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Whistler help needed, questions within...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Looking to go first or second week on March, which is better?

When in Canada's Spring break? (we hit this going to Tramblaunt, big mishhhtake)

We want ski in/ski out, which condos are best?

Should I go through central reservations or through www.vrbo.com?

If I am Slopeside, can I do without a rental car, if so what about getting food?

Anything else I should be thinking about? All suggestions accepted.
post #2 of 28
University of British Columbia's reading week is Mid-February (as are most of the Alberta and BC universities). British Columbia's K-12 break is March 19 to 23. Most Alberta k-12 breaks will be the first week in April (and most of the Rockies' ski hills here have timed their closing day accordingly).

You should be good to go as far as Western Canadian breaks are concerned.
post #3 of 28
You will be fine coming 1 or 2nd week of March depending on the length of your stay. You don't need to worry about transportation once you're in Whistler. Everything is within walking distance or there is free shuttle bus to the lifts. The village is very centralized & well layed out so you don't need to worry unless you're staying outside the village. All the amenities, food, etc. are all close by no matter where you are in the village. In fact I wouldn't even bother with ski in/out accommodation, because everything is so easy to get to on foot.

You can also check Whistler's website for making your bookings. They have special deals for advance bookings, plus you can usually a good ski packages with lift tickets included. You can also some savings by buying your lift passes at any of the 7-Eleven's when you arrive in Vancouver (but not in Whistler). There are also other deals on lift passes (PM me when once the season starts).

When in Whistler, pickup a copy of Ski and Snowboard Guide to Whistler Blackcomb: Advanced/Expert Edition (or you can get from Amazon). It will be a way better guide than Whistler's trail map. The free guided tours are a good way to get familarized with the mtn. The mountains & terrain are massive. You'll find terrain & conditions to match every ski in your quiver. You'll have a great time exploring, because you'll never exhaust your options. I've been skiing it for 5yrs now & there are still lots of lines that I've yet to do (or may never do )
post #4 of 28
For Whistler try www.alluradirect.com for rentals by owners. We stayed in a great condo ski in ski out to Blackcomb a couple of years ago if you want to PM me for the contact. Have fun!
post #5 of 28
Most Seattle/Tacoma K-12 schools are off the last week of February. I believe the PAC 10 schools are off the week of March 19th. UBC is on winter break Feb. 19-23rd So you should be good for either week in March.

We stayed at Aspens on Blackomb many times. Booked through alluradirect.com. We have also stayed at the Marquise, also booked through alluradirect.com, which is right across the street from Aspens. (about 100 yards to the wizard chair on Blackcomb.) Both places have hot tubs. Aspens is better for direct access to the slopes. They should also sell discount lift tix at alluradirect.

You may also want to look into the Westin Whistler, which is right next to the Whistler gondola. I've stayed there many times but the hot tubs and sauna tend to get over run with kids.

We have never needed our car once we arrived at Whistler. Park it and forget it. The free bus system is great. It'll get you from upper village to lower village or anywhere in between.

There are two main grocery stores in Whistler. Upper village is Whistler Grocery Store in Village Square. The second is an IGA in lower village in Market Place Square next to the McDonalds.

I would recommend Bavaria for it's chocolate Fondue alone.

Have fun.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
If you don't have a car, how much of it is a PITA to get your groceries to your condo. considering that we will have 6+ peoples food?

