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Whistler Advice for Intermediates (First Tracks, Tour Guiding, etc)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, heading to Whistler for the first time ever next Wednesday. I couldn't be more excited, but I'm looking for some advice from you Whistler vets.


We are a group of intermediate skiers. We really enjoy the long blue cruisers, steeper (for us) black runs, and a few adventures into to the trees.


We'll be skiing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We're staying in a ski-in/ski-out condo near Creekside Gondola; we're told it's just off the Homerun and Lower Peak to Creek runs. My specific questions are:


First Tracks Breakfast?

Is this really only accessible by the Whistler Village Gondola, and more importantly, is it worth it?


Driving from Creekside to Whistler Village in the morning really ruins the appeal of our Creekside ski-in/ski-out condo. (And I think it's $8 a day for parking?) From reading some previous threads, it sounds like they don't actually open the runs, even for the First Tracks ticket holders, until about 8:00 AM.


That said, we absolutely always ski from the first chair until mountain close, and always wish the days were longer. The added time would really be appreciated, but I can't decide if First Tracks is worth it given our situation...


Getting Around the Mountain?

Lastly, any tips for most efficiently getting around the mountain and avoiding crowds would be awesome.


We want to see the whole place, but the mountains are huge and the days are short. Any advice on how to best beat the crowds for a group of people looking for some blue/black cruisers, tree runs, and any other can't miss spots?


Last year we skied Park City/Canyons. We studied the trail map, but between taking the inter-mountain gondola, battling some crowds, trying to find runs we liked, and then making sure we were back to the Gondola before closing, it seemed like we hardly got any time to explore the Park City side of the mountain. Would love to avoid that this year, if possible.


Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 5

First tracks was OK, I'd consider doing it again. But it wasn't a must-do. I do believe it only goes up from the Whistler Village Gondy from what I can remember. We went right around Christmas a couple years ago and never had an issue with crowds the place is huge. 

post #3 of 5
Blackcomb: Crystal Ridge Chair early AM has long blue cruisers and is deserted. 7th Heaven was pretty deserted late PM this past weekend and on Monday AM. Lots of options there.

Whistler: was more crowded than Blackcomb this past weekend. Harmony early was OK; try Sumphony if it's running.
post #4 of 5

Yes only the village gondola runs early enough to get you to the breakfast. I've always thought it would be worth trying but in dozens of days there I still haven't. (I have a hard time with early starts).


Do one of the mountain tours (or do both). You'll learn a lot about the mountains and you can get tips as to where to ski that day taking into account snow conditions, visibility, crowds and your ability.


One problem with avoiding crowds is that the crowds are generally on the terrain that you want too.But Thursday and Friday shouldn't be bad, just Saturday will be (so that would be the day to do First Tracks). If the freezing level has been staying low (so, no thawing mid mountain), and I have to think it has since down here in Seattle it's been freezing cold for a month, the runs off of Garbanzo Chair feel overlooked. I've had some really nice times lapping that and skiing right to the chair when other chairs had huge lines. I agree Crystal Chair gets less pressure too. But again you should be fine with Seventh Heaven, Symphony, and the popular areas on the weekdays. A lot of skiing W-B depends on visibility--go up to the alpine when you can. If it's clear, don't put it off. In terms of groomed blacks Dave Murray is a lot of fun but gets crowded and skied out, so do it early.

post #5 of 5

I did First tracks once. Not really worth itl I get up early and get there at 7am. they take you  up to Roundhouse - and get you breakfast. They open only two lifts and you get only about 30 min before the regular crowd comes in. 


If you are really interested in Fresh Tracks - I would go to Blackcomb - where everybody gets on at the same time. 

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