I was in Whistler over the Christmas holidays – specifically the week around New Years.
Whistler is one of those places that I am madly in love with. I’ve been there multiple times, including a few days during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Considering I live no where near to Whistler, I go there a lot more than most. It’s become somewhat of a family tradition to go to skiing/snowboarding somewhere at least once a winter.
The environment of Whistler is incredible. Seriously, it’s like no where else I’ve ever been. To be fair, I feel like everywhere I travel to is like “no where else” but that’s beside the fact. Whistler is one of those special places with a super fun “air” and where you get to feel like a rarity in your own country because so many people there are British or Australian, then half the people who have “Canadian” accents are probably actually American. It’s probably a different story when it isn’t the Christmas holidays though, I imagine a lot of people who are from British Columbia probably stay far, far away during the holidays to avoid the tourist-crowded hills.
Whistler has this wonderful blessing of always amazing conditions, or so it seems to me. This year is a low snow year for Whistler. Even the guy who drove the shuttle from the airport back to where I live asked my brother and I about the snow because I guess even he knew that Whistler hadn’t been getting as much snow as usual, but I don’t think that people realize that Whistler still had great conditions. It’s like even on a “low snow” winter for Whistler that the conditions were still better at other places that I have rode because both mountains still had way less ice than other mountains. I think that being so close to the coast really lends Whistler to have great conditions comparatively. As a snowboarder, nothing could make me happier than “pretty good conditions most of the time”. I hate ice. I hate ice. I hate ice. Ice + snowboards = not friends. I deal with it though. You either A) slide through it B) plop your bum on the ground or C) learn how to slide in a push up position. Also, if you are still learning how to snowboard please do not try putting your hands on the ground, fractured wrists are one of the most common injury for snowboarders (maybe rivalling concussions and bruised butt bones though).
Whistler Village is also wonderful. It’s one of the things that I love about Whistler. It’s like you don’t really even need to be a skier or a snowboarder to enjoy being there. You can opt to go snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, you could probably spend an entire day or two just shopping, you could go hiking and so on. A lot of people will hop on the Whistler gondola with the skiers and snowboarders so that they can go up to the Peak-to-Peak gondola. The Peak-to-Peak gondola is around 4.1 km long and stretches between Blackcomb and Whistler and the view is unbelievable. It’s one of those amazing engineering feats, courtesy of a team of engineers from Switzerland. They had this wonderful gondola created on time for the Vancouver Olympics. I actually think it was built 1-2 years before but I can’t remember. I’ve always wished that it was possible for me to just have 1 or 2 extra days in Whistler just so that I could have the chance to do some hiking, cross country skiing or what ever else goes on there. I think Whistler is also really cool in the summer because you can go hiking, mountain biking, and stuff like that. It’s no wonder that I love Whistler because it is such an incredibly beautiful place, it’s so close to an awesome city like Vancouver, and there is just so much to do there. I think you could spend months upon months there and still not be bored.
Snowboarding is great. I love snowboarding, which is what led me to become a certified instructor. And I love snowboarding even more for giving my family and I the excuse to go to places like Whistler Blackcomb.
I’ve stayed at the Fairmont and the Delta Suites, both are excellent locations. The Delta Suites is a little farther from the base of the mountain than the Fairmont – but it’s only like 10 minutes max and is so not a big deal.
There is also a Beaver Tail stand at the base of the mountain. Technically there is another one half way up Whistler but I usually just go to the one at the base.
La Bocca is an amazing restaurant. I got the Dragon Boat salad and the mushroom ravioli and both were delicious.
Araxi was another cool restaurant. It’s an oyster bar, so my mom and my boyfriend ate oysters, but I ate this Quebec rabbit and ricotta gnocchi dish, which was a super fascinating and tasty dish.
We also ate at the Indian restaurant. I love Indian food. I felt wicked bad for the waitress who was really busy and accidentally spilled a dish, then fell over when she slipped on it. But regardless, it was so good. Then there was this Italian restaurant (also great), and this relatively new restaurant around the corner from our hotel called Caramba. I think Caramba is newer at least, new is relative though, new as in since the last time I was at Whistler. I swear, I have always had good food at Whistler.
The one think you’ll notice is that everything costs most at Whistler. I always think that if people only went to Whistler and are not from Canada, they might think that our country is way more expensive than it really is (even though we do live in an expensive country). But this is what my Aunt fondly calls the “altitude tax” – things supposedly cost more to get up the mountain. I also think they just charge more because they can, if you think about the kind of people who can afford to go to somewhere like Whistler. I’m not saying everyone is loaded (lots of people are students), but it’s obviously people who are financially secure enough to make it work out.
I actually finally got myself a stone egg from Whistler, which is an idea I have borrowed from my grandmother – they make stones into eggs, which is cool, I have 1 from Ecuador, 1 from Banff, 2 from Ecuador and now 1 from Whistler.
Also, for people who are Pandora fans, they actually have a Whistler line of charms. I bought one that has a little snowboarder on it, the top of the board is red and the bottom of the board has Whistler carved into it, which is really cool. They also had charms with wood on them that have “Whistler” carved on it, they also had similar charms made with glass. I’m not sure if other places have thought of doing this or not but c’est le vie.
I also checked out all some of the environmental things that Whistler is doing, which is super sweet. They have this little dam that powers one of the ski lifts and are trying to reduce waste by using “real” cutlery and plates in the chalets and stuff like that. Whistler-Blackcomb has actually won a bunch of environmental awards.
Any ways, I hope that you guys will maybe be interested in going to Whistler someday. If you do, seriously, don’t hesitate.
Have a good day 🙂