Winter Wonderland in Whistler

If you read any of the ski magazines, you are well aware that Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia is perennially awarded the best ski resort in North America but since it’s in Canada most avid US skiers haven’t had the luxury of skiing at Whistler. Since we live in Seattle, it’s an easy 4-5 hour drive (depending on freeway and border traffic).   We pop up to Whistler at least once ever year. He’s my take on the Whistler Blackcomb area.

Whistler for the …

 

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Crystal Hut

Breakfast Foodie – There are quite a few good restaurants for foodies in Whistler (Rim Rock, Umberto’s, Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro) but nothing that I would put in the true foodie category. So on that note, I’d recommend the best culinary treat in the area … the waffles at the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain. Go early and prepare for a long wait but you’ll find it’s worth the wait. Gluten free waffles available.

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Hiking to Glacier Bowl

Extreme Skier – Whistler vs Blackcomb is the big debate. Locals will tell you Whistler is for sunny days and Blackcomb is for cloudy days. My family prefers Blackcomb everyday because it seems to offer more advanced skiing, and the crowds are moved around the mountain more fluidly. Our favorite runs are Big Bang, Glacier Bowl, Arthur’s Choice and Cougar Chutes.

 

Apres’ Skier – Don’t head down the mountain for your apres’ ski drink. Stay up top on and have a Hot Toddy at Christine’s on Blackcomb. You’ll love this newly renovated all glass restaurant offering panoramic views. In this case, you’ll love being the last skier down the mountain.

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Seventh Heaven Lift

Orinthologist – If you love birds, you’ll get a kick out the lift line at the bottom of the Seventh Heaven lift. Skiers raising their ski pole or hands and the birds in the area love to come perch themselves. If I was an ornithologist, I could tell you what kind of bird they are.

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Scandinave Spa

Spa Junkie – the Scandinave Spa is the best treat around. It’s not just the massages, it’s the outdoor hydrotherapy with their waterfalls and plunge pools afterwards that will reinvigorate you after a long day of skiing. Don’t let the idea of a freezing cold rinse scare you off.

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Peak 2 Peak

Acrophobics – If this is you, do not … I repeat, DO NOT go on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that takes you between the peak of Whistler Mountain and the peak of Blackcomb Mountain. While it’s a very practical way to get from mountain to mountain and while it offers amazing views of the surrounding area, the idea of dangling 1,430 feet in the air on the world’s longest free span between towers (1.88 miles) isn’t for the acrophopic . This definitely will not cure you of your fear of heights.

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Whistler Olympic Plaza Skating

Ice Skater – Skate under the stars at this un-rink near the Whistler Olympic Village. You’ll feel like you are skating on a river with the meandering loop.

Skate Skier – You’ll find some of the prettiest vistas by heading to either of the two Nordic centers in Whistler. You’ll float over 150 km of trails.

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Whistler Bobsleigh

Need for Speeder – Head over to the Whistler Sliding Centre and hop into a bobsleigh where a professional driver will take groups of three through 10 on the track’s 16 corners at speeds up to 125 km/h. You’ll feel the G-forces for sure with this experience.

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Whistler Sleigh Ride

Romantic – Head to the Nicklaus North Golf Course for a horse-drawn sleigh ride with your special someone for a sleigh ride through a winter wonderland wrapped in a cozy blanket and a hot chocolate in hand.

Kid at Heart – Feel like a kid again whizzing down the slopes on a tube at the Coca-Cola Tube Park. Riders in single passenger tubes fly down lanes for 1000 feet hitting speeds of more than 60 km/h. Not quite as fast as the bobsled but fast enough for me!

 

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