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is whister worth going to?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

everybody always talks about, and hypes up whistler. Is whistler worth going to? or is it just overrated?

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel

post #2 of 26

Is it worth going to??

 

 

 

 

IT DEPENDS................

post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbulldude View Post
 

Is whistler worth going to? 

 

You mean right now? Or just in general?

post #4 of 26

Two TR's from the perspective of a kid : 8 and 9 years..WB..

http://www.epicski.com/t/103559/an-8-year-old-finds-the-biggest-ski-area-in-the-americas-whistler-blackcomb-10-full-days

 
 
You be the judge. In the Dad's view, anyone from beginner's to uber-experts will find endless ski terrain at WB. Best place to ski in the America's hands down, only place that compares to the places in Europe. This year they have had a terrible season because of the worst snowpack in memory...So all depends on snow in the end - that is Force Majeure for you.
 
 
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbulldude View Post
 

everybody always talks about, and hypes up whistler. Is whistler worth going to? or is it just overrated?

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel

 

 

Post one! Golf clap!!! Nice troll rbd. :beercheer:

post #6 of 26

Nope, not worth going to. Nope.

 

It only have the most skiable terrain in North America, the biggest vertical in North America, arguably the most ski porn stars walking around the village on any given day (and on the hill / liftline), a village where you can park your car for 10 days and not need it, more gnar terrain than most anywhere else, the longest season in North America and on and on and on.

 

Nope, not worth it.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post
 

Two TR's from the perspective of a kid : 8 and 9 years..WB..

http://www.epicski.com/t/103559/an-8-year-old-finds-the-biggest-ski-area-in-the-americas-whistler-blackcomb-10-full-days

 
 
You be the judge. In the Dad's view, anyone from beginner's to uber-experts will find endless ski terrain at WB. Best place to ski in the America's hands down, only place that compares to the places in Europe. This year they have had a terrible season because of the worst snowpack in memory...So all depends on snow in the end - that is Force Majeure for you.
 
 

 

I prefer Aspen, Alta/Snowbird, and Jackson Hole. They all have better quality drier snow than Whistler. At WB you can buy a green garbage bag with the WB logo and the arm and neck holes already cut. That is way too prepared for rain.

 

However WB is the best partying ski resort in North America and probably the best shopping. I like to tell my Whistler friends that they have a fantastic shopping mall that you can ski at.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

 

I prefer Aspen, Alta/Snowbird, and Jackson Hole. They all have better quality drier snow than Whistler. At WB you can buy a green garbage bag with the WB logo and the arm and neck holes already cut. That is way too prepared for rain.

 

However WB is the best partying ski resort in North America and probably the best shopping. I like to tell my Whistler friends that they have a fantastic shopping mall that you can ski at.

 

To the OP: 

 

 

Vertical Whistler: 1530 m (5020')
Blackcomb: 1565 m (5133')
Top elevation Whistler: 2182 m (7160')
Blackcomb: 2436 m (7992')
Base elevation Creekside: 653 m (2140')
Village: 675 m (2214')
Skiable area Whistler: 4,757 acres (1,925 ha)
Blackcomb: 3,414 acres (1,382 ha)

 

And yes I can be raing at the base at 2K and snowing like a bastard and colder than balls at the top!

 

You can end up with shit snow and bad weather anywhere.   there is always that risk when taking a vacation anywhere, not just skiing!

 

I have skied all the places you mentioned and all multiple times!

 

Whistler/Blackcomb........without a doubt. 

 

 

You are really that worried about snow quality? ......Aren't you skiing on some lunch trays that pretty much takes blower out of the equation?


Edited by Atomicman - 4/20/15 at 12:28pm
post #9 of 26

i've recently heard W/B described as the Apple of ski resorts, if you like it, great, if not there may be better option for you

someone above mentioned ski porn stars in the village-most of which own sleds and only ski the resort on the best days with 15,000 of their closest friends

me i like areas with short lift lines and snow that may be there a couple days after a storm...