If there is someone here that is a Whistler local and would love to be our "valet", it woud be great. We tip well
post #7 of 28
I am not a local, but have been on Whistler trips at least a dozen times. One thing I have found is that often it can be cheaper to get a car than take the bus. Especially with 6 people. I would find out cost of each to help make decision. Personally, I much prefer taking a car. That way, you don't have all the waiting involved for the bus on each end. Also, altho the local bus system is quite good once you are in the village, I thing it's easier to take the car to the IGA or Nesters for groceries. Certainly, you can get by w/o it, but it's nice to have, especially if it turns out to be cheaper than bus. Also, I think it's a nice drive b/t Vancouver and Whistler with some pretty stops in b/t. Also, if someone get's tired of skiing, they have the option of taking the car for a drive somewhere. My 2 cents.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
What is it going to cost us to get from Vancouver to Whistler? Will that be better than having a car? 6 people and all of our gear will be a pretty big vehicle, a 'burban, full sized van, ect.
post #9 of 28
I would go to Whistler's website which has links to Transportation and price the bus.Then use Travelocity or some other search engine to price a minivan or SUV.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just talked to them, it will be (about) 100.00/pp for ground trans from Vancouver to Whistler, at that point, We will rent a vehicle.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
What is it going to cost us to get from Vancouver to Whistler? Will that be better than having a car? 6 people and all of our gear will be a pretty big vehicle, a 'burban, full sized van, ect.
You'd be looking at about $63/day + taxes for a 4WD or mini-van rental car at YVR. A 7 day rental is going to cost you around $500+

Perimeter's Whistler Express is $61 each way for adults. Which would come out to $732. So for a group of 6 you'd probably come out ahead with a rental. Although kids may ride free under age 13 with Perimeter's. Check the website for details.
post #12 of 28
The supermarkets in Whistler Village have something of a reputation (amongst Canadians that I have met) of being a bit pricey. The advice seems to be to load up as much as you can in either Vancouver or Squamish (which is about half way from YVR to Whistler) and save a few bucks.
post #13 of 28

Groceries

The times I've been to W/B we stayed in the Sundial Hotel/Suites in the village center. Not ski in/out, but a short walk (~100') across the square to the Whistler gondola.

Groceries can be ordered through the concierge and delivered to your room. There's an order form on-line that can be completed and faxed in advance and food will be delivered to your frig. Probably the same with other village properties. We didn't bother with trying to coordinate all that and just walked to grocery (2-3 mins) and back when needed. Same for restaurants/bars - stumble home if you're so inclined.

Not sure about food logistics if you stay in condos "creekside", which are ski in/out using the creekside gondola. Car may be needed - 10 min drive to village (or bus). Houses and condos EVERYWHERE outside the village - some walkable, but I'd have a car for those.

What a treat to look forward to!
post #14 of 28

Whistler

Congrats Phil:

You will have a blast!!

We stayed at the Sundial Resort Hotel. It waas about a 90 yard walk to the Whistler Gondola and right in the meat of the village. Blackcomb Excalliber chair a little more of a walk, but no big deal. I would call the hotel/lodge or condo direct if I were you.

The Village has lots of action and a pretty big grocery store within 3 minutes of the hotel.

Limo ( Ford Excursion) ride from Vancouver airport to Whistler was fine (about 2 hours).

We met friends from LA who rented a car and drove from the airport...they never moved the car till they left.

Must try Ecotours....snow cat ride up logging roads to an A frame on the far edge of Blackcomb then get into a harness, clip onto wires and ride over, across and down Fitzsimmon gorge. Great family fun for that one afternoon you want to do something different.

Weather can be difficult, but there is always something working.

7TH Heaven Area on Blackcomb is a nice spot not to miss.

Warning: Order a Martini in Whistler restaurants and bars = dissapointment.. you get a very small anal pour. Like Park City, not just portion control, but just the rules.

The Villgae is always hopping and if you want to high end it try the Fairmont or the New Four Seasons.
post #15 of 28
I second the suggestion of stopping in Squamish for groceries. Even the biggest store in Whistler(IGA) always seems crowded and a hassle. Squamish one is much more civilized. Also makes a good break half way to Whistler. Also, with re to weather, remember the huge vertical. Often the middle third of the mountain is socked in, but if you get above it, it's just fine. Also bottom third conditions change a lot over the course of the day as altitude is so low. Best to time that for conditions as well.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Coming from the East, airfare and other costs are a killer. Back to the drawing board....Looks like Steamboat is coming to the top of the list.

Thanks for all the suggestions though.
post #17 of 28
Yes, airfare is pretty high this year. I'm also trying to plan a Whistler trip, but trying to get a group rate (20 or more) to see if its affordable.

