We have been to Whistler once, during the summer of 2009. We have never skied there although we love to ski, and during the past twenty years we have been skiing every single year!
Having skied at the great majority of resorts around the planet, like Aspen, Vail, Courchevel,Lech, Grindelwald, Zermatt, Kitzbuhel, Dolomites in Italy, etc, I guess I am able to write a guide about this subject! 🙂
So…. you will ask me: “Why have you never skied in Whistler before, as it is the number one resort in North America?”
Oh…. Probably because it is a long trip for someone coming from Brazil (and I lived there before moving to Canada last November!).
For someone coming from Brazil it is necessary to fly eleven hours to go to Toronto! From there you have to fly five additional hours to get to Vancouver! After reaching Vancouver you have to travel two hours to to Whistler! If you do the math considering time between flights etc you will notice that this means at least “24 hours on the road”!!! It is away too much!!!
That’s the reason we wanted to ski there but never had the opportunity!
Now…. it is perfect!!! We are living in Vancouver! Whistler is located almost on our “backyard” ! 🙂
To go to Whistler from Vancouver is very easy (and affordable!): Regular bus to the bus station and from there a Greyhound bus!
The Greyhound bus is very comfortable (although there is no wi fi connection), and we arrived in Whistler after two and a half hours.
The highway (Sea to Sky) is GORGEOUS! It is super scenic and when you notice you are at your destination! Time really flies in such a beautiful scenery! I was able to see many eagles along the way! Cool!
When we got there we went walking to Aava Hotel. Aava Hotel is located close to the main gondola (10 minutes walking) and has the advantage of moderate prices, if compared to Hilton, Westin and even the famous Fairmont.
We went to pick up our skiing tickets that were bought on line with a discount (this discount is valid for everyone that lives in Vancouver ir in Washington State). You must have proof of residency to apply for it.
I would definitely stay at Aava Hotel again when returning to Whistler!
They also have this nice hot tub where the guests used to get together by the end of the afternoon
The mountain: It is HUGE! There are excellent trails and the mountain is so big that you never see a lot of people around you. This is great, because in Europe, sometimes are such a huge crowd skiing side by side that I feel nervous in falling and getting hurt by someone skiing “over” me! 🙂
There are plenty of restaurants in Whistler Village! After trying many different options, we have our favorite: Sushi Village. Great food, live atmosphere and excellent prices!
We also went to a Mongolian Restaurant (I found it a little bit pricey) and to Earls (the franchise we encounter all over Canada).
There is an Italian Restaurant that is very popular between locals but we didn’t like it that much (too much tomato sauce and the service was quite slow).
The main concern I have with the skiing in whistler is the weather! Sometimes we had it beautiful and sunny on the top but when skiing down the mountain we had thick clouds!!! It is tough to ski in the middle of the clouds, specially if it is the forst time you are skiing a slope! 🙂
From Whistler we took the Peak to Peak Gongola and wow…. this is an AWESOME experience!!! There are many red gondolas and two silver gondolas. If you wait in a separate line to get the silver gondola, you will have the opportunity to ride in a gondola that has a part of the floor that is made of glass!!! It is an unforgettable experience to see the pine trips from the top!
I do recommend that you take the silver gondola when moving from Whistler to Blackcomb or vice versa!
We also skied Blackcomb Mountain but I found the runs located in Whistler easier to “manage” than the ones on the Blackcomb side!
Look at the picture below to see how Canada is a great country!!! Whistler is a small village but…. LOOK to the SIZE of its library!!! This is CANADA!!! Canadian Government has a great concern with culture and everywhere I have been here, I always find huge and beautiful libraries!
This is very important and I feel proud to live in a place that values CULTURE so much!!!
I really love Canada!
We spent one week skiing there and I wish we could stay more! Whistler is a wonderful place to ski if you are a novice, intermediate or advanced skier. There are runs to suit every level of skier and no one will ever feel bored in such a great mountain!
Yes, Whistler, we LOVED it there! We will be BACK many times!
The trip back home was also very pleasant and it is possible to get off the bus downtown (in front of Fairmont Hotel). From there we walked two blocks and arrived in our apartment.