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

 

To the OP: 

 

 

Vertical Whistler: 1530 m (5020')
Blackcomb: 1565 m (5133')
Top elevation Whistler: 2182 m (7160')
Blackcomb: 2436 m (7992')
Base elevation Creekside: 653 m (2140')
Village: 675 m (2214')
Skiable area Whistler: 4,757 acres (1,925 ha)
Blackcomb: 3,414 acres (1,382 ha)

 

And yes I can be raing at the base at 2K and snowing like a bastard and colder than balls at the top!

 

You can end up with shit snow and bad weather anywhere.   there is always that risk when taking a vacation anywhere, not just skiing!

 

I have skied all the places you mentioned and all multiple times!

 

Whistler/Blackcomb........without a doubt. 

 

 

You are really that worried about snow quality? ......Aren't you skiing on some lunch trays that pretty much takes blower out of the equation?

 

While lunch tray width skis may be suitable for deep heavy coastal snow, my powder ski is a 98mm wide Blizzard Bonifide which has no trouble delivering face shots aplenty.

 

I have on several occasions met skiers from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland who are skiing the B.C. Interior for the first time and they are amazed at the snow quality and how easy it is to ski. For some snow quality is important, for others not so much, so to each his own.


Edited by DanoT - 4/20/15 at 1:25pm
post #11 of 26
Quote:
 probably the best shopping. I like to tell my Whistler friends that they have a fantastic shopping mall that you can ski at.

It really doesn't. I know you may be saying this tongue in cheek, but I wouldn't use this as one of your stock lines because someone may bring along non skiers who will expect that there IS good shopping, and there isn't, unless all you want to buy is ski gloves or something.

post #12 of 26
Wasn't worth going this year was it? I guess right now it might be.

Another question might be does Whistler have the least reliable snow of any of the major terrain ski areas in NA?

Eliminating Lake Tahoe. At least 1/2 the stories I hear about Whistler involve rain. NE has enough of that.
Also, who skis the 5k vert esp if it's raining at the bottom.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


Also, who skis the 5k vert esp if it's raining at the bottom.

 

I've never been to Whistler-Blackcomb, however this is one of the things I've always wondered about.  It would seem that the lower 2,000 feet are far from quality skiing for a number of reasons, one of which is snow quality and another is frequent rain.  If it's true that the lower 2,000 feet don't really offer much worth skiing, then any mention of Whistler's vertical is more marketing than being a true asset of the ski area.  As a result, 3,000 feet of high-quality vertical is nice, but not all that distinguishing when compared to many of the other spots out West....most of those with base areas at a higher elevation than Whistler's summit.

post #14 of 26

Last week the open terrain was still more than what's ever available at any other ski area in North America.

Even though it's been a poor year and the bottom 1/3rd of the hill has been bare most of the season. Normally still skiing to the base into May. 

This week is the start of spring ops.

Blackcomb is now shut down so  just Whistler.  Running until May 18, there is lots of snow left in the alpine.

If your in this region, still want to ski (and think Banff is too far) it is the only option 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Wasn't worth going this year was it? I guess right now it might be.

Another question might be does Whistler have the least reliable snow of any of the major terrain ski areas in NA?

Eliminating Lake Tahoe. At least 1/2 the stories I hear about Whistler involve rain. NE has enough of that.
Also, who skis the 5k vert esp if it's raining at the bottom.

Tog : you are making me work very hard responding to your queries, did it on our TR now, specially and again. Then again, you have a fine memory and most gracious words about someone you have seen ski in video - so again, the two TR's above in the links are your young friend there, and he was 8 and 9 years respectively, and first one was mid April, and I think we had major powder EVERY day. That is when we skied the Sapphire Chutes and the old man almost went into CArrest, and the following year was earlier as Easter was earlier, and this time, the big snow was in March, and we got a lot of hard pack, everything open but a lot of quiet, desolate big lines as the snow was lethal - as Denis told us, no go zones but the piste was nice and that is when we did Peak to Creek in one shot and I was a mile behind my boy as it was moguls for 5 miles or something - not funny at all.

