Air New Zealand runs a direct flight between Auckland and Vancouver. So just 1Hour 40 gets us from Christchurch to Auckland, then 13 Hours through the night, a good sleep, a 2 hour shuttle from YVR to Whistler Village and we're there. Whew! For us Kiwis thats not a bad trip, and would have to be one of the good things about a trip to WB
Of course there are others, such as an impressive view (the Black Tusk) from Whistler Mountain
Or a guided trip down Blackcomb Glacier with some friendly Mountain Hosts
Or sampling the local brews with fellow students, Instructor, and Dave.
The snow was winter at the mountain top, and spring from about 1/2 way down. Overall some great skiing all over both mountains, although 3 days of max 4 lessons on Blackcomb biased things toward that side.
Good food was easy to find of course but here are a few of the highlights:
1. Great Italian at Pasta Lupino
2. Meat Loaf with mashed potato and gravy at the southside diner (Creekside)
3. Dublinh Gate for music and chow
4. Dustys at Creekside for mid morning 2nd breakfast after 2 or 3 quick runs down from Roundhouse. Great atmosphere!
Honestly, we were not disappointed at any of the eating spots we found. All were relatively inexpensive.
But, back to the skiing. The sheer size of the place took some getting used to. Just uploading to top after a 3 minute walk to lifts takes something like a half hour...The areas you think you are getting to know keep fooling you, eg you get off a run which was supposed to be Zig Zag but turns out to be something else.
We also had a complementary tour of Whistler Alpine - Great terrain with a neat guy called Gerry who kept us and our legs honest.
Did we have a favourite run? No way. Part of the fun is finding new ways to get to familiar places, and there is plenty of that to be had. If we wanted more winter snow then alpine was good on both mountains, But to us Kiwis the tree runs (groomers) were novel, and the spring conditions made for great skiing.
The village also has a good vibe. Kids and dogs abound, most everyone is relaxed, and it is very international.
Whiskeyjacks at the start of the run out from Blackcomb glacier.
Pros - Easy to get to (comparitively), Massive Terrain, Good snow base, Good Instruction, pleasant apres environment and choices, Relaxed vibe overall.
Cons: No freshies
Time of year: Can't say if this was the best time, but probably a reliable part of the season without too many bad weather days? Worked for us anyway...
Will go again we thinks