Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s ski season and with so many mountains to choose from it is truly a skier’s paradise. In just over an hour from our front door, we can be at Mt. Baker, a mountain that has had record annual snowfall and hosts the largest snowboard race in the world. Mt. Baker is rustic, a majestic mountain to ski for a day, but you won’t find a chalet or après-ski fondue anywhere nearby - for that, we head to Whistler, B.C., Canada.
Whistler Blackcomb, host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, lies a couple hours driving distance from the U.S. - Canadian Border, just north of Vancouver, British Columbia. The area caters to an international crowd of year-round outdoor enthusiasts, but first and foremost it is a ski resort nestled among the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. With over 200 marked runs it is best to plan more than just one day there.
Both Whistler and Blackcomb Villages offer up many options for overnight accommodations from the luxury ski-in-ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler to the more affordable condominiums and timeshares located a short distance from the base of the mountain. For those who use the day-park lots or are staying in a nearby condo, there’s even a dependable and frequent shuttle service that will have you from your door to the base of the mountain in a matter of minutes. You’ll want to book well in advance, however. People travel from all over the world to visit Whistler.
As an international destination hot spot, you’ll find there’s a little something for everyone. People come to sled, snowshoe, ice skate, toboggan and sleigh ride - there’s even winter ziplining. Skis aren’t required to ride the popular glass-bottom, Guinness World Record-breaking Peak 2 Peak gondola that spans the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb. Sightseers will enjoy a 360-degree view of the resort in all its snowy splendor. And if all that sightseeing has you feeling hungry, you can enjoy fresh, local cuisine at the mountain-top restaurant on Blackcomb.
After a full day of playing in the snow, dinner is on everyone’s mind. With one village spilling into the other you can easily explore all the restaurants and pick the perfect place to stop in for a bite to eat. There is an array of eateries that will cater to just about every taste. Without a doubt, you will also find that notorious après-ski fondue.
One fun fact we encountered while staying in Whistler is you’ll come across a lot of Aussies. Being part of the British Commonwealth, Whistler is a popular place for young Australians to visit on work visas. On our short stay, we ran into a grocery clerk from the Gold Coast, a server from Sydney, and a honeymooner from Perth. Everyone seemed to be having fun and enjoying their time there.
Our stay in Whistler was brief but full of adventure. We hope to visit again during the summer months to enjoy the popular biking and hiking trails.