 

Tog: The snowpack canard, and would like to put it to rest - I would say Whistler-Blackcomb in the last decade has gotten far more snow than Jackson Hole, Alta, Snowbird, Aspen-Snowmass - check it out with Tony Crocker - he is the resident snowpack guru. I maybe off slightly but am reasonably confident I am right. 

 

Ok, so the WB rain story may have some basis in fact BUT of the 19 ski days there - I recall the Alpine always getting snow, and yes it did rain on occasion at the base but the Alpine was good to go ALWAYS. We NEVER EVER saw rain in our memory or experience in the Alpine at Whistler-Blackcomb.

 

And the Non-crazy Canuck is right, WB is at another level. Ballroom is the same size as one of the 10 odd bowls at WB, Baldy Chutes - they are great but there are 20 or more such entrances at Whistler - that is for the nut-jobs, and the gently adventurous ! :eek whereas for regular folks, family folks, the usual recreational skier who does NOT want to skinning somewhere and so on, the pisted runs (ok groomed runs) at WB are a heaven that is found nowhere in the Americas, long, varied, steep, turning etc. Sure. Snowmass and Snowbasin compares pretty well actually but much much smaller. Snowmass groomers are the closest we have experienced to WB's groovers (pun intended) but neither Alta nor Snowbird come close on that dimension. 

 

I know, I know, Jackson Hole is this amazing place, sure but that I cannot comment on having never been but as Tony Crocker puts it or is it Bob Peters (the resident of Jackson Hole I believe) that Snowbird 'on average' is much steeper than Jackson Hole. I don't know - just wondering. Most people are not cliff-jumpers or skiers of uber-difficult terrain so tough to compare, but from those who done them all, I HEAR WB is as hard if not harder than any other place in the Americas. There is nothing like the terrain in and around Blackcomb Glacier, anywhere inbounds in the Americas (North and South) is my contention and throwing out a bit of a hail mary there having never been to South America.

 

Alta is lovely, Alta Lodge is a very cool place to stay, and of course Aspen-Snowmass too, but this year, I know a bunch of folks who went to Alta-Bird in March and they enjoyed themselves thoroughly but seriously, Mineral Basin looked like an ice skating rink, and the tree runs were good enough for skating more than skiing; last year, we did Highland Bowl in conditions where most locals said was terrible, we wanted to do it and our shepherd there, Bob B guided us (I would not have done it if I had known about the hike situation ex-ante), HB was basically rock and rock salt, we got powder that afternoon onwards though. We've been to Alta 3 times now, and while the snow is lovely, I do not recall any difference in that powder vs the powder at Whistler-Blackcomb so...maybe you are a connoisseur, I assure you, have found WB powder as heavenly as anywhere. And found powder, spring crud, ice-thaw-melt cycle in Alta, Snowbasin, Solitude, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass and of course Whistler-Blackcomb.

 

So Dano-T am sure you are right, interior BC is great but I know folks who went heli-ing this season with CMH and a few other outfits and they did not get the ideal conditions they were looking for. As AtomicMan noted , bad weather spares no one, no where and good weather does come everywhere - A-man, am with you bro. 

 

In terms of town, Aspen-Snowmass is the best - most gentile, civilized, chill place. But SnoFun is right, WB has an unfair and incredibly surprising number of good looking members of the sex that is usually scarce in ski areas ! That I will concur in spades.

 

Ok, maybe I made the mistake of comparing, so apologies in advance, this is just a terminal intermediate's opinion - and that is all it is. An opinion.

 

Last thought, sure uber crowded pistes are not a fun thing and downright dangerous but the joy of seeing people on a mountain is a 'good' thing, it's a social thing, every one is normally in a good mood, so it's a welcome thing. Skiing is not meant to just be a 'fortress of solitude' thing, it is in one's own bubble as one concentrates on terrain but I like people, kids want to meet other kids, not hang out with fuddy-duddies - parents and all (They have to but I assure you it's not voluntary given the choice for most of the duration) and very much appreciate the special members of the human race ...well..leave that unsaid .esp those that SnoFun notices without fail :D He's got his priorities straight, that guy - even though he has too many skis for his own good ;) and too much free time to ski on his hands.

