Flying high at Whistler?s TELUS Ski and Snowboard Festival held annually in April.
WHISTLER, BC ? The site of the 2010 Winter Olympics has a problem: endless amounts of epic skiable terrain, a flurry of options in top-notch nightly entertainment, fantastic shopping, and tons of hiking and biking options; where to head next?!
With your head bobbing from a blockbuster day in the mountains, you dive into Whistler Village and arrive at this pedestrian wonderland packed to the gills with sweet patios, tasty restaurants, nightclubs and shop-till-you-drop options.
The town is consistently rated by the snow industry and it?s enthusiasts as the best ski resort in North America. Spend some time here and you?ll discover why. With a ?Disneyish? attention to detail and cleanliness, you?ll encounter friendly staff that?s here to only better your experience.
While heading up the Whistler Village Gondola, part of Whistler?s staff, Ursula, popped her head into our gondola and reported free orientation tours of the mountain at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. from the top. It?s great advice.
One large playground
Whistler and Blackcomb mountains combined offer 8,000 skiable acres, over 200 trails, 33 lifts, 12 alpine bowls, three glaciers and enough terrain to keep you busy for weeks.
?I am so glad you have been here before, I wouldn?t have a clue where we are right now,? says my friend Shelley Tjelum during our day on Whistler, adding ?we haven?t been on the same chair lift all day, this is awesome!?
The problem of where to head next further intensified this season when Whistler added Flute Bowl to the skiable mix.
?Flute Bowl is lift-accessible backcountry,? explains Whistler?s Michelle Leroux. ?Many tourists and visitors to Whistler/Blackcomb, may not be trained or equipped to head into the backcountry and Flute gives that option,? adding that adventures await you in Flute while ?you still earn your turns with a short hike in and out.?
High up on the mountain, the Inukshuk, the traveller?s marker and symbol for the 2010 Olympics.
RANDY LINCKS,Tourism BC
Secrets of a snow day
This 700-acre backcountry playground is accessible off Peak Chair and is patrolled and avalanche maintained by Whistler?s ski patrol.
?Listen to how quiet it is, the mountain is right there but we are here with no crowds,? says my guide, Joe Lok. ?It?s the first place I hit on a snow day,? he said as we head down a spine and into a knarly chute. ?It?s an excellent and safe introduction to the backcountry.?
Stellar days on the mountain can make a dude thirsty, and the problem of where to head next will only intensify in time for après. Located directly at the base of the Whistler Village Gondola overlooking both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, you will find three excellent patios to quench your thirst ? Longhorn?s Saloon (home to a classic Caesar), The Dublin Gates (pouring a fine Guinness) and The GLC (Garibaldi Lift Company) twisting out some fantastic martinis.
Tunes to get you grooving and meetin? and greetin? to be done with folks visiting from around the world; you will not be disappointed no matter where you choose. Don?t get too comfy in those deck chairs though, as the night options are about to set in.
A different kind of nightlife
Pick from dozens of fine restaurants offering tastes from around the globe, or grab that board or the sticks and head right back out onto Blackcomb Mountain.
The Super Night Pipe is a legacy of a past FIS World Snowboarding Championship. This well-lit super pipe hosts some of the world?s best snowboarders and skiers, who rip it up.
?The super pipe in Blackcomb?s terrain park is one of the most popular features; the night pipe is a permanent part to the mountain, and gives more opportunity to our guests. The pipe offers nightlife to those who are under 19 and can?t enjoy the licensed establishments,? says Leroux.
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