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communication at Whistler

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We're skiing at Whistler next week and wondered how to best communicate with our party. Coming from the U.S., our cell phone roaming charges are pretty close to a dollar a minute so we thought about bringing our two-way walkies. The problm is on a FRS frequency they only get a half-mile to mile range at best and with Blackcomb and Whistler we might often be out of range.

We thought about buying prepaid cell phones (hopefully 30 or 40 dollars for phone and 200 minutes as example). Where can you buy them and are they useful?

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 16
I spent a week at whistler and used some old Motorola two ways with a 3mile range and they worked pretty good. I remember them working better than expected but our group was not split up over extremely long distances.
post #3 of 16
Those radios will be fine if you have decent line of sight (e.g. 7th Heaven/top of glacier on Blackcomb across to Harmony). Probably wouldn't work if one person was on the cat track from the back bowls off Spanky's at Blackcomb and other person was in the trees mid mountain on Whistler.
post #4 of 16
Does anyone know what the Canadian communication laws are considering the FRS frequencies that we use in the US?
post #5 of 16
The problem with whistler and radios is that it is just so huge and there are so many people(although the slopes are far from crowded) that you end up with dozens of people on your channel. No matter what channel and no matter how many times you switch. But communication can be done. But not all over the mountain. Whistler is FREAKING HUGE!
post #6 of 16
Quote:
We thought about buying prepaid cell phones (hopefully 30 or 40 dollars for phone and 200 minutes as example). Where can you buy them and are they useful?
The sad answer, as of last December anyway, is not in B.C. or in Ontario. I had never heard of these disposable cells. But now I'm not sure about Virgin phones.

We used text messaging on our cells, which is cheaper than talking. The same issues that people are talking about apply -- in some areas of the mountains, cells just don't work. They seem to work best from lifts.
post #7 of 16
I like the sound of using mobiles.... previously we have avoided this because, travelling from the UK, it was exceptionally expensive. So is it possible to buy a canadian mobile phone SIM card which is prepayed up to a certain amount? If so, how much is this likely to cost?
post #8 of 16
As someone mentioned above virginmobile is available in BC and does work in Whistler.

VirginMobile

Not exactly a throwaway, I think the least expensive phone is around $70 cdn + talk time.
post #9 of 16
What about rogers prepaid sim cards? They sound ideal to me, a $20 prepaid card would be ideal for me.....
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by buns
What about rogers prepaid sim cards? They sound ideal to me, a $20 prepaid card would be ideal for me.....
Rogers has those? I looked for such a thing on their web page last year, but didn't go in to ask. I need to get one of those!

Make sure your phone is unlocked first, though.
post #11 of 16
[quote=leseur]We're skiing at Whistler next week and wondered how to best communicate with our party.

Sorry , but bring somthing water proof.
post #12 of 16
When I was in Whistler with my VerizonWireless phone a few years back I had no issues. I have Nationwide Singlerate. I got hit with no long distance charges and just the call from Whistler to some local transfer station. I'd contact Verizon and ask for details. We talked to my husband at least once a day (my daughter had to talk to her dad) and I am sure these were not ten minute calls. I don't think it cost that much at all.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Rogers has those? I looked for such a thing on their web page last year, but didn't go in to ask. I need to get one of those!

Make sure your phone is unlocked first, though.
Yup, I saw them on The Source (Circuit city) website..... Coming from another continent, I am just a bit concerned that there is some country lock or the likes.... I am sure I can sort the service provider lock, so if that is all i need, then im sorted!
post #14 of 16
I found the 3 mile range radios spotty, but the more powerful ones (7/8-10 mile range) perfect regardless of where each party was on either of the mountains. Look for the ones that are 2-3 watts in power.
post #15 of 16
I'd call you cell carrier and see if you can simply do a rate plan change to get on a North American calling plan. You can change your rate plan back after you come home.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by buns
Yup, I saw them on The Source (Circuit city) website..... Coming from another continent, I am just a bit concerned that there is some country lock or the likes.... I am sure I can sort the service provider lock, so if that is all i need, then im sorted!
Coool.. that's the way to go. Get your phone unlocked (there are a ton of web pages that will let you download the software to do this for a nominal charge).

Too bad I don't plan on skiing Whistler more this year.
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