Whistler is one of the most impressive ski resorts on the planet. It has an incredible snow record: Last season saw over 9.5m of fresh powder and 80 snow days. Combine this with amazing skiing in Whistler Blackcomb’s huge ski area, world class accommodation, and fantastic restaurants throughout the village – and you’re already halfway to the ski holiday of a lifetime.
To help you get the most out of your Whistler ski holiday, The team at Ski Independence have put together a few of our top tips to getting you on your way, both on and off the slopes.
Take a lesson
While many of know how to get down a mountain how many of us can say we do it with grace and style? Not too many I would guess. Taking advantage of some tips from a pro can make the world of difference and doing it early in your holiday can mean that you can take time to put the new practices in to place. Ski school isn’t all about theory – Whistler offer a huge number of snow school options from private to group, from beginner to back country / off piste. Most of the Ski Independence team have used one of more of the Whistler Snow School programmes, so give us a call and we’ll make sure that we find the right thing for you. We’ll even have lessons organised and booked for when you arrive in resort.
Book a table
Whistler has a reputation for great food and drink, and once you experience it you’ll see just why! The resort gets busy at the weekends and over the holiday periods and we are on hand to help book some great tables in town. Many of the restaurants will take bookings well in advance, so call us and we’ll get your preferred time and dates in the diary. We might sometimes need to take credit card details to secure the very best table. There are some restaurants that don’t take advance bookings but don’t let that put you off, Just head in when you’ve finished you ski day and get your name on a list while you go and enjoy the village. When your table is ready, you’ll get a text to let you know.
Arrive in style
After a long flight from the UK what you need is a quick and easy journey up to Whistler, which takes around 2.5 hours. We can help with a range of upgraded private transfers that will suit any size of party. From a luxury sedan to a beautiful SUV, or great private vans for those who want a bit more space. From the individual ‘meet and greet’ service to the direct hotel drop off, you’ll be happy to have started your holiday in style.
After arriving in to Vancouver International Airport you’ll drive through downtown Vancouver on your journey up to Whistler. But that’s not enough, you need to spend some time there! Vancouver is a great city to spend a couple of nights in before flying home. The downtown core is easy to navigate and, unlike many North American cities, it has a thriving local population that live and play right there. We have some amazing hotels that we can book for you. There are also lots of different activities on offer that we can suggest and book for you. One of the best things to do is just wander through the city, exploring everything for yourself. The food scene is huge, Stanley Park is great to explore on bikes and a float plane trip from the harbour will give you some amazing views over the beautiful city.
Dine at The Chalet
In the winter The Fairmont Chateau Whistler turn their golf clubhouse in to an alpine Chalet, open from 6pm daily, where they serve at best fondue in town. Pick up is from the Fairmont Chateau hotel (you don’t need to be a guest there but reservations are essential). The relaxed tables are situated around the central fireplace, creating a romantic vibe. We strongly recommend the traditional cheese fondue, adding the foraged BC mushrooms if you like. If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth, they do a fantastic chocolate fondue for desert.
Not Just a Ski Resort
While Whistler is undoubtedly one of the best places to ski or snowboard on the planet, there is so much else to do while you’re in resort. A few of our favourites include Ziptrek, Scandinave Spa, dogsledding, ice skating next to the Olympic Rings, visiting art galleries, learning about First Nation history and culture, snow shoeing, fat biking, and going to a local ice-hockey game. If you need more information on these, or want to book, let us know and we can help.
Heliski is the ultimate high alpine adrenaline experience, and is most likely on most snow sport enthusiast’s bucket list. Whistler is one of the best places to try it in North America. The terrain they operate in is over 50 times bigger than the inbounds terrain of Whistler Blackcomb, and the helipad is just a short drive from the heart of the village. It is geared for decent intermediates and above, you don’t need to be an expert, and offers an experience that you will never forget. You’ll be placed in to groups of like-minded skiiers or riders of a similar level. You will have top quality guides who know every bit of terrain you will explore. We can even help with speciality powder rentals if you need them too.
Follow in the footsteps of…
Napoleon – We know, hear us out. The Bearfoot Bistro, located in The Listel Whistler, is one of Whistler’s best dining experiences. If you want to go all out, book the tasting menu and you’ll have BC wines paired with the most amazing food. All locally sourced, and expertly explained by your server. In between courses you can choose to visit the wine cellar where thousands of bottles are stored. You will be able to sabre a bottle of bubbly, just like Napoleon and his army did all those years ago.
Another exciting thing to do between courses or after dinner is visit the Ketel One Ice Room, where your host will talk you through different vodkas. Here you can taste the ones that tempt you the most. You’ll be wrapped up against the -32C temperatures, and be pleasantly surprised at what sub zero temperatures does to the taste of the vodka.