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Published: March 27th 2018
Supposedly Whistler isn't named after some whistling founder but after the whistling noises the local marmots make whilst mating. As it's still Winter here at the moment we have very little chance of seeing - or hearing - any marmots whilst we're here so won't be able to vouch for the accuracy of this.
Originally I hadn't expected to ski Whistler but once J found a reasonably priced Air BnB place in Creekside for 4 nights mid week so we thought we would give it a go. Whistler is considered to be one of the top ski resorts in the world, so I have been keen to come here for a long time, but I have also heard some mixed opinions so I am keen to experience it for myself.
We have 4 days skiing here and are fortunate with the weather. Our apartment is only 300m from the Creekside gondola, close to shops and is comfortable enough for a budget place - accommodation here is typically twice the price of any other resort in Canada.so it's not cheap . But we're lucky and it snows! Overnight Wednesday we receive almost 40cm of fresh snow, which make bothThursday and
Friday great skiing days. The 4 days we are here, we split between the 2 mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, though as they are linked by a 4km gondola that bridges the valley separating them it is actually very easy to move between the 2 areas.
I hadn't realised quite how low the village is here, it's only at 650m altitude and on the drive in there is little obvious ascent to reach the village. The top of the skiing is at about 2200m so there is plenty of vertical and the ski area is claimed to be (in area) the largest in North America. Overall the area reminds me of a European ski resort except for the lack of mountain restaurants. The pistes are well groomed and there is plenty of skiing in bowls above the tree line. Although it is known as a great place for expert skiers it's also a good all-round resort and most areas are accessible to skiers of all abilities. There is plenty of tough skiing here but even from the top there are easy runs back down. I also like the American style of marking the ski area boundary and permitting people to
ski anywhere within this, whether its on or off the marked runs.
Before I came I didn't particularly want to like Whistler, but having been here I have to admit I have really enjoyed it and would recommend it as a destination, with the caveat that much can depend on the weather and it is expensive. We were very lucky and had great snow conditions, but as Whistler is close to the coast it can catch some mild weather and being so close to Vancouver will tend to be busier than other resorts particularly at the weekend, but even so queues here are nothing like those you experience regularly in the Alps in March.
Our next stop will be Sun Peaks, about 5 hours by Greyhound bus in the interior of BC. Will be a good contrast.
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