 

Think Wes Eden of Fortress will appreciate my commentary above.

post #16 of 26
I'll add my $0.02 perspective

We were in Vancouver, BC for a work thing in mid-Jan. So, naturally went to WB for a couple of days esp w/ MC pass connection. Couple of observations:

- WB is huge
- WB has great terrain
- When it rained at base, that meant snow up in Alpine (rained a lot while we were there)
- Not too crowed, or long lines - once you got past the blue square terrain ie. the t-bars on Blackcomb

Now the considerations:
- 2015 was a low snow year through most of the season, but we knew that.
- WB is a LONG way to go for EC travelers - really, even in the front of the plane. Vancouver airport and Immigration is a schlep with skis, luggage, etc after a really long travel day. Then it's a drive (pretty but a drive).
- When the upper mountain shuts down - it's a junkshow - it did several times - lift lines got to be 40+ minutes, in the rain, with singles and empty chairs going up.
- bring your low/flat light googles - visibility was a challenge during our visit.

That said, you give that place some snow, open alpine and sun = ridiculous. I'd go back, but needs to be later in the season and for more than a couple days. WC people = no brainer.
post #17 of 26
Thanks for the detailed response dusty!
I think the key is to check the snow situation and like givethepigeye says and you did go for more than 5 days. Sounds like 10 days is the ticket if you can swing it. Still, the thought of going somewhere where it rains regularly is depressing. I guess you just need to get over that.
post #18 of 26

We have skied Alta/Bird (2015) and W/B (2014) the past 2 Aprils.  All 3 mountains are quite different.  Our favorite for skiing was Alta.  This is coming from a 43 year old dad and an 11 year old boy and 8 year old girl.  But Alta has no real shopping or nightlife if that matters.  They did have awesome sales at the ski shop though.  W/B came in 2nd (I preferred Blackcomb to Whistler).  Snowbird was 3rd.

 

I think of Alta/Bird as one mountain the same way I think of W/B even though the 2 mountains are quite different.  On days that we skied Blackcomb, we rarely skied Whistler, other than runs down to the base.  As I was told by many friends, you generally do not go down to the base at W/B once you are at the summit, with the possible exception of Creekside.  At least in April, the snow is that much worse down low than it is up top.  Alta/Bird did not suffer from the same issues at the base in terms of snow quality.  I found the climate difference between the summit at W/B and the base to be much more severe than at Alta or Snowbird.  The base was often very comfortable Spring weather at W/B, while the summit could be cold.  The weather felt more consistent at Alta/Bird.  Not good or bad, just an observation.

 

We had great snow and conditions at W/B, but nothing compared with Alta/Bird.  The snow was heavier and it did not loosen up the same later in the day.  When there was fresh snow, it was nice, but not the light, fluffy stuff we cruised through in Alta.  We did have some ice at Alta/Bird the first few days, but it was no worse than at W/B in the morning.  As a NE skier, that was not a major issue for us.  The ice was still more manageable than the NE icepack.

 

W/B is certainly bigger than Alta/Bird, although Alta/Bird is still almost 5,000 acres combined, which is nothing to sneeze at.  W/B has more variety and better overall lifts.  I personally hate trams, but don't mind gondolas, which are nice when it is cold.  W/B has 4, including one between Whistler and Blackcomb, as opposed to none at Alta/Bird, although none are to the summit.

 

W/B also has much better food options, whether it is in the lodges or at the base.  There is no real variety at Alta/Bird, and I found most of the food uninspired, at best.  But that was not an issue for us. 

 

None of the mountains were crowded, but W/B certainly had more people than Alta/Bird when we were there.

 

In terms of terrain, we found W/B and Alta to be most similar overall.  Snowbird definitely felt like a more difficult mountain, including with how the terrain was graded (green, blue, black).

