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Whistler Crowds

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We are heading to Whistler March 19-30th, I'm curious as to what we can expect as far crowds and liftlines go, especialy mid week.

I know it's a busy time of year, but how well do the crowds disperse on the mountains? Is it just the village lifts that get crowded? Any suggestions as to the best sections of the mountain to avoid the crowds. I'm an advanced skier, my wife a low intermediate.

post #2 of 7
Well, if you get to the slopes early and take the Whistler Gondola up, say 20 minutes before opening you should get up top and then over to Harmony. (Check the board at the top to see what's open.) Crowds can be crazy between 10AM and noon and then start to disipate. Same thing with Blackcomb. Of course if Whistler is getting dumped on, then it could be crazy, even mid-week. Seems like people like to call in sick or take a powder day when the snow is falling.
post #3 of 7
An early start is a good idea as suggested, but what is also relevant is when they open the lifts to the top areas eg Peak Chair (or Harmony Chair) on Whistler or the Glacier chair (or Seventh Heaven) on Blackcomb, because if they are closed then the skier traffic is concentrated from say mid mountain to the bottom of those chairs and that can get a tad busy.......specially round the Emerald Chair on Whistler or Jersey Cream on Blackcomb. One tactic we used, instead of waiting in a long line at Emerald was to ski past it, go down to Garbanzo and get it up to the top of the Dave Murray run, go down to Red Chair and then get it up to above Roundhouse Lodge. The lines at Garbanzo are usually non existent and Red Chair is not usually that busy, despite the Creekside Gondola emptying just beside it.We may have been as quick to wait in the line at Emerald timewise, but I prefer skiing to standing/shuffling in a lift line. You could also ski past Emerald and go down to the Whisler gondola mid station and get it to the top.

Mid week(at least when we there) was not a problem. It did fill up at the weekend, especially when they delayed opening the top lifts due to avalanche work
post #4 of 7
I was there mid-week a little while ago and lines were not a real factor. Down low the wait for the gondolas can be long, so just get there early and you'll shoot right up. After that, I never really waited (there were some short lines, but never more than 2min).

It's true that after a big snow the upper mountain stays closed for the morning, which can make it crowded at mid mountain. Blackcomb has some really good off-piste skiing around mid mountain, so thats a good bet for avoiding crowds until the top opens.

Have fun. The snow is awesome!!!!
post #5 of 7
If you're going to Blackcomb you might want to start at Blackcomb base instead of at the gondola. Take the chair up instead. You might be able to beat the long lines at the village.
post #6 of 7
Start early like everyone else has said. Whistler is so huge that even on a busy saturday you can find parts of the mountain that you will have all to your self. There is one lift and I forget the name, it's on the back side of one of the bowls that always has a line other than that, no problems. Whistler is simply the best!!!
post #7 of 7
It depends on the conditions. The lower lifts and gondolas are always busy in the morning, but move quickly, but on a day when it is rainy/foggy on the bottom half of the mountain (often) the upper lifts can get very crowded. And on a powder day I have seen lines at the Peak Chair that make mid-Vail on President's weekend look positively deserted.
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