Everything you need to know for a snow holiday at Whistler, Canada

With a fairytale village, two mountains making up North America’s largest ski area and oodles to do both off and on the slopes, Whistler should top your bucket list for an incredible ski holiday.

Whistler Blackcomb is the biggest resort in North America. Even those who have skied here their whole life will tell you they are still discovering hidden terrain and new lines. The resort’s twin peaks – Whistler and Blackcomb – are linked by the spectacular Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Ski and ride in 3,306 hectares of spectacular terrain, accessible by 37 lifts. The resort has more than 200 runs, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers. Terrain is classified as 20% beginners, 55% intermediate and 25% advanced. There is so much on offer, with something for everyone and every style.

Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa Family Package

Stay 10 nights in January 2025, save 50% and receive up to $500CAD Resort Credit.

Exclusive offer: $11,247 for 10 nights accommodation in a Hilton Family Combo (Premier Studio connecting to a Hilton Room), including return transfers for 2 adults and 2 children ages 12 years & under. Book by June 30, 2024.

Three village base areas

Whistler has three base villages: Whistler, Creekside and Upper Village. Busses regularly run between the three and out to the surrounding suburbs. Whistler is the main village with a pedestrian-only main street. You’ll find 200 shops and 150 restaurants and bars with a huge choice for après and dining. From Whistler Village, there are three options to get onto the slopes: the Excalibur Gondola to ski or snowboard Blackcomb or Whistler Village Gondola and the Fitzsimmons 8 Express for Whistler Mountain.

The Upper Village offers high-end accommodation and shopping. With names like Four Seasons and Fairmont, as well as boutique shops, hotels and ski-in, ski-out chalets. From the Upper Village, you can access Blackcomb Mountain from the Blackcomb Gondola.

Creekside has a more cozy atmosphere with lodge and chalet-style accommodation, the famous Creekbread pizza restaurant and Dustys Bar. From Creekside, you can catch the Creekside Gondola on Whistler Mountain. At the end of the day, return home via the Peak to Creek trail. At 11 kilometres long, it is both the longest run on the mountain and the longest consistent run in North America. We won’t judge if you need a few rests along the way!

Olympic Plaza, Whistler Village
Olympic Plaza, Whistler Village © Tourism Whistler/ Justa Jeskova
Whistler's Upper Village
Creekside, Whistler

Whistler Family Holidays

Kids are VIPs at Whistler, with special family zones, the enchanting Tree Fort, the bubly Tube Park, and the fantastic Whistler Kids Snow School. The Children’s Adventure Park on Blackcomb has terrain features, colourful characters and a magic castle. On Whistler, explore the Family Zone with park features for everyone, and also a Tree Fort near the Big Red Express chairlift.

Ice skating in Whistler
Family-fun at the ice rink © Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Ski school

Book ski or snowboard lessons with world-class instructors and get priority lift access in groups that are customizable from small groups to private, to specialty offerings such as Ski With an Olympian, the Extremely Canadian Steeps Clinics, or camp programs.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Whistler
© Tourism Whistler/ Mike Crane

Beginner runs at Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler is the mountain where I learnt to both ski and snowboard. I started on the magic carpet at Olympic Mid Station on Whistler Mountain. It is a quiet part of the mountain and out of the way of other skiers and snowboarders. It’s always nice when the beginner area isn’t a thoroughfare for other skiers and snowboarders. From there I progressed to the easy-loading Olympic Chair to travel a little further than the magic carpet but still in the same quiet area. It was a great spot to get comfortable on a chairlift in a low-traffic area, and, as an extra bonus, there were not too many people to see my many falls getting off.

Once I outgrew this area, it was the Whistler Village Gondola for me, for incredible views from the top and a rest at the Roundhouse Lodge with a cafeteria, restaurant and bar. Then you can ski the green Whiskey Jack run down the mountain. On Blackcomb, catch the gondola to ride Expressway to Easy Out. These runs have a lot of diversity and are wide open with lots of space for beginners to practise their turns. If you were to ride some of the other green runs crisis-crossing the mountain you may find yourself on a cat track. Whistler is a great mountain for progression because of its numerous beginner areas.