 

At the end of the day, all are great mountains.  All offer skiing for any level.  It depends on what you want.  For a comprehensive experience, W/B is the easy choice.  For a "no-frills" ski experience, Alta is great.  For something in between, but much more like Alta, there is Snowbird.

 

Note I am not talking about CO mountains as I have not been to them in many years.  I am only talking about places where I have skied recently, at the same time of the year.   

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian143 View Post
 I personally hate trams, but don't mind gondolas, which are nice when it is cold.  W/B has 4, including one between Whistler and Blackcomb, ...

Actually, W/B has three.

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

Actually, W/B has three.


I was including the Peak to Peak as a gondola since it is not as much of a sardine can as a typical tram, and also because they run so many more than 2 of them at a time.

 

There are also the Creekside, Whistler and Blackcomb (Excalibur) gondolas.

post #21 of 26

I think many of those who naysay WB either haven't been there, or were there during a bad time. I had 5 trips there this year. 3 were marginal. There were some other places this year that all 5 would have been marginal. Last week was fantastic.

 

Does it typically have blower pow - no. Can you have rain at the bottom and snow up top - yes (that's why the lower chairs have covers. However, the alpine is bigger by itself than most of the other areas discussed.

 

I love Snowbird, which is my other go-to area, but just the Harmony chair is the size of Mineral basic, then put in Symphony and you've got the whole of the bird. Again, I love the place, but after a couple of days I feel like I'm repeating myself.

 

And finding the goods? Well, if 7th suddenly opens and you're on Whistler, then just take the P2P over (yes, yes, it's a $52m exercise in excess, but it's truly is awesome), and in 15 minutes you're there. Lift lines going on - head up to the glacier and you have a half hour down in any case to get to the Crystal chair - where else is there that kind of option. And no, it NEVER gets crowded at Snowbird - that's IF you can get up the hill on a powder day.

 

Obviously some didn't understand the ski-porn comment. I've only seen McConkey (RIP) in one liftline (Whistler gondola). I've spoken with Hoji at the shop he hangs at. Seen Abma walking through the village, almost bumped into Sarah Burke (RIP) coming out of the Summit shop, seen Bushy in various places.

 

Is it worth going to - no question of any kind, yes. Is it overhyped - depends on your opinion. There's more terrain than anywhere else in North America. Backcountry for hundreds of miles. Some of the best skiers you'll even see, an absolutely first rate lift system, incredible grooming when it's not so good, firsst rate service and support, great on-mountain lodges, one of teh longest seasons in North America and on and on.

 

Sure there's a lot of souvenier shops. There's also some extremely fine restaurants, incredible spas, ski shops that actually know what they're talking about, and boot fitters extrodinaire. The hotels are world class, and ammenities in town and around are excellent.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

 

 

Post one! Golf clap!!! Nice troll rbd. :beercheer:

 

I wonder if the OP will ever see what a good discussion of Whistler he actually started...

post #23 of 26

Whistler is not a village. There are 62k beds so it is a city with a skyline and there can be 50k people there on a busy weekend. This why I usually go to Whistler in the Spring when it is less busy, less expensive and there is a greater chance of getting sunshine.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

Whistler is not a village. There are 62k beds so it is a city with a skyline and there can be 50k people there on a busy weekend. This why I usually go to Whistler in the Spring when it is less busy, less expensive and there is a greater chance of getting sunshine.

Good point.  We were at Whistler last April during the Ski & Snowboard Festival and it was relatively empty on the slopes and even at dinner.  And we got a very good price on a condo for a week.

post #25 of 26

Yes, it's not nearly so crowded if you go in April or before Christmas.  I was there on the first weekend of the ski and board festival this year and I skied onto the lift most of the time.  Also there were many vacancies in the upper Village where I stayed.  In fact, I only saw two other people in our condo over three days.  Plenty of partying was going on in the Village, though.

post #26 of 26

Should be decent again this weekend. Expecting more fresh. Don't know why but the 4th weekend in April has usually been good to me

But remember its a late start and this year its Whistler only running.

I would be surprised if more than 20 of the 62,000 bed occupants are in a lift line ahead of you.  

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