No matter what your ability, the skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, consistently rated as North America’s number-one ski destination, makes for a winter holiday you won’t forget in a hurry. The two lift-served mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, are separated by a steep-sided valley through which Fitzsimmons Creek flows.
The lifts of both mountains converge at Whistler Village. Skiing is over almost 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres), comprising more than 200 groomed runs, hundreds of unmarked trails through forested areas, three glaciers, and 12 bowls.
Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains are 2,284 meters (7,500 feet) and 2,182 meters (7,160 feet) high respectively. In total, the resort has 34 lifts, including three gondolas, 12 high-speed quad chairlifts, five triples, one double, and 12 surface lifts.
Snowboarders are well catered to with four terrain parks and numerous half-pipes.
For many, the resort can be overwhelming. Trail maps detail all marked runs but can’t convey the vast size of the area. A great way to get to know the mountain is on an orientation tour; these leave throughout the day from various meeting points (ask when and where when you buy your ticket) and are free.
A lift ticket is adult $91, senior and youth $75, child $45, and those under seven ski/board for free. The resort’s website (www.whistlerblackcomb.com ) contains everything you’ll need to know about the resort and booking winter accommodation packages, or call the general enquires desk (604/932-3434 or 800/766-0449).
For accommodation information call Whistler Central Reservations (604/904-7060 or 888/403-4727).
The groomed trails at Whistler Olympic Park (604/964-2455), built for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, are open to the public at a cost of $20 for a day pass. Facilities at the venue include rentals ($25–40 per day), a day lodge with restaurant, and lessons; It’s located 16 kilometers (10 mi) south of town. Closer to the village, and running in a long loop past Lost Lake and Green Lake is the Valley Trail, a paved walk/bikeway in summer that becomes a popular cross-country ski trail in winter; near Lost Lake and on the adjacent Chateau Whistler Golf Course. Most trails are groomed, while some are track set, and a five-kilometer stretch is illuminated for night skiing.