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Whistler- When for Best Snow & Least Crowds?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yet another South Carolina day over 95 has me completely consumed with finding the ultimate 2007 ski trip. Whistler is leading the pack right now; however, I am ardently concerned about rain conditions.

Knowing evil fluctuating variables will ultimately set the conditions, I am curious about when Whistler traditionally has the best conditions (cold & snowy) AND the lightest crowds.

I appreciate everyone's help!
LET IT SNOW...soon.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snocat
Yet another South Carolina day over 95 has me completely consumed with finding the ultimate 2007 ski trip. Whistler is leading the pack right now; however, I am ardently concerned about rain conditions.

Knowing evil fluctuating variables will ultimately set the conditions, I am curious about when Whistler traditionally has the best conditions (cold & snowy) AND the lightest crowds.

I appreciate everyone's help!
LET IT SNOW...soon.
January and Early FEB! Not during midwinter break normally over President's day week very busy. Many Washington State schools are out Feb 19-23 in '07. Can also be amazing (Winter like conditions) in March and early April.
post #3 of 18
Post Easter can be really great, good snow and sunshine! I tell my friends that is when to visit Whistler.......
post #4 of 18
I've been to Whistler 3 times, every time in Febuary... and it has rained all three times. Never again.
post #5 of 18
The best snow is January and early February. The best crowds are mid March and beyond. It rains in the village a lot. Don't worry about it. The alpine area is the best terrain and is a mile higher, therefore much better conditions.
post #6 of 18
Despite the mostly dismal 2004-05 season Whistler has a long term snow record that most resorts would envy. Good coverage and excellent surfaces in the alpine are more the rule than the exception from mid-December to mid-April, with another month+ of good spring skiing after that.

So the advice of others here to choose based upon crowd avoidance makes some sense. Besides U.S holidays, British Columbia spring break is another busy time.

Rain all the way to the top is an infrequent event with no real seasonal bias. The particularly ugly one in 2005 was 3rd week of January, not when you would necessarily expect warm weather.

The major caveat of the January/early February recommendation is that the ski day is short (3PM close) and flat light in the alpine is more of an issue. So I tend to lean to March/early April as long as you don't hit a peak spring break. That's when I was last there in 2005, fortunately just after a 33-inch storm broke an unusual drought.
post #7 of 18
Bring a rain coat.
post #8 of 18
It can rain at anytime. Personally I like April the best.
I was there during Presidents weekend once. It was the most crowded I've ever seen any ski area, 25,000+ at each area.
post #9 of 18
I've had some of my best skiing at whistler in early to mid December. That's assuming a good early snow year which happens many years. But it is true it can rain any time of year.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellBee
I've been to Whistler 3 times, every time in Febuary... and it has rained all three times. Never again.
I always like to go the very end of January into the first week of February. Always had great snow, low crowds and never experienced rain at Whistler in any of my trips. Only been up there 6 times though.
post #11 of 18
I am with Toadman on end January/early February for generally decent snow/low crowds. Done that three times and would not hesitate to do it again.I have to differ on the rain though....if it is suggested no rain even in the village. I seem to recall various downpours in my times there. If he means no rain in the Alpine then I agree.

We were there in April this year and had everything being sun/rain/snow/fog over a 10 day period. On the day we left to go back to Vancouver it was in the 70s, clear blue skies.
post #12 of 18
I was there in the 3rd week of Jan 2005! - the previous week it was -20 celcius - so d*** cold the snow squeaked! 3 days later its +3 and it was either ice up high or slurpee down low!

I was there the year before for the first two weeks of Jan and had a truely great time (although it was overcast most days).

Only time it was crowded was at the base at 9am and on one weekend where only 1/2 of Blackcomb was open (lack of snow / rained effected) - I think longest lift wait would have been 10 minutes for the 7th heaven lift - but the queing is so civilised and polite (compared to Australia) that its not such a hassle.

On a couple of days mid week we were often the only people on a run (eerie)- ski straight onto the lift! - skied so much that my legs nearly fell off!
post #13 of 18
In my 10 visits to Whistler (7 in March, 3 in December) it has rained 9 times - only once right up to the top (in mid-December).
Only one (strange) week was blue skies and sunshine all week.
The fantastic extreme terrain there makes a bit of rain worth it.
But if you're just skiing groomers, go somewhere else and stay dry...
post #14 of 18
I am going on Thursday===JULY, saw photos today and we decided to embark. Or eat bark.


Really just planned to come to Seattle to visit friends, they suggested we take a trip to Wistler. Never been. Then they advised the snow is fine on the glacier. We may be skiing. It was 87 in Seattle, blue skies today. I cannot believe this.

Any advice from anyone who has skied the glacier in summer?
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGaspar
Any advice from anyone who has skied the glacier in summer?
I was there once showing midwest family around and we made it all the way to the top of Blackcomb but did not ski. What I saw was that the two T-bars on the glacier were open and that is all. Not much challenge unless you are involved in the racing or freestyle camps that go on there.

I talked to a guy who had gone there this summer to test out some new equipment and he said that they open the lifts at 11:00 AM and close at 3:00 PM. This means that you start from the base at 11, take two chairs to Rendevous, get on a bus which takes you to 7th Heaven and ride that chair to the top. Then you put on your skis and get going. This takes most of an hour according to him. He said that all you can get is laps and it wears thin fast. For $44 or so it seems a bit much for me.

There is so much to do here in the PNW that driving 5 hours through the region's worst traffic to Whistler to take a few lame turns on sloppy snow just doesn't hold much for me. However, it might be fun if it's packaged with other stuff. There is lots to do at Whistler in the summer and much to see. The view from the top is fantastic. It's a long drive from Seattle and once you cross the border there is lots of construction going on, so be patient and give yourself lots of time. If you're after beautiful scenery you can get plenty by staying in Washington and saving yourself drive time. Go to Olympic National Park and drive to Hurricane Ridge or drive the Cascade Loop or go to Mt. Rainier, or etc.

Have a good time and welcome to our part of the world. Don't be so surprised, summers are usually glorious around here.
post #16 of 18
Thanks Posaune:


Actually the family we are staying with are thinking about buying. They have kids and plan to do all there is to do up there this weekend. I am very excited about short sloppy snow. The hill I ski has 700 vert. On the web site I see perfectly groomed moguls....Never been on them before. Only Ice Bumps. This should be an experience.

For other readers: Slopes open at 12 and close at 3. As he wrote, its one hour up to the top. This trip alone will be worth my lift ticket. I cant wait.


I plan to ski all the way back to my ski-in/ski out condo. Just like the family on the credit card commercial. Hope there is some good steep stuff---I need lots of gravity, because there will be no snow. Rocks are slippy aren't they? : :
post #17 of 18
Being allowed to ski starting at noon in summer is a severe flaw. I do it regularly at Mammoth when it stays open to July 4 like the past 2 seasons. Mammoth then opens at 7AM and closes at 1PM because the snow is usually slop by then. On average I find conditions are best 9-11AM.

Timberline is mostly camps also, but at least the public can ski some of the open area in summer mornings.
post #18 of 18
I had a blast. I plan to write up some info under a different thread for those seeking info on Whistler Glacier Skiing. I could hardly find anything and Whistlers site offers little.

Fun times on July 29th.


http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=main/...2723.jpg&s=f10
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