Skiing and Snowboarding at whistler blackcomb
© Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Intermediate terrain at Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb has rated 55% of its terrain as intermediate. At a resort that’s almost twice the size of Canada’s second largest, that’s huge. On Whistler, I love the gentle, long blue rolling runs around the Symphony Express and Harmony 6 Express. Because it is the furthest you can get from the gondola, it tends to be a little quieter. The longest run, the 11-kilometre Peak to Creek, is a blue run and is a really varied run from top to bottom. On Blackcomb, The Crystal Ridge Express and Excelerator Express have a number of fantastic blue runs snaking down the mountain. Head to 7th Heaven for unbelievable views.

Skiing and Snowboarding
© Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Advanced runs at Whistler Blackcomb

You’ll find most of the 25% of advanced terrain on Whistler Blackcomb’s at the top of the mountains. On Whistler, head to the bowls for epic lines. The Flute Bowl is a 20-minute hike from Symphony Express, The Symphony Bowl can be skied from the other side. Catch the Harmony Express to ski the Glacier Bowl and the Peak Express for the Whistler, West and Bagel Bowls. Blackcomb has great tree runs under its gondola and across the mountain. The renowned Blackcomb Glacier can be accessed for moderate skiers and riders via the Showcase T-bar, while experts can drop in from the not-for-the-faint-of-heart Spanky’s Ladder.

skiing in whistler

First Tracks

Buy a Whistler Blackcomb First Tracks ticket and you’ll get to embark on the Whistler Gondola between 7:30 and 8am. The ticket costs $28, in addition to a valid lift ticket or pass, and includes a $17 food voucher. As one of the most popular resorts in the world, you need to be in line quite early if you want first tracks on a powder day.

Hiking at Whistler Blackcomb
Backcountry skiing © Tourism Whistler/ Mike Crane

Things to do in Whistler in winter

It is no exaggeration to say that Whistler has a massive range of things to do. You can visit the Whistler Sliding Centre to ride in a bobsleigh, go ice skating at Olympic Plaza and watch the experts in the truly amazing Fire & Ice Show, on every Sunday night during the season. Marvel at the ethereal beauty of Vallea Lumina, a beautiful night stroll through the multimedia light show in the forest.

Try something different out in nature by going snowshoeing. There is an array of tours including the Ancient Cedars trail on Cougar Mountain and another that includes a campfire cookout with s’mores. Or dog sledding with Canadian Wilderness Adventures and the adorable husky crossbreeds. You can hike along a train track to see graffiti railway cars.

Dogsledding in Whistler
Dogsledding is fun and scenic © Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane
The whistler Train Wreck
The Whistler Train Wreck © Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Learn to cross-country ski to notch up another skill or go ice fishing. Add some adrenaline by braving the bungee dive with Whistler Bungee over the glacially-fed Cheakamus River, try ice climbing, or fly through the trees on ziplines. Experience what it is like to hurtle around curves in the Passenger Bobsleigh and Public Skeleton at The Whistler Sliding Centre, riding on the same tracks as Olympians use. Kids who love frolicking in a pool will love the Meadow Park Sports Centre, which has an indoor heated pool for children.

Then you can add the escape room at Escape! Whistler, axe throwing at Forged, the Audain Art Museum and the wonderful Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, for those days you just need to stay inside.

Axe throwing at Forged

Wine and dine

Aprés at the mountain base at Longhorns, do a ski shot at The Grey Goose Ice Room at Bearfoot Bistro, have a cheap meal at The Old Spaghetti Factory or eat an incredible steak at The Keg Steakhouse.

For something special, explore the Callaghan backcountry with Canadian Wilderness Adventures before arriving at a log cabin on Sproatt Mountain. Dine on Angus beef sirloin served with garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and an indulgent dessert.

 Canadian Wilderness Adventures
© Canadian Wilderness Tours

Getting to Whistler

Air Canada flies from Australia to Vancouver. From the airport, it is a 90 minute shuttle to Whistler Village.

To book a snow holiday in Whistler, visit mogulski.com.au

Tags: ,