If not, I'll just have to "settle" for a free place to stay in Utah...
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Coming from the East, airfare and other costs are a killer. Back to the drawing board....Looks like Steamboat is coming to the top of the list.

Thanks for all the suggestions though.
Go East.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Coming from the East, airfare and other costs are a killer. Back to the drawing board....Looks like Steamboat is coming to the top of the list.

Thanks for all the suggestions though.
You may want to check airfare to Seattle instead. Sure it adds an extra 2 hours of drive time to Whistler but if you had your sights set on Whistler, it might be a good alternative. I bet that new Piccolo chair has been calling to you!
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
You may want to check airfare to Seattle instead. Sure it adds an extra 2 hours of drive time to Whistler but if you had your sights set on Whistler, it might be a good alternative. I bet that new Piccolo chair has been calling to you!
Tempting. I will get up there one year, just not this year.
post #21 of 28
Several years ago, there were flights from Baltimore to Seattle for < $300 RT. I live in Pgh. and drove down to Baltimore a couple of times because flights ex Pgh. were like $1800. I've driven from Seattle to Whistler before and if cheap flights still exist to Seattle from Baltimore its not that big of a hassle. About 4 hours in total from Seattle to Whistler. Great scenery coming through Vancouver.
post #22 of 28
Hey Phil, Have a blast. I may get back there this year. Just avoid gay week, It's in March(I think) not sure when though.
Just stay in the Village it doesn't matter where too much as long as you're in it. The further from the lifts, not that it's far, the closer to the super market you'll be.
Don't be put off by rain or fog or ice or anything else you find whistler is so freaking huge it's impossible to compare it to anywhere else, you can always find great conditions and they can vary so much from micro climate to micro climate.
Also if you're at the peak and want to ski down plan on 45mins!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Hey Phil, Have a blast. I may get back there this year. Just avoid gay week, It's in March(I think) not sure when though.
Just stay in the Village it doesn't matter where too much as long as you're in it. The further from the lifts, not that it's far, the closer to the super market you'll be.
Don't be put off by rain or fog or ice or anything else you find whistler is so freaking huge it's impossible to compare it to anywhere else, you can always find great conditions and they can vary so much from micro climate to micro climate.
Also if you're at the peak and want to ski down plan on 45mins!
The annual gay week is normally week 2 in February ... just means some of the main evening venues are taken over for their organised parties & the mountain restaurants can be busy(er). Doesn't make much difference on the slope.
post #24 of 28
if you can get yourself to downtown vancouver from the airport, you can take the greyhound bus for about $38/person roundtrip.

i do not find the IGA in the village to be any pricier than Safeways in Vancouver or Dominions out east.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Coming from the East, airfare and other costs are a killer.

Just curious, Phil, why people from the EC would spend all that time and money on Whistler when you could go to the Alps.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Coming from the East, airfare and other costs are a killer. Back to the drawing board....Looks like Steamboat is coming to the top of the list.

Thanks for all the suggestions though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdeluxe View Post
Just curious, Phil, why people from the EC would spend all that time and money on Whistler when you could go to the Alps.
If you note above, we switched to (and booked) Steamboat. Besided we have people coming from Alaska, so Europe is out..this time.
post #27 of 28
Phil, check out Black Diamond Limosine service for the Boat. We use them and they are the same cost or cheaper (for 4-6 ppl) than a shuttle from Hayden airport. They always stop and let us grab groceries/booze on the way to the condo when coming in.
post #28 of 28

Hi Phil

Phil,
Sorry you won't be at Whistler. I am going the week of March 3-10. I did get free airfare on airmiles and thus can avoid the 600+ airfare from NYC. When you do go, the ski-in and ski-out condos are on Blackcomb or at Creekside, the back side of Whistler Mt. I noticed that on Expedia.com some of the pricier hotels were offering one night free out of seven. Also, Hotwire had some deals but you can't see the hotel until you book.

Have a great time at Steamboat!
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