skier’s estimation; even the most experienced powder hounds’ jaws will drop. Big storms brew out on the Pacific and Whistler is one of the first dumping grounds for all that beautiful snow. They’ve just had an amazing season, with 1,239cm of snowfall compared to the recent average snowfall of 1,178cm – that’s a whole 60cm more! Perfect for virgin powder days.
This is North America’s largest ski area, so whether this is your first time on skis or you’ve lost count, you can’t get bored here. The ski school takes children as young as three, catering right up to adrenaline seekers, with programmes like Extremely Canadian designed to whisk you out of your comfort zone without compromising on safety with rigorous snow skills training built into every course. There are many areas in Whistler, including ungroomed bowls, chutes and tree runs, which the Europeans would dub off-piste. The Whistler team make sure they’re avalanche-secured and call it in-bounds, making Whistler ideal for adventurous types with safety in mind.
The backcountry here should be on your Bucket List, with legends such as Mount Pattison, Decker Mount and the Flute; cliff drops, wind lips, chutes and glaciers. There are plenty of great programmes such as Extremely Canadian, with expert guides to take you out into the backcountry. Take advantage of their extremely important local knowledge; they know the best routes and the best skiing and most importantly, will help ensure your experience in the backcountry is a safe one. With all that, and great terrain parks, there’s no doubt snowboarders will also have the time of their lives.
The ultimate goal for every powder enthusiast is heli-skiing. There are plenty of opportunities in Whistler, opening up access to over 400,000 acres of virgin backcountry, including 173 glaciers. You’ll swoop down to remote areas to be the first on the snow: no queuing and no lifts. It’s a surreal experience like no other, with the feeling that it’s just you and the wilderness.
If you’ve already been to Whistler, it’s only getting better, with Vail Resorts Inc.’s big investment coming to fruition this year. On Whistler mountain, there’s a new six-person Emerald Express chair, cutting waiting times in the Family Ski Zone, and Blackcomb peak has a new high-speed, four-person Catskinner chair, speeding up your mountain access. Getting from the Upper Village to the Peak 2 Peak connection just got warmer, drier and faster with a new 10-person gondola marking the first fully-sheltered, year-round route up Blackcomb. All of this will be up and running for the 2018-19 season; just another one of those signs telling you this is the year.
The Guinness World Record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a thrill in itself. The best way to traverse between the stunning mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb is using one of the two glass-bottomed gondolas available, over beautiful forests with views of the Village, glaciers, surrounding peaks and breathtaking lakes. Then, once you’ve reached your destination, you can dine with a view or explore your surroundings.
It’s lively, friendly and laid-back: a truly Canadian resort. Whether you’re seeking a relaxed après evening in front of the fire at Basalt Wine & Salumeria or a wild evening of live music at the Dubh Linn Gate, there’s something to suit everyone. The village is pedestrianised, and as soon as you finish on the slopes, you can head straight for a restaurant of almost any cuisine or peruse the shops. Some local favourites include the Garibaldi Lift Co, Dusty’s Bar & Grill, and the Bearfoot Bistro.
It’s never too early to book, as our fantastic offers on Whistler accommodation have already begun. At venues such as Tantalus Lodge you can get up to three nights free when you book before the end of August, which equals an extra weekend on your winter getaway. The fabulous Westin Resort and Spa has up to 50% off accommodation if you book before 30th June and there’s a deal on the Four Seasons if you book before 31st August, with up to 50% off and a room upgrade. Booking early doesn’t just save you on accommodation either; book your lift ticket before August 31st for savings here too.
Need any more reasons? Speak to one of our experienced Ski Experts for their personal highlights.