Ski Resort Town Whistler
In the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia, just about 125 km north of Vancouver, a magnificent Canadian resort town Whistler is located.
Skiing and Boarding
If skiing or boarding is your thing, you won’t be disappointed with Whistler. With 37 lifts servicing over 200 runs on two mountains and a vertical drop of over 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America and consistently ranks as one of the top three ski destinations in North America. The variety of terrain is huge: it ranges from beginner areas, chutes, trees, and groomed cruising runs to alpine bowls heaped with powder after a fresh snow fall. There is something at Whistler to suit everyone. On the freestyle side, it has four terrain parks, a snow cross track and a super-pipe.
The "Sea-to-Sky highway", British Columbia Highway 99, brings you from the ocean coast to the Wistler mountain, exactly like the name says. There is a shuttle service from the Vancouver Airport and Downtown Vancouver is provided by the Whistler Shuttle.
Whistler was a small logging town
Before the skiers and boarders came, Whistler was a small logging town with the name Alta Lake, and its summit used to have a name “London Mountain”, but the name was changed in 1965 as the associations with London's bad weather were deemed to be bad for advertising purposes. The mountain was re-named "Whistler" after the high-pitched whistling or chirping sound made by the hoary marmots native to the area.
Due to the mountain's proximity to Garibaldi Provincial Park, ski lifts are regularly used to quickly access the alpine, and ski tour into the park. The summit is home to the Whistler Peak chair, and this makes it one of the most traveled summits in British Columbia.
Over two million people visit Whistler annually
Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and snowboarding and, in summer, mountain biking at Whistler Blackcomb.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine technical and speed events, the sliding events at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Nordic events in the nearby Callaghan Valley and also luge, skeleton, and bobsled events. The Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village (commonly referred to as the Athlete's village) housed around 2,400 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials. Post-games, the site has been turned into a new residential neighbourhood Cheakamus Crossing.
The European-style villages
Although the town of Whistler sprawls out around the valley, the European-style villages built around the base of the gondolas are the heart of it. Most of the accommodation, restaurants, bars, shops and the Blackcomb and Whistler gondolas are in Whistler Creekside (Old Alpha Lake), Whistler Village and the Upper Village, at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Both mountains open the fourth weekend of November and the main season runs until late April. From Whistler Village, the closest access point to the mountains is the two gondolas that originate at Skiers Plaza in Whistler Village. The ride up takes 20-25 minutes and the lines can be very long during the morning. The gondolas start operation at 8:30am and stop between 3-4pm, depending on the time of the year.
Whistler’s pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s.
The easiest way to explore Whistler is on foot because the town features mostly pedestrian walkways and is small enough that one can walk almost anywhere. There is also an extensive system of trails that links Whistler Village with many of the parks, golf courses and beaches in other parts of the valley. Whistler transit or cars are best used to reach outlying areas. The main road through town is Highway 99.
Whistler gets its fair share of snow and cold weather. The area experiences cool wet winters, and dry warm summers. On average Whistler receives approximately 11 days with temperatures over 30°C, and approximately 24 days on average with temperatures falling below −10°C. As with the nearby Fraser Valley, there is significantly more precipitation from November through April than other times of the year.