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Whistler - Blackcomb Crowds during MLK week (Jan 16-Jan 22)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am booking a trip to Whistler for Jan 14 - Jan 24, during MLK week for my fiance and myself. I am flying to Seattle and renting a car to drive up to Whistler. I found a reasonable rental condo near the slopes at Whistler. I'm a little turned off because I don't want to sit in lift lines and predict there will be a massive influx of people off for the weekend.

 

I'm interested to find out if a place this huge gets clogged up during this weekend because if it does, we can hang out in Seattle and Vancouver and start skiing Tuesday to avoid the crowds. If we get up there Jan 14 for MLK weekend, is it going to be crazy busy that it would be better just to stay in Seattle or Vancouver? We could ski Tuesday-Saturday and take a day off for 4 days of skiing. Any thoughts?

 

We are intermediate skiers with trouble on bumps but experience on black runs at Vail, Alta, Heavenly, etc... I love skiing a little more than my fiance and trying to nudge her to take it more seriously so we can ski blacks together. Also on a budget of $2000-3000 between the two of us.

post #2 of 12

I've skied there over the MLK weekend.  It's a college weekend for US students from WA.  There are a lot of people, but the lines didn't seem to be super bad.  It definitely was more crowded than at other times, but not to the max.  Remember that it isn't a Canadian holiday and Whistler is in Canada, so there is some insulation there.

 

Edit:  A good number of those US students come from Oregon too.


Edited by Posaune - 12/6/10 at 4:54am
post #3 of 12

We were in WBC over MLK in 2007.  I didn't think the lines were really that bad at all.  The mountain is so big that is handles crowds pretty well...especially as you go higher up.  We rarely came down to the base except at the end of the day.  Definitely do a day in both Seattle and Vancouver but get up to WBC as quickly as you can!  They place is truly spectacular.  I hope the weather cooperates...we were very cold and sunny the whole week we were there which is rare for the area.

post #4 of 12

Despite having awesome early season conditions, many BC resorts seem to be getting off to a slow start.  It might be because now that the Olympics are over, a true picture of the global economy is showing through.  

 

If lift lines were not too bad in 2007, chances are they'll be less crowded this season.  I was in Whistler this weekend just passed and it was pretty quiet for this time of year compared to the last two seasons.  In the short term it's great for riders and skiers but not so good for the ski industry and our business - LOL.  Get out there and enjoy it!  And keep us in mind if you're booking your trip ;-)

 

http://www.powderrangers.ca/


Edited by PowderRangers - 12/6/10 at 2:03pm
post #5 of 12

 

Hey Mike,

 

If you let me know what deal you found for the Whistler condo, I can see if I can get you a better deal.  There is no obligation to book so it wouldn't hurt to compare prices.  Also, I couldn't tell from your posting if you've been to Whistler before; some areas of the village can be pretty noisy so we'd be happy to share some local knowledge on good spots that are close to all the action yet relatively peaceful.

 

Please feel free to drop me a line with your requirements.

 

Thanks,

Molly.

 

molly@powderrangers.ca


Edited by PowderRangers - 12/6/10 at 8:48am
post #6 of 12

Hey Mike,

 

MLK weekend can be busy, but usually you find it is only the initial upload that has a long line - so get up early and once up the mountain don't ski back down (the best skiing is up top anyway).

I would say MLK would rank as one of the busiest weekends of the year (in a normal year) but this year seems to be looking quieter than normal. Either way, if you plan to do something else, do it on the Saturday - it will be the busy day.

I know I mentioned in another thread of yours, but check out my 3D trailmap - in my signature. 

post #7 of 12

A lot can depend on the weather.  I was in Whistler during presidents weekend a few years ago.  It was raining at the bottom and the alpine up top was closed.

The lift lines mid mountain were the biggest I've ever seen.  I ended up booking a clinic with Extremely Canadian,  just to cut the lines.  It was a trip saver.  I had a fantastic time and skied a lot of terrain that I would never have found on my own.

 

http://www.extremelycanadian.com/

post #8 of 12

Out of curiosity, why do people plan trips to the world's largest destination resorts on Christmas/MLK/President's Day and then ask if there are going to be crowds? MLK probably is the least of your worries, but still, if you're worried about crowds either go a different week with no holiday issues or go somewhere other than Whistler Blackcomb (ie somewhere with a reputation for no crowds), especially if you're driving from Seattle. I'd imagine a lot of resorts in Washington would be less crowded than WB at pretty much any time of year. Or, if you have to go MLK week, and you have to go to WB, don't even worry about the crowds and just do it.

 

Not criticizing you for asking, just curious about that mentality. It seems like if you hate crowds, there are plenty of options that are multiple times better than WB, even if you are locked into a Seattle flight.

post #9 of 12

I haven't been there over MLK but was over President's Day week several years ago.  During the week wasn't very crowded but the weekend picked up considerably.  It is amazing that they celebrate US holidays at Whistler...by celebrating I mean they charge holiday rates for lodging!th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #10 of 12

 

Quote:
  I'd imagine a lot of resorts in Washington would be less crowded than WB at pretty much any time of year.  

 Washington ski areas are also a fraction of the size of W/B and are reliably packed on MLK weekend.

 

I wouldn't avoid W/B that weekend because of fear of crowds. Sure, it's probably going to be more crowded Sunday than Tuesday, but it's big. Take the free mountain tour--you'll learn where the crowds aren't. But, if you want to check out Vancouver that weekend, I wouldn't discourage you from doing that either. It's a great city.

 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

 Washington ski areas are also a fraction of the size of W/B and are reliably packed on MLK weekend.

 


This is true for most areas.  However, Mt. Baker's lines are never very bad, even on MLK Day, but you have to get there to ski it.  Should you decide to wait before going to WB and you stay in Bellingham you would be closer to Whistler than if you were in Seattle, and you would be within a reasonable drive to Baker. 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

We'll stick to the top of the mountains and check out the free mountain tours... Booked flight.. may ski Monday-Saturday with a day off for other stuff in the region. This may be the time to get a mogul lesson..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Out of curiosity, why do people plan trips to the world's largest destination resorts on Christmas/MLK/President's Day and then ask if there are going to be crowds? MLK probably is the least of your worries, but still, if you're worried about crowds either go a different week with no holiday issues or go somewhere other than Whistler Blackcomb (ie somewhere with a reputation for no crowds), especially if you're driving from Seattle. I'd imagine a lot of resorts in Washington would be less crowded than WB at pretty much any time of year. Or, if you have to go MLK week, and you have to go to WB, don't even worry about the crowds and just do it.

 

Not criticizing you for asking, just curious about that mentality. It seems like if you hate crowds, there are plenty of options that are multiple times better than WB, even if you are locked into a Seattle flight.

 

Joe: it's a long story why we have to go MLK week... I am definitely open to going to other B.C. resorts, but everything I've read here says Whistler is a "must-see" and has a huge areas of intermediate terrain. I bought into the hype.. We skied some deep powder through the trees at Heavenly last year and enjoyed that experience, but are like fish out of water on moguls. Do you all have suggestions for other resorts?


Edited by mikeg19_82 - 12/7/10 at 8:06pm
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