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Canada

Epic Powder In Whistler

Missed skiing? Take it to the next level with an adventurous trip to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada where you’ll explore the wide, challenging runs of the vast Whistler Blackcomb ski area.

Why go to Whistler?

It’s true that Whistler is further afield than the ski resorts of Europe but leaving behind the cutesy charm of the Alps, Whistler is skiing and snowboarding on a whole new level. The huge Whistler – Blackcomb ski area covers a large array of high alpine runs, glaciers, trails and snow board parks, linked by a peak-to-peak gondola. For a thrilling ski trip to blow out the cobwebs, Whistler does the job. Read on to find out why.

    Dream Destination

    Whether you’re a skier or boarder, Whistler provides a high-quality experience, with masses of space to play. The stats are impressive: over 81,000 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, world class terrain parks and 200 plus of marked runs. Because of Whistler’s expanse you won’t queue like you may be accustomed to doing in Europe and its ski-ready efficiency is music to the ears of snow-lovers who like to get straight up on the mountains. Even better, the season in Whistler stretches for longer than Europe with skiable runs from November all the way to April and sometimes May when you can enjoy warm sunshine after skiing up in the glaciers.

    Thrilling Rides

    Although you can ski Whistler as a beginner, with high quality teaching and easy, wide runs lower down the mountain at Whistler Creekside, it’s really the length and variety of the runs that brings experienced skiers to Whistler. For thrill-seekers and those who like to test their mettle, the Couloir Extreme is a startlingly steep run which has an almost vertical, thigh-burning drop at the start. For something more chilled and scenic, Cloud Nine cruises the tree line above Blackcomb before dropping into the pine forest. Speed demons might like to test out The Saddle which launches you off Whistler Mountain and Peak-to-Creek is one of the longest runs in North America, which funnels down Whistler Mountain in 11kms with sections of vertical descent.

    Lay your Head

    At the end of an epic day traversing Whistler’s peaks, you need to have a comfortable place to stay where you can recharge for the next day’s adventure. Depending on what you’re looking for we can advise on which hotel suits you best. We like Fairmont Chateau Whistler – a fairy-tale hotel cradled in pine trees with excellent restaurants and service, which is good for couples as well as families. Sitting next to the Blackcomb lifts, it has great ski-in ski-out access with a dedicated ski concierge, as well as a fantastic spa, 18-hole golf course and swim-through pool. Marriott Delta Suites gives you a little more flexibility, its one- or two-bedroom apartments come with living areas and kitchenettes, perfect for self-catering and post-ski chill. It also has an indoor and outdoor pool, plus steamy hot tubs. Nearby is a recommended Canadian steakhouse for easy local dining and there’s also sushi and Italian restaurant on your doorstep.

    Whistler Downtime

    Although it’s tempting to ski all the hours you’re given, you will appreciate the variety Whistler has to offer when you’re not chasing powder. The purpose-built resort is filled with shops from designer clothes to awesome ski wear, and Whistler Square is the place to be in the evening where there’s often live music as visitors drift from bar to restaurant. And talking of food, you can re-fuel with Canadian and American classic of steaks, burgers and grilled cheese although you can also head for Thai cuisine or crepes.

    If you’re with non-skiers it’s fun to get out in the mountains on snowcats or snow shoeing and everyone loves a bit of pampering spa time, either at your hotel or at one of Whistler’s dedicated day spas, some of which have forest hot tubs.

    City and Ski

    Use your ski trip to see more of Canada. The perfect pairing is Vancouver followed by Whistler, where we’d suggest you fly into Vancouver for a few days of city life before heading to the mountains of Whistler. The cosmopolitan hub of Vancouver is a great place to enjoy a multicultural ambience with a thriving restaurant and theatre scene.

    Take time to top up on culture, including learning about indigenous communities at the Museum of Anthropology, and the Vancouver Art Gallery which has interesting First Nation artwork. Although the weather might be cold, you can still head outside – often around Christmas time there are food markets or you can have a go at ice skating on the al fresco rink at Robson Square.