These year-round resorts are found nestled in the coast mountains 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Vancouver. From the airport or downtown Vancouver, take the Lions Gate Bridge to the North Shore and turn west on the Trans Canada Highway. Just before the BC Ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, turn north onto Highway 99. Certain sections of this highway, in spite of continual improvements, are quite curvey and reasonable care must be taken while driving in winter weather conditions. Bus transportation from Vancouver and also train service from North Vancouver are available on a daily basis.
How can you best describe these alpine giants? Ask the skiers who come by 747s in droves from Japan, Europe, the United States and many, many distant places. They will give you descriptions such as the biggest, the steepest, the greatest and also the most expensive! In a relatively short period of 25 years, development has proceeded at a frantic pace. About one billion dollars has been spent in constructing more than 200 ski trails on two colossal mountains, three golf courses, many hotels and a town center that almost defies the imagination for services and apres-ski activities. A fleet of modern high speed gondolas and quad lifts can transport over 40,000 skiers per hour to the twin summits where they can enjoy over 7,000 acres of skiing terrain. There are also backbowls and glaciers that provide Canada's only serviced year round skiing!
The sheer scope of this total mega-resort can even leave an expert breathless, the first time visiter absolutely overwhelmed, and the long time resident still discovering new terrain. Needless-to-say, a trail map is a must for those who newly take on the challenge of the Whistler-Blackcomb ski trails! It continually amazes people that it was only in 1965 a group of local businessmen opened the original gondola at what was little more than an extended gravel pit at the base of Whistler. Now, just north of the original base, the Village of Whistler boasts of greater than 6,000 residents with their own town council, fire department, police, and all the amenities of a municipality. There are a variety of hotel and condominium room choices as well as restaurants varying from very expensive to a few that do offer bargain rates. High demand means that reservations are usually required and must be planned well in advance of your ski trip. The mild coastal affected climate creates an environment for an abundance of snowfall over the season. However, rain and fog, especially at the lower elevations can sometimes prevail so the best advice is to come prepared for any weather condition.
If you cannot find time to test these mountains in the normal November to May ski seasons, the Blackcomb glaciers are now open for summer skiing! Three mountain view golf courses, the Whistler, the Chateau and the Nicholas North have been built in the township plus a fourth, the Big Sky some 33 kilometers (20 miles) north at Pemberton. Furthermore, you can swim or water ski at nearby Alta Lake. In fact, the summer adventurer can ski in the morning, play a round of golf or tennis in the afternoon, followed by a refreshing swim in Alta Lake, then wine and dine at a choice of several excellent establishments all found within a few kilometers of Whistler Center!
Some Whistler Mountain statistics are;
Base Elevation:- 652 meters (2,140 feet), Summit Elevation:- 2,182 meters (7,160 feet), Vertical Drop:- 1,530 meters (5,020 feet), Skiable Terrain:- 3,660 acres, Number of Trails:- 100 plus, Longest Run:- 11 kilometers (6.8 mile), Lifts and Capacity:- One gondola, 3 High Speed Quad Lifts, 3 triples, 2 doubles and 3 T-bars and platters, 22,300 plus skiers per hour, Daily Lift Ticket Price:- $48, Annual Snowfall:- 860 cm (345 inches), Snowmaking:- 2%, Terrain Mix:- Novice 25%, Intermediate 55%, Expert 20%
Some Blackcomb Mountain Statistics are;
Base Elevation:- 675 meters (2,215 feet), Summit Elevation:- 2,284 meters (7,495 feet), Vertical Drop:- 1,610 meters (5,280 feet), Skiable Terrain:- 3,360 acres, Number of Trails:- 98, Longest Run:- 11.2 kilometers (7 mile), Lifts and Capacity:- 4 High Speed Quads, 5 Triple chairs, one double, 2 T-bars, 23,000 per hour, Daily Lift Ticket:- $52, Annual Snowfall:- 835 cm (335 inches), Snowmaking:- 2%, Terrain Mix:- Novice 20%, Intermediate 55%, Expert 25%
You can reach Whistler Central Reservations toll free at 1-800-944-7853 or Affordable Holiday Homes at 1-800-882-6991
CANADA, a clean, spacious, scenic, fun place to visit!