Whistler Pro tips
I saw the thread for April...and I’ll be heading over in about a month. I’ve only got three days so the less time I have to spend figuring out the place the better. Where to play, what to avoid. Any other advice is appreciated
Avoid the lower mountain and the "family zone" near the Roundhouse on upper Whistler mountain. Lots of lesson groups and beginnermediates and not much else. Ride up top on the more technical stuff as long as conditions are good.
For the Blackcomb side, I really like entering the Blackcomb glacier via Spanky's Ladder (VERY short hike up to ridge) and the gem bowls. Some fun stuff up there. The couloirs and chutes off of the Horstman glacier like Pakalolo and Dakine are favorites, and the wide open bowl rider's left off the top of 7th Heaven can be super cool.
For the Whistler side, there are three lifts that service the upper bowls, and there's good stuff off of each of them. I recommend pretty much all of it.
For me, half of the fun at Whistler is exploring the top sections of the two mountains. There are tons of bowls, chutes, couloirs, windlips, treeruns, etc. We rarely ride below mid-mountain unless it's to do a top to bottom at the end of the day. Take the Peak-to-Peak across the valley at least once. The views are stunning.
Fingers crossed for good conditions for your trip!
Right on Matty. That helps a ton right off the bat. Agreed, half the fun of new mountains is exploring, knowing what’s just a waste of time helps a ton with a short schedule.
Spoke to the ex-girlfriend, who has spent a lot more time there than I have. She recommends that you hit up the top of the seventh heaven express chair/horstman T-Bar on Blackcomb and the top of the peak express on Whistler to get photos with the Vancouver Olympic stone statue dealies. People dig that shit. You can also then ride down the runs where the alpine events were and imagine doing so at race speeds, which is fucking nutso.
Also: where are you staying? Might be able to recommend bars and restaurants in the village and creekside.
My Man! I’ll have to bust out a map and take a look at some of this. We’ve got at least three of us that can handle about anything...we’re not exactly big mountain guys coming from the Midwest though ha. Trees and glade runs are the preference.
You'll find stuff that you like all over the place though. I do recommend checking out the high alpine, though. A lot of the best stuff (in my opinion) is actually up there above the tree line - and it should be quite the experience coming from the midwest. Hopefully you'll get some deep days.
If you want to get an idea of what the terrain is like, there are a ton of videos online from people's GoPro vacation videos. Here's one of Pakalolo on Blackcomb, which is one of my ex's favorite runs:
I always rode VD trees.
Seriously get a copy of this book. People were pissed when it came out. It offers every little detail on spots locals know.
OK, I bit and bought the book. Now I have it but no time to read ha
Anyway - going to Whistler on Friday for the weekend. PM me if you are going to be there and want to meet up for a lazy lap or beer.
Ended up going last weekend for the ski/snowboard festival. Had two of the best days of the season (and one of the worst). The snow is still really good.
Agree with Matty's advice. The alpine has the best terrain. It can also be a nightmare if there is fog. 7th Heaven for example is probably the last place you want to go on the mountain if there is fog or wind anywhere nearby. If it's bluebird and has snowed recently then the lakeside bowl area can be lots of fun.
Blackcomb Glacier is definitely awesome, found great snow in Sapphire bowl last Friday when other areas were tracked out.
Crystal Chair for groomers.
On the Whistler side I really love Flute bowl. You can see everything before you hike it and the snow is often a little better than it is in other places. Don't go there from harmony, go from Peak chair, but drop off near the end of the traverse because there's usually some soft snow above Burnt Stew trail.
Off Peak Chair Bagel bowl is also often good.
Also, back on the weather. It can vary all over the mountain. Get the Epic Mix app and check webcams if it's foggy or rainy to see if another area is better than where you're at.
Speaking of fog, sometimes it makes the alpine unbearable (like last Saturday), so if you find that you have to ride mid-mountain, Garbonzo is an underrated chair.
In Whistler Village I eat Sachi Sushi most nights.
In Blackcomb Village I like Handlebar.
In Creekside I like Creekbread.
We're back and hit most - hike to bowls on Blackcomb glacier, Crystal groomers, Sympnony-accessed bowls & tree runs. Good stuff, even some untracked turns here and there - which is quite something, on closing day.
Not a bad job for this guy on top of Showcase T-bar 🙂