Whistler has long been a Mecca for skiers and snowboarders, so what continues to draw such a varied international audience to this destination year after year?
Certainly the resort benefitted from playing host to the Winter Olympics in 2010 – not only was the resort beamed into millions of homes for 16 days, the infrastructure was vastly improved too. The umbilical Sea-to-Sky highway between Whistler and Vancouver was dramatically overhauled, while the creation of world-class training facilities will undoubtedly progress winter sports for the ensuing generations.
However, Whistler’s real trick is the continued development they commit to the mountain every year. Recent flagship projects include:
- The opening of Flute Bowl – an inbounds backcountry experience.
- Construction of the incredible Peak 2 Peak gondola linking Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
- Last year saw the addition of two new lifts – Harmony and Crystal chairs – to improve access to some of the less skied areas around the resort; although this was not as popular with some of the locals as some of Whistler’s most closely guarded ‘secret’ spots are contained within these areas!
- This year Whistler Blackcomb have added new cabins and overhauled the lift terminals on the Whistler Village Gondola to improve the upload times on those busy bluebird mornings, a welcome improvement for the powder hungry population, both local and visiting.
- Another boon will be the new RFID access lift tickets: rather than fumbling around for your ticket in the morning you will be scanned while walking through the terminal, the technology is widely used in Europe and again accelerates access to the mountains.
Extra Value Whistler – Ski Extras with Ski Independence
Find extra value in Whistler almost everywhere you look – from great added value accommodation extras, to superb options on lift passes, seemingly limitless après-ski options and incredibly welcoming staff & locals.
Here at Ski Independence we like to add value to your Whistler holiday too. Quite apart from the incredible deals we put together for flights, transfers and accommodation there are a whole range of ski extras available too, all at discounted rates! Ski extras include:
- Lift tickets
- Rental equipment
- Ski school
- Après-ski activities
These are often overlooked during the booking process but organising ski extras before you travel can save you a huge amount of time and hassle, as well as a considerable amount of money – up to 70% in some cases! The first early booking deadline, which contains all of the best deals, is the 31st of August. Take a moment to contact us before the end of August to find out about the deals that will work best for your holiday.
Extra Value Whistler – Other Activities
While lift tickets and rental equipment are very straightforward – you select the appropriate ticket for the duration of your stay and the equipment suitable for your level of skiing or snowboarding – we thought that we would pick out a couple of the highlights from Whistler’s Ski School and our après-ski program to whet your Whistler…
- Extremely Canadian: this is a programme for the confident intermediate skier through to super technical powder hounds; it is a two-day course that is taken by some of Canada’s best instructors and promises to push you to the limits of your comfort zone and beyond. Depending on conditions and the appetite of the group you could be skiing trees, powder, couloirs and steeps all in the same lesson before heading down to Merlin’s for a ‘decompression session’ to watch the video analysis over a couple of well-deserved libations.
- Arc’teryx Women’s Ski and Snowboard Camps: while these classes only run on certain weekends during the season, we thought they were worthy of mention here as there really is nothing like them at any of the other resorts we feature. These classes are aimed at girls who are looking to progress their skills in a supportive and motivational environment, they are suitable for all levels of skier or rider from complete novice right through to experienced ripper. This is the definition of girls empowered.
- Ski with an Olympian: this is a very exclusive programme that was added to Whistler Blackcomb’s rota last year. As the name suggests, there are a number of former Olympic athletes who are available to book as a private instructor for the day, these include hometown girl Ashleigh McIvor who took gold in the inaugural Ski Cross during her home games in Whistler.
- Heli-Skiing: high on the list of any serious skier or snowboarder, heli-skiing grants you access to the type of terrain normally reserved for resort posters and desktop wallpaper. Imagine walking out the lodge with your fat skis/board amid the dull throb of the helicopter rotors climbing on board and being transported above the terrain you will be ripping down minutes later. The smile will last for days, the footage for a lifetime.